Anna Helewka

R.P.N., R.N., B.Sc.N., M.Sc.N.
Phone (Office):  (604)-777-6435
Phone (Cell):  (604)-418-7158

RN (Registered Nurse)
RPN (Registered Psychiatric Nurse)

Membership in Professional Groups:

  • CRPNBC; CRNBC; CNA; RPNC; CARPNE, Horatio European Committee of Psychiatric Nurses; ARNBC; ARPNBC
  • Sigma Thêta Tau International (Xi Êta Chapter)
  • Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada


1974     Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing (British Columbia Institute of Technology)
1975     Diploma in General Nursing (British Columbia Institute of Technology) 1986 Bachelors of Science in Nursing (University of British Columbia)
2006     Masters of Science in Nursing [thesis] (University of British Columbia)
2013     Certificate in CASE Suicide Assessment
2014     Preparing to enter doctoral program (Education and Culture focus) at Simon Fraser University (family illness pre-empted this)
2017     Certificate: Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education (University of British Columbia MOOC course)

Professional Nursing Experience (clinical practice)

Medical Surgical Nursing

  • Practised in acute medical/surgical areas from 1977-1988 at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Maple Ridge Hospital (full time positions)
  • Up until recently have been casual staff for medical/surgical at Ridge Meadows Hospital

Acute In-Patient Psychiatry

  • Practised in acute in-patient psychiatry at Surrey Memorial Hospital (casual basis) Recently have been casual staff at Ridge Meadows Hospital (often work in the ER overflow devoted to psychiatric admissions)

Critical Care Nursing

  • Practised as a casual nurse in critical care areas of Surrey Memorial Hospital for 5 years after taking the SMH in-house critical care cours
  • Areas worked in: ICU, CCU and Emergency

Nursing Management

  • 1980-1982 Nurse manager of 42 bed thoracic-vascular and general surgery with a ICU step down unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital

Nursing Education Experience: 1985-1986

  • Sessional instructor at the University of British Columbia in the BSN program-major focus of teaching was acute in-patient psychiatry (classroom and clinical practice) but also taught medical surgical skills for 3rd year in the psychomotor l


  • Casual instructor in the Douglas College General Nursing Program—taught in the medical/surgical and in-patient acute psychiatry clinical practice areas; also involved in classroom teaching related to psychiatric nursing concept


  • Currently employed as full time regular faculty in the Douglas College Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing (BSPN) and diploma program. Extensive teaching experience in medical/surgical and acute psychiatry contexts (clinical practice, theory, communication and psychomotor lab courses).
  • 2006-2010 Curriculum and Program Evaluation Coordinator (focus to develop, implement and evaluate baccalaureate curriculum for RPNs)
  • Developed online and classroom course Introductory Research Course in the Department of Psychiatric Nursing at Douglas College
  • Current Position (Sept 2010 to date): Program Coordinator and Instructor in the Douglas College Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing and Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing program.

Professional Teaching Focus:

Clinical Practice Teaching Contexts/Experience:

  • Acute in-patient medical and surgical nursing
  • Acute in-patient psychiatry
  • Long term in-patient psychiatry

**although currently in a coordinator position, I continue to take on clinical and classroom teaching related to medicine, surgical and psychiatry practice contexts.

Classroom Teaching Experience:

  • Psychiatric Nursing Concepts/Theory and Pharmacology
  • Medical and Surgical Nursing Concepts/Theory and Pharmacology
  • Communications and Therapeutic Relationships
  • Psychomotor Labs
  • Research Course

Other Teaching Experiences:

  • Health Assessment courses and Communications courses with special projects associated with Advanced Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing Program (Northern Initiatives—Dawson Creek and Terrace; Riverview Projects). Courses delivered via distance learning modes as well as on site courses and clinical role modeling.

Curriculum Development and Administrative Experience/Preparation: 1994- 1998

  • Member of Douglas College Department of Psychiatric Nursing (DOPN) Caring Curriculum development and implementation committee; involved in designing the caring curriculum, development of a conceptual framework and in the development of the theory courses for Semesters Two, Three and F
  • Co-chaired a faculty professional development workshop related to curriculum development and program evaluation (guest speaker: D Tanner).


  • Attended three-day Curriculum and Program Evaluation Institute at the University of British Columbia.


  • Member of the Douglas College Department of Psychiatric Nursing Bachelors of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Curriculum Development Committ
  • As a member of this committee, I was involved in the design of the BSPN degree (with focused work on the design of the theory/concepts courses leveled across the curriculum); In addition, I was involved in the development of two pharmacology courses and the online research course for the new program
  • As a member of the BSPN curriculum committee I have presented the Neuman Systems models as it relates to the Department of Psychiatric Nursing (DOPN) conceptual framework.
  • In Spring 2005 was actively involved in preparing materials and documents for the BC DQAB on- site visit for the new BSPN degree (program approval).
  • Spring 2006: attended 5-day intensive course at Douglas College related to developing courses for on-line teaching (in preparation for developing the research course).
  • Spring 2006: Attended 1st International Nursing Educators Conference (Vancouver)— three-day workshop devoted to teaching strategies, curriculum development, program evaluations, scholarship of teaching/learning.


