Karen Clements

Karen Clements

R.P.N., M.A.
Assistant Professor – Psychiatric Nursing
Phone: (204) 772-0377 Ext. 873
Fax: (204) 772-7842


Karen Clements joined the Faculty of Health Studies, Department of Psychiatric Nursing in August of 2005 at the Winnipeg Campus, after teaching several years as a sessional instructor for the Department.  Karen is also a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Brandon University and pleased to serve as a thesis advisor and on thesis committees for graduate students.

Karen worked as a registered psychiatric nurse since graduating from the Selkirk Mental Health Centre Psychiatric Nursing Program in 1974. Her areas of work have included acute care psychiatry with forays into community psychosocial rehabilitation and consulting in First Nations communities. She held positions as staff educator for inpatient psychiatry and research coordinator for the Victoria General Hospital.


Karen’s credentials include a Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education (University of Manitoba 1986), BA in Medical Anthology (U of M 1994) and an MA in Anthropology (U of M 1997).


Karen has been involved in numerous qualitative research projects directly related to practice using a variety of research methods: surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, thematic analysis. Recent research projects include the Healthy Living Project—a community collaboration entailing the development of a wellness assessment tool for inpatient psychiatry, educational modules on healthy living, healthy living groups, smoking cessation, and metabolic syndrome screening clinics at the Clubhouse of Winnipeg.  She also collaborated with the Clubhouse on an innovative photovoice research project (a type of participatory action research). Her master thesis research involved interviewing individuals from three Manitoba Cree communities on the training needs of mental health workers in First Nations communities.

Current research interests include: discursive constructions of recovery within recovery-oriented mental health services; scope of RPN practice (extended, advanced practice); impact of client suicide on psychiatric nurses.

Selected Awards

  • Healthy Living Award (2008). Kinsmen Reh Fit Centre 10th Annual Healthy Living Awards to the Healthy Living Project . In recognition of service to the community.
  • Hero of Mental Health (2007). Canadian Mental Health Association.  In recognition of work in the mental health community.
  • Lilly Neuroscience Solutions for Wellness (2005).  Financial award ($39,000) to the Healthy Living Project for research and development in the area of reduction of risk for metabolic syndrome in persons with severe, persistence mental illness.
  • Duff Roblin Graduate Fellowship (1994 – 1992). University of Manitoba to support graduate studies.  In recognition of superior academic potential.
  • Northern Scientific Training Program Research Award (1993).  Northern Studies Committee, University of Manitoba. To support thesis research in Northern Manitoba.

Selected Publications and Presentations (previous name McSwain)

Cirpili, A. & Swisher, M. (adapted by Clements, K.) (2014). Psychiatric mental health nursing in acute act settings. In Halter, M. (2014). Canadian psychiatric mental health nursing. A clinical approach. pp. 74 – 84. Toronto: Elsvier.

Varcarolis, E. (adapted by Clements. K) (2014). The nursing process and standards of care for psychiatric mental health nurse. In Halter, M. (2014). Canadian psychiatric mental health nursing. A clinical approach. pp. 132 – 146. Toronto: Elsvier.

Clements, K. (2013). Constructing Recovery. 2nd European Conference on Mental Health Nurses. Turku, Finland. May 22 – 24, 2013.

Clements, K. (2013). Troubling Recovery. RPNC World Congress for Psychiatric Nurses. Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 2, 3, 4, 2013.

Clements, K. (2012). Ethical research guidelines and psychiatric nursing. Canadian Journal of Psychiatric Nursing Research, 1. http://www.cjpnr.org/

Clements, K. (2011). Participatory action research and Photovoice in a psychiatric nursing/Clubhouse collaboration exploring recovery narrative. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. Advanced online view Dec 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01853.x

Clements,  K. (2012). Our Photos/Our Voices: The work of narrative in mental health. 29th Qualitative Research Analysis Conference. Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Clements, K., Karpa, J., & Panteluk, L. (2009). Supporting the development of self-awareness in psychiatric nursing practice through reflective practice. Paper presented at the conference Engaging Reflection in Health Professional Education and Practice Conference. University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.

Clements, K. (2008). Community screening and programming; Healthy living educational modules. Paper presented in collaboration with Clubhouse of Winnipeg members at the conference Mental Illness and Metabolic Syndrome, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Clements, K., Karpa, J., & Panteluk, L. (2008).  Continuing competence audits: Accountability and action through reflective practice.  Paper presented at the   World Congress for Psychiatric Nurses, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Clements, K., & Quesnel, B. (2008). Screening for metabolic syndrome in persons with mental health challenges: Community and inpatient psychiatric unit examples.  Poster presentation at the World Congress for Psychiatric Nurses, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Clements, K., Fey, L., & C. (2004).  Self assessment of psychiatric nursing competencies for seclusion and restraint. Paper presented at the World Congress for Psychiatric Nurses, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Robinson, R., Clements, K., & Land, C. (2003). Prevalence, distribution, correlates and predictors of workplace stress among psychiatric nurses. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 41(4), 33 – 41.

McSwain, K. (1997). Panel on schizophrenia in First Nations. Organized, facilitated and participated in panel presentation at the Westman Real Problems/ RealSolutions: Practical Implications to Meet the Challenges of People Living with Schizophrenia and Other Mental Illnesses, Brandon, Manitoba.

McSwain, K. (1997). First Nations mental health: Connections.  In Jill Oakes and Rick Riewe (Eds.), Issues in the North Vol. II (pp. 149 – 155). Edmonton: Circumpolar Institute of the University of Alberta.

McSwain, K. (1997). Assessing the training needs of First Nations mental health workers in Manitoba. Unpublished master thesis, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, AMICUS No. 18489682.

King, J., McSwain, K., & Ried, S. (1986, July). A nursing family assessment program. Canadian Journal of Psychiatric Nursing, 27(3), 12 – 14.

McSwain, K. (1991, December). If we’re professionals why are we on strike? The Canadian Nurse  L’infirmière canadiene 87(11), p.16 – 19.