With clear focus and innovative ideas, Dr. Peggy Simpson has transformed patient care thanks to internationally-recognized research on delirium and family nursing. Her extensive background in clinical nursing and as an educator in family medicine made her the obvious choice for her present role as Clinical Nurse Specialist in Mental Health.
“Peggy has enriched our team and is invaluable to Psychiatry at St. Paul’s Hospital and to the entire PHC organization,” says Department of Psychiatry Division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Head Carole Richford. “She brings her wealth of experience and dedication to her profession. She not only has outstanding research skills but is encouraging to others, teaching skills to a truly interdisciplinary team. As a further testament to Peggy’s special skill set, she was recently invited to join the scientific research group in our organization.”
Delirium in acute care settings and family nursing practice are Peggy’s special areas of research interest. “She consults on patients throughout St. Paul’s Hospital, as many of these patients experience delirium,” says Alice Chan, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Mental Health.
Her drive to pursue research in family practice was apparent from the start. Peggy has studied nursing factors to detect and prevent delirium, a prospective observational study to predict delirium in post-operative patients. “Her research is cutting edge as new evidence shows major long-term cognitive changes post-delirium. This is a change in thinking among physicians and nurses,” Richford says.
Putting her innovative ideas into practice in other ways, Peggy’s design and implementation of family-centered nursing at one of PHC’s recently-opened Inpatient units has had a positive impact on public health. “The unit was subsequently rated by the Ministry of Health to have the highest level of patient and family satisfaction of any psychiatric unit in the province of British Columbia,” says Dr. Maria Corral. “I believe this notable achievement was largely due to Peggy’s implementation. She has not only introduced new programs, but has instituted scientific rigor by ensuring that these new processes and guidelines are evaluated.”
Peggy distinguished herself early in her advanced nursing practice career by taking on the challenge of larger systems change and knowledge translation, notes Dr. Janice M. Bell, Peggy’s course professor and clinical supervisor when she began her Master of Nursing program at the University of Calgary. After completing that program and other academic milestones, including co-authoring a significant research published in the Journal of Family Nursing, she went on to the University of Hong Kong to complete a doctoral program. She returned to Canada and taught as a lecturer at several institutions including the University of British Columbia, where she again championed family nursing practice, education and research.
Throughout Peggy’s various roles, she has led and mentored practicing professionals to care more effectively for families in health care, attracting attention locally and abroad. Peggy was asked recently to join an international consortium of researchers developing an international research agenda for knowledge transfer in Family Systems Nursing, Bell notes.
Continuing to show knowledge, enthusiasm and integrity in her work and presentations of her findings, Peggy has become an exceptionally valued member of the global family of nursing researchers.