Celebrating Research: Manal Kleib

Hear from Assistant Professor Dr. Manal Kleib who is preparing the nursing workforce of tomorrow for the digital health revolution.

Allie Voisin - 20 December 2021

The future is bright for Dr. Manal Kleib, University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing Assistant Professor, who is dedicated to preparing the nursing workforce of tomorrow for a digital health revolution. Though this research area of focus is fairly new, Dr. Kleib says it's essential to keep pace with the rapid technological innovations taking place in our society in healthcare. Effectively integrating existing and emerging digital health technology in nurses' practice roles will enable them to deliver high-quality nursing care and achieve better outcomes for patients, providers, and health systems. 

Hear from Dr. Kleib on why this novel research is so rewarding, the challenges that come with it, and more through this Q & A. 

How'd you get into your area of research? 

I had the privilege of working in different settings ranging from small to large academic and healthcare organizations in Canada and internationally, which enriched my experiences. My research interest stemmed from my own experiences with technology during my clinical practice in critical care as well as the experiences of my former and current students and the challenges they continue to face in learning about health technologies, both in Canada and other countries I worked in, which unfortunately were not always positive. Now, I am leading a research program focused on preparing the nursing workforce for the digital health revolution. The overall goal of my program is to enhance the preparedness of the nursing workforce and their capabilities to effectively integrate existing and emerging digital health technology in their practice roles to deliver high-quality nursing care and achieve better outcomes for patients, providers, and health systems. I value the opportunities to network and collaborate with researchers, educators, students, clinicians, and policymakers, which continue to fuel my program and generate new questions to examine through research.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? 

Being a member of a progressive, diverse, research-intensive university with high academic standards is a constant inspiration and continues to challenge me to do even more.

I enjoy working with both undergraduate and graduate students and invest quite a bit of my time in mentoring them so that they are adequately prepared to effect change locally and globally and pursue leadership roles in today’s complex, dynamic, diverse, and technology-driven healthcare environment. Seeing them succeed is another source of inspiration for me.

It is also quite rewarding to see that the continued collaborations on research projects and practice consultations with multiple stakeholders including Alberta Health Services, Alberta Health, Canada Health Infoway, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing and the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association over the years have contributed to advancing informatics and digital health in Canadian nursing. I look forward to making even a more prominent difference in the years to come.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your work? 

The most challenging aspect pertains to working in an area that is relatively new and expanding by the minute due to the rapid technological innovation taking place in our society, healthcare included. Keeping the pace and understanding the implications for Canadians and the nursing workforce, although challenging, it is also a signpost that we need to do more.

Where do you want your research to be in 5 years? 

In the next five years, my research will continue to explore students’ learning and nurses’ work experiences about mainstream digital health tools, such as electronic records, while also garnering international research collaborations to begin examining how AI-enabled technologies will affect nursing practice, the key capabilities nurses will need, the new roles that nurses can assume, the core education or other interventions that will be required to upgrade the clinical and theoretical requirements for nurses regarding the ongoing digital health transformation.

What is something your coworkers do not know about you? 

I love gardening, enjoy walking outdoors as well as travelling, particularly in Europe. This past summer, it was great visiting Bulgaria. I also enjoy cooking and spending time creating delicious meals, so you are welcome to my kitchen!

Where is your favourite place on campus? 

I don’t have a favourite place but enjoy being in older buildings surrounded by mature trees across campus.  

Is there anything you’d like to add?  

I look forward to collaborating and working with colleagues and students as we envision the future U of A. I am confident technology would be a core driver for our success. Although we are going through difficult times, hang in there … the future is bright!