As nursing research informs clinical practice, nursing practice on the wards must inform research. Agnes Black understands how positive feedback cycles work to improve patient care for all. Presently creating awareness and support for critical education as a Nursing Research Facilitator at Providence Health Care (PHC) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), in addition to her duties as Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing, Agnes personally demonstrates what nursing practice should be.
“From the start of her role, she has demonstrated strong nursing practice leadership in addressing identified nursing research gaps within our facilities,” says VCH-Richmond Director of Professional Practice Monica Redekopp. “She has been a tireless advocate for nurses to learn, engage and use nursing research—all the while, remaining encouraging, positive and accessible to nurses who are eager to learn.”
Agnes is proactive in moving innovative nursing research from strategies into practice. She created the Nursing Education and Research Rounds series of webinars to give nurses access to important research findings relevant to a range of patient populations. The webinars have been so well received that across the health authority there are many locations where nurses come together to watch and learn. This work was an incredible organizational and technical feat, notes Northern Ontario School of Medicine Director of Health Sciences and Interprofessional Education Marion Briggs. “Agnes practices what she preaches, using and generating evidence of best practice for nurses.”
The success of these efforts also attests to Agnes’ continual professional development in her practice areas and mastering technologies to facilitate these knowledge-sharing efforts. She also implemented the very successful Nursing Research Challenge, promoting the application of research into ethics, literature reviews and other areas—leading to a range of successful small-scale, mentored research projects to inform evidence-based practice.
In 2012, the first annual Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Conference at PHC featured important presentations of work-in-progress by the Research Challenge teams.
Agnes led the planning for this event, which showcased significant discussions of lessons learned among nurses and interdisciplinary staff.
Agnes has also taken a leadership role in developing the “Innovative Nursing Services and Practice Informed by Research and Evaluation Network” (InspireNet), which further facilitates the spread of essential nursing practice knowledge.
While Agnes has held prominent roles in nursing research, her career has also developed with a firm grounding in practice, spanning from when she was a public health clinical nurse in Seattle, Washington, to subsequent specializations in women’s health units and oncology nursing. Throughout, she has been an enthusiastic and approachable role model whose can-do attitude is genuine and infectious, says Briggs. Her ability to collaborate and communicate at an exceptional level has been a great strength to herself and others around her.
A true trailblazer, Agnes has made incredible contributions in her nearly 20 years in public health and cancer care and screening as well as nursing research, translating better nursing practice methods into exceptional patient outcomes.