Nursing Alumna Awarded University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award

Kathy Reid, ‘08 MNurs, is one of the recipients recognized for her significant achievements and contributions to the nursing profession and community.

Allie Voisin - 8 June 2021

The University of Alberta Alumni Awards recognizes the contributions of alumni around the globe who uphold their promise to put their education towards bettering society through professional achievements, innovation, and community service. 

Kathy Reid’s (‘08 MNurs) dedication to the profession of nursing as an advocate, implementer of best practices, and pediatric nurse honours the spirit of those like Henry Marshall Tory who founded the U of A and called on us to "Uplift the whole people," through our actions.

Her exceptional contributions inspire our alumni community to “Do Great Things”. Below, Reid delves into what it means to be a nursing leader, how she inspires others to apply their education towards making a difference in the community and her extensive experience within the nursing profession. 

Why did you choose to become a nurse? 

Growing up on Manitoulin Island I had a few wonderful RN role models who encouraged me to pursue nursing as a career. I volunteered as a “Candy Striper” (yes, that’s what we were called) in my local hospital and found my passion.

Where do you currently work and in what role? 

I’m currently a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in nursing policy and practice at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and love being able to work on the implementation of best practice, and advocacy for nursing.

How did you feel when you first heard the news you were a recipient of the Alumni Honour Award? 

WOW – when I opened the email I was so surprised and honoured. Then when I saw how many of my colleagues had taken the time to nominate me – I was overwhelmed that so many would take the time to nominate me. 

How have you contributed to the profession of nursing and the nursing community over the years?

I’ve been a Registered Nurse (RN) now for 38 years including a Nurse Practitioner (NP) for 12 of those years. I’ve had the opportunity to work with children and their families for 37 of those years in pediatrics. I’ve been able to conduct and publish nursing research, write book chapters on nursing care, be involved in local, national and international work as an RN/NP to advocate for nurses and the care that we provide. 

I’m currently an external advisor to Health Canada’s Canadian Pain Task Force representing nursing’s important role in helping Canadians who live with chronic pain. I’ve taught nursing at the undergraduate level and been a guest lecturer in nursing at the graduate level. But I’d say my largest contribution has been in providing nursing care to the children and the families that I have worked with over the decades. I’ve even provided care to children whose parents I cared for!

What words of advice do you have for our future nursing leaders? 

We are all leaders and need to lead, in so many different capacities. Find your leadership capacity and don’t be afraid to be vocal. Let others know about your passions. Seek out mentors and ask them for help. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t had mentors. When you see something that needs to be changed — speak up to change it. Be brave! Take advantage of opportunities that come your way to try different things. Volunteer!  Surround yourself with people who can lift you up but don’t forget to find those that challenge you as well.   

How will you inspire others to “Do Great Things?” 

I plan to inspire others through my words and my actions. Nursing is a wonderful profession that allows us all to do great things but we are at a crossroads right now. The pandemic has taken such a toll on our profession and we need to support RNs and we need to speak up about the important work we all do. We need to support all our generations of nurses to ensure that nurses stay in our profession and that we continue to attract people to nursing.  

Anything else you'd like to add? 

I’m truly honoured.  I certainly didn’t expect that when I began my career so many years ago, I’d be receiving any awards! 

The Alumni Awards recognize the contributions and tell the stories of our exceptional alumni, inspiring us all to Do Great Things. Meet the 2021 Alumni Award recipients: