Vernon nurse wins $20K scholarship to pursue doctorate

Norma Hilsmann is researching nurse recruitment and retention at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, among other projects

Vernon nurse Norma Hilsmann has received a $20,000 scholarship to aid her return to school to complete a doctorate degree. (Submitted photo)

Vernon nurse Norma Hilsmann has received a $20,000 scholarship to aid her return to school to complete a doctorate degree. (Submitted photo)

A Vernon nurse will have some financial help as she returns to school to complete her doctorate degree, having secured a $20,000 scholarship.

Norma Hilsmann has worked in the Okanagan for 15 years supporting the medical community, hospitals, nursing and educational institutions.

She spent 11 years at Vernon Jubilee Hospital while working at Kelowna General Hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit and teaching full-time at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus.

In her 30 years of nursing, Hilsmann has been a critical care nurse, nurse practitioner, hospital supervisor, nurse educator and entrepreneur.

She’s the co-developer of Health Research Matters, a company that helps bring research to frontline nurses through video learning modules and podcasts.

Hilsmann is currently working on three research projects supporting cardiac research and primary care in rural communities, and is also researching nurse recruitment and retention at VJH.

She has returned to school to complete her clinical doctorate, and won the scholarship in recognition of her contribution to rural health care research.

“In ways other than nursing, Norma has supported our community through food drives, food kitchens, fundraising, relief society organizations, school programs, and helping in simple small ways to those around her. It is not uncommon for Norma to stop and buy somebody a meal, show up at their door with treats and messages of encouragement, or be quick to donate supplies to those struggling,” reads a press release announcing the scholarship from the American Sentinel College of nursing and health sceinces at Post University out of Waterbury Connecticut.

On top of working full time, going to school and supporting her business, Hilsmann is the mother of five children and wife to Bryce for 25 years.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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