Spotlight with Professor Edward Cruz, RN, BN, MEdM, MScN

We continue with our North American sojourn as we head to Toronto, Canada and tap our long-time contact there.

Edward is a fourth year Ph.D. in Nursing student at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing. He earned his Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) degree from York University in Toronto, Canada, and holds the distinction of being the University’s first MScN graduate to have successfully defended a thesis for graduation and received an Award for Academic Excellence.

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An internationally educated nurse (IEN) from the Philippines, his master’s thesis focused on the experience of quality of life for IENs in becoming registered nurses in Ontario, Canada. His doctoral research will use a focused ethnographic approach to explore the transitioning experience of IENs who attended academic bridging programs as a pathway to nursing registration in Canada. 

Edward is Professor (Nursing) and former Coordinator of Bridging Programs for Internationally Educated Nurses, Health Foundations Program, and Bridging to University Nursing (Flexible Delivery) at Centennial College in Toronto. At present, he is full-time Professor and Program Coordinator of the RPN to BScN Bridging to University Nursing Program (Full-time Delivery). He also teaches in the Ryerson University, Centennial College, George Brown College Collaborative BScN Program

Back in the Philippines, Edward was a research director and professor at Manila Central University between 1994 and 2001.

Let us welcome Edward for this brief chat. We promise, we get more of the Canadian dose in our future editions.

What is your favorite part of your current job and why is it your favorite part?

I am currently a college professor and program coordinator at a community college in Toronto,  Canada.  My favouritepart in this role is the ability to work with both students and colleagues in advancing the profession through mentoring. Over the past few years, my role as a nursing faculty has evolved, and I now believe that I am not the sole authority in the classroom and the workplace; both students and colleagues bring knowledge, skills and experience in theteaching-learning environment that can potentially enrich every member’s experience.  As a result, seeing those ‘a-ha’ moments is most gratifying than anything else; through collaboration, we each come out of the teaching-learning moment with a renewed, if not a better understanding of ideas, concepts, and issues impacting the profession.
Share your ideas about professional development.

In my opinion, professional development is a significant role that each professional owes to himself/herself, and the discipline s/he belongs to.  Engaging in professional development activities is paramount to keep an individual’s practice current, and consistent with the best available evidence, regardless of the field of specialization and area of practice.  In Ontario, professional development is a key component of the regulatory body’s quality assurance program, and it is required of every nurse renewing his or her license to document and provide evidence of his/her professional development activities.  These activities are based on a learning plan that a nurse develops through reflective practice that helps him/her identify areas for development.   It goes beyond the mere attendance in conferences and/or workshops for the purpose of obtaining continuing professional education units.  It may also include opportunities for me to extend service to the profession and the community at large.  It is anticipated that an individual’s professional development plan, objectives and activities, will result in improvement and/or changes in his/her behavior for the safety and benefit of the public.
In what professional development activities have you been involved over the past few years?

My professional development activities consist of both formal and informal learning experiences.  Formal activities include attendance in graduate schools.  In 2011, I obtained my MScN at York University.  I am currently a PhD (nursing) candidate at the University of Alberta.  In addition, I regularly attend conferences, seminars, and workshops nationally and internationally.  I am a manuscript reviewer for international nursing and health journals, and had been invited as abstract reviewer for both national and international nursing conferences.  From 2010 to 2012, I was a member of a task force created by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing that was responsible for the development of a Pan-Canadian Framework of Guiding Principles and Essential Components of Bridging Programs for internationally educated nurses (IENs).
What are your current research interests?

My current research interests focus on nursing education and pedagogy, and human resources for health.   This builds on my previous graduate work at York University where I looked into the experience of quality of life for internationally-educated nurses who sought to become registered nurses in Ontario.  For my doctoral thesis at the University of Alberta, I am looking at how academic bridging programs help (or not) internationally-educated nurses transition to our country’s health workforce using a focus ethnographic methodology.  I also have a developing interest in maternal and child health owing to my close working relationship in the Ethnicity and Health team of Dr. Gina Higginbottom.
I continue to be involved in projects that help IENs obtain registration in the province, and currently the site lead at Centennial for a Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration, and International Trade funded project in collaboration with four community colleges, and a university offering bridging programs for IENs.  This project, amounting to $336,700 for Centennial College, has three initiatives, namely, to:  develop and deliver pilot interprofessional education initiative across partner sites; develop, pilot and analyze RPN/RN registration preparation item banks; and, develop and pilot teacher preparation  and development workshops.