  • Curriculum and Program Evaluation Coordinator for the DOPN programs (Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing, Bachelors of Science in Psychiatric Nursing).
  • Received Douglas College award for Team Excellence in Curriculum Development (2009)
  • Project Lead for Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative Project at Douglas College in Department of Psychiatric Nursing ($250,000 funded project); collaborated on this initiative with Simon Fraser (details of project available upon request)

2010-to present:

  • Program Coordinator for Department of Psychiatric Nursing as of September 15, 2010— responsible for managing three programs (Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing, Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing and BSPN Degree Completion for RPNs and RNs)
  • In this role, I have recently collaborated with Vancouver Coastal to develop and implement Professional Development courses for RPNs, RN and other allied Health Professionals that have been hired in the new Tertiary Mental Health facilities and the Acute Psychosis Unit at UBC. In addition, responded to a request by Children’s Hospital to provide a 3 credit Children and Adolescent Mental Health course for RPNs, RNs and other allied health professional These courses are currently in process.
  • (2013) As program coordinator instrumental in developing a global/humanitarian experience for students in our program. Selected students can participate in a 10- week interdisciplinary health care experience (with a focus on mental health promotion) in Ug

Professional Activities

  • Member of the accreditation committees for Douglas College General Nursing (1995) and for the Douglas College Psychiatric Nursing (1998).
  • 2005-2006 Member of the Douglas College Interdisciplinary Committee—focus of this committee was to provide recommendations to the college community related to the development of courses that could be taught across disciplin
  • 2005-2011 Board Member of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia (CRPNBC)
  • 2004-to-date: Chair of the Quality Assurance Committee of the CRPBNC and responsible for developing and implementing Continuing Competency Program for RPNs in British Columbi As a chair of this committee, I am also involved in discussions related to RPN scope of practice.
  • 2007-2009 Member of College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia Nurse Practitioner Advisory Board (sat as Educational Consultant to this committee).
  • 2005-2010 Member and Chair of Sigma Theta Tau International (Xi Eta Chapter) Research Committee—I continue to sit on this committee and assist in planning the Annual Ethel John Research Conference at St Paul’s Hospital
  • 2006-to-date Member of the Douglas College Scholarship of Teaching Learning (SoTL)

Research Cohort Group

  • (2006) Received Team Excellence award for Curriculum Development of the BSPN program
  • 2006 to date: Member of the International Society of Scholarship of Teaching Learning (ISSOTL).
  • 2005-todate: Member and Co-chair of the Canadian Association of Registered Psychiatric Nurses Education
  • 2009 Received the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC Award for Administrative Leadership (Education)
  • 2006-to-2012 Member of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board
  • 2009-to-date: Member of the Douglas College BSN Program Advisory Committee
  • 2011-to-date: Member of the Douglas College Health Care Worker Program Advisory Committee
  • (2010) Received NSM Award for Excellence in Education—for the development and adaptation of the NSM for the Department of Psychiatric Nursing Conceptual Framework, Assessment Guidelines and Psychiatric Nursing Taxonomy (2010)
  • (2010 to date) Trustee of the Neuman Systems Model for Nursing (Sept 2010-to-date).
  • (2012-2014) Member of RPN competency and scope of practice working groups
  • (2013) Received RPNC National Award for Nursing Education and Leadership
  • (2013-to 2015) Faculty of Health Sciences representative to Education Council
  • (2012-2013) Participated in NNAS initial survey for CFGNS International as they began developing a RPN assessment tool.
  • (2014) RPN Subject Matter Expert on the Competency Mapping Working Group for the BC Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) for Internationally Educated Practitioners (IEPs)
  • (2014) Field Reviewer for the NNAS RPN Assessment tool for the CFGNS International project

Major Fields of Scholarly or Professional Interest

  • Social comfort/comfort theory as it relates to the experience of nursing students in educational program but especially students from diverse backg
  • Curriculum development, implementation and evaluation
  • Distance and on-line learning initiatives
  • Health assessment for advanced practice nurses
  • Rural/northern nursing issu
  • Aboriginal/First Nations educational paradigms and how they differ from mainstream educational contexts—what does this mean for Aboriginal/First Nations nursing students?
  • Focus of MSN degree at UBC was teaching/learning and curriculum development.

Thesis: Examined the experience of culturally diverse nursing students in baccalaureate nursing programs.

