Zieber earns Lipinski scholarship

University of Lethbridge Faculty of Health Sciences researcher Em Pijl Zieber is one of two local registered nurses who have been named the inaugural recipients of the Wendy Lipinski Memorial Scholarship for Advanced Education.

Pijl Zieber was honoured along with Klaas Vanden Beld on May 8 at Chinook Regional Hospital. The scholarship serves as a memorial to the contributions of Wendy (MacFarlane) Lipinski, a registered nurse who practised for 18 years in Lethbridge and area. She died of cancer last December at age 59. It was established this year by the Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust (ARNET), with funding from Executive Links/Nursing Links, a Calgary provider of nursing education.

Executive Links owner Terese Fleming wanted to honour the nursing contributions of Lipinski, a lifelong friend, who had also returned to school as an adult student to take classes in fine arts at the U of L prior to her passing.

"I am a nurse myself and, if I was ever in a position where I would need to receive health care, Wendy was the type of nurse I would want caring for me," says Fleming. "She was such a kind and caring nurse, so gentle and patient."

Pijl Zieber and Vanden Beld receive scholarships worth a total of $5,000. They were chosen by an ARNET allocation committee on the basis of academic merit in their graduate-level studies.

Pijl Zieber, 44, teaches community health nursing theory and clinical courses in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She is enrolled in doctoral studies at the University of Alberta and has a special interest in nursing in marginalized populations. Prior to joining the U of L, she worked as an RN in remote communities, Vancouver's Downtown East Side and at Lethbridge College.

"It is fitting that such an outstanding educator as Em Pijl Zeiber receive the Wendy Lipinski Memorial Scholarship for Advanced Education," says Faculty of Health Sciences Dean, Dr. Chris Hosgood. "We are dedicated to providing educators with opportunities for professional development and nursing students with an outstanding education, and wholeheartedly support Em's commitment to mobilize students to make a difference in their communities."

"It's an honour to receive this scholarship," says Pijl Zieber. "It will help me continue with my research, which is focused on how well nursing students are prepared for registered nursing practice. The nursing profession can make even greater contributions to the health of Canadians by enhancing community health clinical education and by mobilizing students to make a difference in their communities. That could have a positive impact on the health of everyone."