McMaster University

McMaster University

McMaster's Leadership and Management Program "changed everything" for nurse

By Amanda Boundris

Frances Szypula receiving Health Care Leadership and Management Program Certificate of Completion
Frances Szypula received her Health Care Leadership and Management Program Certificate of Completion on June 21. She is pictured here with Gladys Peachey, left, an assistant professor with the program and School of Nursing (SON); and Colleen McKey, associate professor and assistant dean of the SON (academic resources), and director of the Leadership and Management Program.

Frances Szypula had never taken a university-level course before, as a charge nurse, she decided to enrol with a friend in one of the courses offered as part of McMaster’s Leadership and Management Program.

"I was in my 40’s before I realized I could do it, that I could take a university-level course,' said Szypula.

Not only was she successful in completing that course, her experience with it renewed her confidence and even led to her enrolling in and completing McMaster’s Post-Diploma RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program in 2010.

"This has changed my career. It has changed everything," said Szypula, who is presently a nurse educator at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Having finished the other five courses in the Leadership and Management Program, Szypula was one of 10 students awarded the program’s certificate of completion at a ceremony on June 21.

For Szypula, who is in a leadership role at work, the program has made all the difference in providing her with the skills and knowledge to be a better leader.

"I feel more effective and confident from what I’ve learned in this program. I think my colleagues have noticed it and definitely my manager has noticed it," she said.

The interprofessional Leadership and Management Program has over 15 years experience providing leadership education locally to internationally across all health care sectors. It is offered in both face-to-face and distance formats to approximately 300 students each year.

The program’s six courses focus on leadership and management, team effectiveness, conflict management, and quality management. Courses can be completed individually for undergraduate credit. Successful completion of all six earns the student a certificate of completion.

At the ceremony Colleen McKey, director of the Leadership and Management Program, told the students: "You work in challenging and ever-changing health care environments. We recognize the strength and character that is yours and we know you will continue to be true leaders as you shape our current and future workplaces."

Catherine Tompkins, associate dean of Health Sciences and director of the School of Nursing, said "I believe the need for leadership in nursing is greater than ever before."

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