Karen Wall, RN, MN, BScN, has been a registered nurse for 42 years. She has been instrumental in leading nursing education in Manitoba both through tumultuous and exciting times.
After working in public health and as a hospital-based educator, Karen accepted a teaching position with the diploma nursing program at Red River College (RRC) in 1978. Karen became chair of nursing at RRC in 1998. Under Karen’s leadership, in the midst of much controversy, RRC re-instituted diploma nursing education in Manitoba in 2000, as mandated by the government of the day. Because of Karen’s skills as an administrator, negotiator, trailblazer, politician and diplomat, she developed a reputation as a realistic and pragmatic nursing leader.
During her time as chair of the nursing department, Karen negotiated advanced standing for graduates in the post-RN nursing degree program at the University of Manitoba; supported an international exchange project involving nursing programs in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico; oversaw an RN refresher program into a distance education endeavour; and led the development and implementation of the full-time bridging program for internationally educated nurses.
During the turbulent years between 2000 and 2010, Karen designed the program framework of a 32-month college nursing degree. She worked diligently with stakeholders to facilitate degree-granting status for RRC, while the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba continued its negotiations with government for degree education as entry to the profession. As a result, RRC began its own bachelor of nursing program in the fall of 2010.
Throughout her career Karen has represented her profession on innumerable committees and has presented regularly at conferences provincially, nationally and internationally.