  • Development of a Conceptual Framework for the BSPN and Diploma Program in the DOPN (adapting the Neuman Systems Model to all contexts of practice and teaching)
  • Developing a taxonomy of psychiatric nursing diagnoses based on the Douglas College Conceptual Framework and the Neuman Systems Model
  • Involved in a large scale interdisciplinary cohort research study (SoTL) at Douglas which examined the intricacies of student engagement and the sociology of the classroom (quantitative and qualitative three-phase 5-year study).
  • Member of the RPNC working group on developing national standards for psychiatric nursing education (2013).
  • Involved in National Nursing Assessment Framework development.
  • Currently developing a global mental health/humanitarian experience for our psychiatric nursing students in Uganda.
  • Global Engagement College Wide Committee

Research and Scholarship Activity

Research Projects:

  • Published MSN thesis (2006): a qualitative study which used interpretive descriptive methods to examine the lived experience of culturally diverse baccalaureate nursing students in relation to social comfort
  • Project lead in the development of the taxonomy of psychiatric nursing diagnosis based on the Douglas College DOPN conceptual framework (adapted from the Neuman Systems Model for Nursing)—published in Neuman & Fawcett (2011) 5th The Neuman Systems Model (textbook).
  • Development of a Conceptual Framework for Psychiatric Nursing (based on the Neuman Systems Model) which included assessment tools for the client system; published in Neuman & Fawcett (2011) 5th The Neuman Systems Model (textbook).
  • Project Lead on a Health Canada (Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative) funded participatory action research project related to incorporating Aboriginal/First Nations paradigms into curricula and thereby graduate psychiatric nurses that can provide culturally appropriate care to Aboriginal/First Nations peoples (paper to be published).
  • Scholarship of Teaching Learning Cohort Research Project examining teaching/learning processes in a college environment (published in 2012).
  • Currently (2016-to date) involved in a Research Challenge Project in an interdisciplinary study at Douglas College investigating undergraduate comfort level with the research process and the impact of a ‘hands on’ experience with this comfort; faculty will serve as mentors for students as they develop and implement a research project.
  • Have recently (September 2017) become involved as a co-designer of a national SSHRC funded research project being conducted by Queens University (Ontario) researchers assessing and addressing post-secondary student awareness of the relationship of Canadian history and its impact on the First Nations People of Canada (past and present).

Conference Paper Presentations:

  • Participated as a master’s student in the CAUSN conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia in a presentation entitled: A Strategy for Expressing Learning Outcomes of a Graduate Course in Educational Process Project presented used a non-traditional metaphorical analogy to demonstrate a synthesis of understanding of the concepts from a course and how these concepts had professional and personal meaning (teaching, learning, curriculum design)—educational praxis in action
  • 2004 Presented thesis work at the 8th International Qualitative Health Research Conference in Banff, Alberta (Canada)
  • 2005 Presented thesis work at the Registered Psychiatric Nurse Educators Conference in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • 2005 Presented thesis work at the Douglas College BSN Program Scholarship Day in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • Taxonomy of Psychiatric Nursing Diagnosis presented at NSM Symposium (Florida, 2007).
  • Presented at World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing (2008) A Taxonomy of Psychiatric Nursing Diagnoses and the DSM-IV-TR: A Clash of Perspectives or an Indulgent Partnership
  • Presented Aboriginal Paradigms in Psychiatric Nursing Project Findings at World Congress of Psychiatric Nursing, (Regina, 2008).
  • NSM for New Users—presented at the NSM Symposium (Florida, 2007 and Las Vegas Nevada, 2009)
  • Presentation of Preliminary findings of SoTL research at the ISSoTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching Learning) Conference in Bloomington, Ohio (2009).
  • Poster presentation of interdisciplinary SoTL Cohort research at ISSoTL Conference in Bloomington, Ohio (2009) and at Douglas College Research day in May
  • Presentation of Douglas College SoTL research project at ISSoTL Conference in Liverpool (UK) October 20
  • Presentation of Douglas College SoTL research project at the Mount Royal SoTL Institute in Banff, Alberta, November
  • Presentation of Douglas College SoTL research project at the ISSoTL Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA) in October 2011 and at Douglas College, November 2011; Title of Presentation: When Educational ‘Best Practices” meet Student Resistance— using SoTL research to generate solution
  • 2015 World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing (Banff, Alberta) Psychiatric Nurses as Humanitarians on the Global Stage
  • 2015 World Congress for Psychiatric Nurses (Banff, Alberta) Member of a panel of RPN Educators (BC representative)

