News Archives: New Dean Appointed for the School of Health, Wellness and Career Studies
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
Vanessa Sheane, Dean, School of Health, Wellness and Career Studies
Vanessa Sheane began her career as a nurse. Now, she’s responsible for the care and vitality of GPRC’s School of Health, Wellness and Career Studies. Sheane grew up in the region and is proud to be part of GPRC’s development and further growth.
Sheane was named Dean in November 2020 after teaching in the department of Nursing Education and Health Studies since 2012. Prior to that, she was a Registered Nurse at the Queen Elizabeth ll Hospital in Grande Prairie.
She’s also served as Chairperson in her department over the past two years.
“I’ve been drawn to leadership positions for as long as I can remember - to set the vision and then empower people to work to achieve that vision,” said Sheane. “Leadership is rewarding when you see the pride and sense of accomplishment within the people you lead.”
Her nursing background provides valuable tools for this new role.
“Being a nurse is a great asset to any leadership position. Many skills I learned as an ER nurse continue to help me today. Nursing teaches compassion, empathy, respect, integrity, courage, advocacy, calmness, how to build relationships, effective communication, quick decision making, prioritization, and time management skills.”
The Dean sets the strategic vision for the School, advocates for its departments, and works closely with department chairs for delivery of academic programs. Sheane will also be collaborating with the Vice-President, Academic and Research, the two other Deans, the Directors of Research and Student Experience, and the Registrar to advance the vision of the entire academic division.
“My role as the leader of this program is to continue what we have, foster relationships, recognize the strengths, acknowledge the work of others, and use this recipe for success in all programs. I have already spearheaded two additional health programs that are awaiting approval.”
Sheane says having the Interim Dean position since April 2020 helped her fully recognize the broader scope of GPRC and its offerings.
“My major motivation for seeking this position was to expand the academic programs that GPRC delivers, particularly in the School of Health, Wellness, and Career Studies,” said Sheane. “Since taking on the interim role, I can see there is an opportunity to expand all the academic departments in this school. Overall, I want to be the leader who works toward the vision of expanding programming.”
Sheane has modelled lifelong learning herself. She is completing her PhD dissertation in Nursing from the University of Victoria where she also attained her Master of Nursing. Sheane graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Technology changes have been endless in her career.
“I like to tell my nursing students when I first started working as a nurse, there was a sandwich bag full of coins pinned to the bulletin board in the nursing room that was labelled ‘For Emergency Fanout Calls Only.’ Essentially, this was backup in case the phone system went down, we could call extra staff in by using the coins for the pay phone. The students always got a good laugh because many of them do not know what a pay phone is, let alone a world without cell phones.”
She encourages others to follow in her footsteps.
“Healthcare is a very rewarding career where you get to see the outcome of your impact almost immediately. There will always be a need for health care professionals and the opportunities are endless. In a similar way, and the pandemic has shown, leaders across all disciplines are needed and valued by society.”
Explore GPRC’s School of Health, Wellness and Career Studies programs.