Executive 2021 - 2022
Nicki Armstrong is a Nurse Practitioner in Red Deer, Alberta. After 14 years of rural nursing, on and off, she now lives on an acreage with her husband, kids, dogs, cats, chickens, and a horse. She has worked in rural Alberta, rural Nepal, and Bangladesh. Her work focuses on populations who have barriers to receiving good care. Currently, she works in geriatrics and runs a telehealth business offering care for Albertans with obesity. She is honoured to be the President-Elect for CARRN and looks forward to increasing CARRN’s capacity to support Canadian rural nurses.
Erika graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a BSN in 2005, and since has had the opportunity to work in both large urban settings to small rural settings within Saskatchewan. Erika currently resides in rural Saskatchewan and supports rural health care teams. Since 2010, she has worked in Clinical Nurse Educator roles with a focus on rural health, rural health care delivery and rural health care settings. She is a certified instructor in a number of core courses that support our rural teams (ACLS, BLS, ENPC, TLR, WAVE, etc.). Erika teaches in casual roles for Saskatchewan Polytechnic - supporting the Practical Nursing Program, and for the Carlton Trail College - supporting the Continuing Care Assistant Program. Her nursing passions lie with the social determinants of health, health care education, health promotion, standardization, and communication processes. Erika believes connecting providers and resources is key to advancing and supporting health care across Canada.
Michelle graduated with a BSN degree from the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan in 2005. In 2014, she completed a Masters degree in Nursing and is currently a Nursing PhD Candidate at the University of Saskatchewan. Michelle’s areas of research include rural continuing nursing education, farmer and rancher mental health, patient-oriented research, and the impact of COVID-19 on rural and remote nurses. She is currently the Research Chair for Rural Health and teaches in the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. In addition to studying and having worked rural, Michelle resides on a ranch in rural Saskatchewan, so is very passionate about building capacity in this specialized area of nursing. Michelle is honored to be a part of CARRN and is looking forward to meeting more rural/remote nurses from across Canada through this association.
Leona Braitenbach graduated from the Kelsey Institute of Allied Arts and Sciences Diploma Nursing Program in 1983. She continued her nursing education at the University of Saskatchewan and graduated from the Post RN BSN program in 2007. Leona recently retired from her position as the Clinical Nurse Educator at Humboldt District Hospital, but continues to work part-time with the College of Nursing as a faculty resource person and clinical instructor. Her experience has been primarily in rural acute care in Humboldt, SK in general medicine, emergency, day surgery, maternity, as well as general medicine and pediatric intensive care in Saskatoon. Leona has a special interest in InterProfessional Education for health science students in the rural setting. On a personal note, Leona enjoys spending time with their three grandsons and exploring the world.
Sharleen graduated with a post BScN in 2008, attained a Master’s degree in Nursing in 2013, and a Nursing PhD from the University of Saskatchewan in 2020. Her developing program of research focuses on the psychological impact of exposure to traumatic events on nurses in rural/remote settings. Sharleen’s clinical practice has entailed urban, rural, and remote nursing across 3 western provinces in a broad range of roles from emergency, coordination, utilization, supervision, education, community, public health, and management including work with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) and the Ministry of Justice, Coroners Branch. Her range of experiences have provided an in-depth understanding of the unique complexities, challenges, and disparities in rural/remote nursing practice. She currently works as a manager for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and as a Research Assistant on the Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II Study. Sharleen is excited to be part of the CARRN executive and to advocate, promote, and support rural/remote nurses.
As a rural resident for most of her life, and a registered nurse since 2005, JoDee is passionate about rural health care and the unique field of rural nursing. JoDee received her BN from the University of Calgary at Medicine Hat College and completed her Master’s degree in Nursing in 2012. She has had the opportunity to practice in a variety of urban and rural settings, and is currently a nursing instructor in a collaborative BN program. JoDee feels fortunate to be able to teach a rural nursing course which provides students with theoretical knowledge related to rural health care and the opportunity to practice in a rural clinical setting. JoDee looks forward to being a part of CARRN and is excited to work with others who share a passion for advancing rural and remote health care in Canada.