Conference Attendance

  • Western Canada Psychiatric Nurse Educators Conferences o (Ponoka, Alberta, 1989; Regina, Alberta, 1990; Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1991; NewWestminster, British Columbia, 1992; New Westminster, British Columbia, 2005; Calgary, Alberta, 2006; Vancouver, 2010)
  • CAUSN Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia (1999)
  • Neuman Systems Model Symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia (1999)
  • Ethel John’s Research Conference, St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • International Qualitative Research Conferences (2000, 2002, 2004) sponsored by the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology held in Banff, Alberta (Canada).
  • World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010)
  • Workshop held by the Fraser Health Authority related to advances in care for HIV/AIDS clients (2004)
  • CRPNBC Education Day (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009) in BC
  • Distinguished Lecturer Presentation (the Roy Adaptation Model) by Sister/Doctor Callista Roy, Akron, Ohio (2005)
  • Neuman Systems Model Symposium in Akron, Ohio (2005)
  • Invited guest: Nursing Sector Study Presentation Ottawa, Ontario (2006)
  • 1st International Nurse Educators Conference (CASN), Vancouver, British Columbia (2006)
  • Challenging the Paradigm—The De-Colonization of Post-Secondary Education, Northwest Community College, Terrace BC
  • Health Care Leaders Conference (2009) Vancouver, BC
  • Community Based Research Conference, University of Victoria (April 2010).
  • BC Ministry of Health meeting at CRNBC for Quality Assurance and Restricted Activities for Health Professions—invited guest (November 2010).
  • Attended Neuman Systems Model Symposium in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (USA); June 2011.
  • Attended WNRCASN (Western and Northern Region Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Conference (February 2012, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada).
  • Attended Education without Borders Conference in Dubai in 2013—supported student in preparing abstract for this conference
  • May 2013 Attended RPNC World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing
  • Attended WNRCASN (Western and Northern Region Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Conference (February 2014, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • September 2017 attending the Recovery Capital Conference of Canada Conference (New Initiatives in Addiction Recovery), Anvil Centre, New Westminster, BC.

Workshops Organized:

  • Chair of planning committee for the 4th Annual Psychiatric Nurse Educators Conference (1992) held in New Westminster, British Columbi Title: Critical Thinking and Professionalism in Psychiatric Nursing Education.
  • Co-chair of the planning committee for the Psychiatric Nurse Educators Conference (2005) in New Westminster, British Columbi Title: Exploring Diversity in Psychiatric Nursing Education.
  • Faculty Development Workshops related to the utilization of the Neuman Systems Model in the BSPN degree (2004-2006)
  • Chair of Planning Committee for Ethel John (Sigma Theta Tau-Xi Eta) Research Forum (2007, 2008, 2009).
  • Member of the Planning Committee for the Ethel John (Sigma Theta Tau-Xi Eta) Research Form (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).
  • Member of the Planning Committee for the World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing in British Columbia (March 2010)
  • Member of the annual Student Research Day planning committee at Douglas College (2010, 2011, 2012).
  • Co-developed and gave a one-day curriculum faculty development workshop (with Maureen Mackey) for Grant McEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). Workshop focused on incorporating the Neuman Systems Model of Nursing into a psychiatric nursing baccalaureate curriculum (May 2011).
  • Chair, Neuman Systems Model Symposium held in June 2013 in BC.

Guest Lectures/Presentations:

  • Plenary speaker at the World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing (2002) in Coquitlam, British Columbi Topic: The Meaning of Best Practices for the Psychiatric Nursing Profession.
  • Guest speaker at Riverview Hospital Grand Rounds (2003). Topic: Best Practices for Psychiatric Nurs
  • Panel Presentation: CRPNBC Education Day (2004). Topic: Future Directions for Psychiatric Nursing: An Educators Perspective.
  • Invited speaker World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing (2008). Topic: Quality Assurance—Trendy Catchphrase or A Declaration of Excellence?
  • Invited speaker at the First Nations Interior Health Continuing Education Forum (2009) Topic: Nursing Roles in Home and Community Care: Ingenuity and Collaboration. Collaborated with the CRNBC, CLPNBC and CRPNBC in this presentati
  • Plenary speaker at the World Congress for Psychiatric Nursing (2010) in Vancouver, British Columbi Topic: Title: Mental Health Promotion—Shifting Landscapes: Local Stage to World Arena
  • Guest Speaker at the Justice Institute of British Columbi (2010) Topic: Incorporating Aboriginal Paradigms into Post-Secondary Education Programs.
  • Invited plenary speaker for the Neuman Systems Model for Nursing Symposium June 2011—Topic: Evidence Based Nursing Education—Reality or Created Environment.
  • 2013 December) Invited Presenter at the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) Symposium—Serving Indigenous Learners and Communiti Topic: Indigenizing the Curriculum, Hotel Fairmont, Vancouver, BC
  • 2015 Co-presented at Douglas College World Café: Journey North—a interactive teaching/learning strategy requiring students to learn about Indigenous Health Issues utilizing an online learning platform.
  • 2016 Co-presented at Douglas College Health Sciences Faculty Forum: Integrating Indigenous Worldviews in Health Care Education program