Nurses highlight new frontiers in research

News / General / Research
By Mary Anne Beaudette

Machine learning in nursing practice, indigenous perspectives on research into kidney health, and the role of nurses in medical assistance in dying will be highlighted in keynote talks at this year’s Kingston Nursing Research Conference. The conference takes place Thursday, March 12 at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre. 

“We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on these rapidly emerging areas of nursing research and care,” says Debra Campbell, planning committee member, emcee and Nursing Coordinator, Cardiac Rhythm Devices at KHSC. “They pose complex questions and have the potential to transform our practice. We look forward to the insights that our keynote speakers bring to these timely issues.”   

Keynote speakers are as follows:

Alex Hamilton is a registered nurse and a recent graduate of the Master of Biomedical Informatics (MBI, 2019) program at Queen’s University. Mr. Hamilton uses machine learning and other techniques to glean insights from monitoring data generated in the Intensive Care Unit of Kingston Health Sciences Centre. He will speak on Machine learning for health: The next maker movement and why nurses need to be in the driver’s seat.

"Nurses possess many skills--from information management to problem-solving--that are critical to the success of machine learning projects in health care," Mr. Hamilton says. "Our continual presence at the bedside provides a unique opportunity to educate patients about these technologies and means that we have a responsibility to ensure the safe and ethical deployment of these tools into our care processes. Interest in machine learning for health is growing, and if nurses are not present during the development of these technologies, valuable insight about patient care will be missing.” 

Willi Kirenko is a nurse practitioner (NP) with Primary Health Care (University of Windsor) and Adult (University of Toronto) NP specialties.  Recently she was awarded the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario’s Gerry Gerow award for her work in improving access to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in the community setting. She is also a leader in training and supporting other MAiD assessors and providers. She will speak on Medical Assistance in Dying: Nursing roles in this end-of-life option.  

Mary Smith, PhD, is a primary health care nurse practitioner and Assistant Professor at Queen’s School of Nursing with research interests in Indigenous renal and mental health. She will speak on Indigenous methodologies: Learning together with the community. 

This annual event will feature more than 15 speakers and presenters from Kingston’s hospitals and Queen’s University. 

For conference details and to register, see:

Barbara Patterson,
Conference Organizer