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photo of Drs. Lenora Duhn and Joan Tranmer standing together outside Kingston Health Sciences. A gold plaque in between them reads "Kingston General Hospital"

Queen’s School of Nursing professors recognized for fostering research by Kingston nurses

This article was written by Mary Anne Beaudette and originally published on the KGH Research Institute website

Two Queen’s University nurse-scientists who began their careers at Kingston General Hospital are being recognized by the Kingston Nursing Research Conference (KNRC)  for their leadership in fostering research and scholarship activities for nurses across Kingston’s health sciences community.

To mark the conference’s 25th anniversary on March 3, organizers are naming the KNRC’s research poster awards in honour of Dr. Joan Tranmer and Dr. Lenora Duhn, for their work as research champions for Kingston nurses, and as the driving force behind the conference since it began.

The winning posters, as chosen by conference attendees, will henceforth be named The Dr.  Joan Tranmer Poster Award and the Dr. Lenora Duhn Student Presentation/Poster Award.

Dr. Tranmer, Professor of Nursing and Sally Smith Chair at Queen’s, was the first Director of Nursing Research at Kingston General Hospital, in the 1990s. “It was a brand-new role for the hospital, and one of my mandates was to enhance scholarship and research among nurses,” she says.

One of the priorities was to enhance the awareness and visibility of the important of research among nursing colleagues. “There were local specialty conferences at the time, but nothing focused predominantly on nursing research,” she recalls.

Begun in 1997, some of the early conferences were held in the hospital, growing from 40 attendees to more than 100, and expanding in scope from KGH to multiple institutions across the region, says Dr. Duhn.  “Because of Joan’s work and that of others, its interest has built and grown steadily.”

Dr. Duhn, Assistant Professor, Queen’s School of Nursing, was a research assistant for Dr. Tranmer when the first conference was launched.  She later assumed Dr. Tranmer’s Research Director role at KGH and built on her mentor’s work in succeeding years.  Their efforts fostered access to research resources, and linked front-line nurses and students with Queen’s faculty nurses, who provided help and mentorship for all aspects of the nurses’ research, from setting up studies to publishing results.

This research support, the two nurses say, has made an impact over the years, including more nurses doing graduate studies, and nurses’ research has improved patient care and work environments.

The conference has played an important role in highlighting research by local nurses, says Dr. Tranmer. “It’s so rewarding to take the time to see how much good work is going on in our region. I always come away from the conference thinking, wow, we’re doing good things!”

“For me, when I see undergraduate students there, and they can see a study being presented, it’s inspiring, it motivates in a different way,” say Dr. Duhn. “They can see potential and capacity for the change we can make.”

“The continuity and collaboration that’s reflected in the Poster Award names recognizes the influence of two key nursing researchers, ” says Nicole Chenier-Hogan, Nurse Practitioner in Radiation Oncology, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and conference co-chair. “Dr. Tranmer mentored Dr. Duhn as a student, and now they are nurturing the research aspirations of coming generations of nurse-scientists. We are honored to recognize their success in helping nurses improve patient care and transform practice through research.”


About the Kingston Nursing Research Conference:

The 25th annual Kingston Nursing Research Conference is virtual this year and takes place Thursday, March 3, 8 am – 4: 30 pm.

Contact: Barb Patterson
2022 KNRC Co-Chair