Written by Karen E. Mosier
Lindsay Dahl obtained a BScN through the University of Saskatchewan in 2007. She graduated from SIAST in 2007. In 2013 Lindsay joined the College of Nursing, worked full-time in a non-union position. In June 2019 her role was restructured, changing from overseeing the south to overseeing the whole province. Her position is provincial lab manager for the College of Nursing, Regina campus, University of Saskatchewan.
Lindsay oversees all the distributive nursing labs across the province i.e., Regina, Yorkton, PA, La Ronge, and Ile a la Crosse. She organizes all the equipment, orders supplies for all the sites, and connects with faculty ahead of the start of their course. She has 3 support staff who are the hands on the ground on a day to day basis in the labs located in PA, Regina and Yorkton. The northern labs have people working in the labs who are not from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Nursing, rather they are hired by the Northlands Community College.
Lindsay believes that the nature of her work is quite challenging.” Having the labs spread out across the province is tricky to manage but it is doable”. Prior to her leadership, there were many programs around the province with each doing their own thing, ordering their own supplies, with the result that the student experience was very different from site to site. Implementing her provincial lab manager role was crucial, establishing policies and procedures making the labs more consistent and standardized within the college. A unique idea that came out of this change was to design customized student lab kits for one of the Nursing courses; every student then receives the same supplies, which in turn promotes consistency and standardization of the student learning experience. These kits were implemented province wide last year (originally only in Regina/Yorkton). Having a provincial lab manager overseeing the budget guarantees that the same amount is spent on each student for each course. This is especially important during times of financial constraint. Previously, the College never charged any fees for any of the lab courses, which was very costly and not sustainable for the college. Lindsay advocated for the implementation of lab fees and assists in the review of these fees each academic year.
The challenges of the job and being passionate about having the College of Nursing around and sustainable for many years to come is what makes it all worthwhile for her. She also notes that she has “A great close-knit group of staff, faculty and students to work with”.
What Lindsay likes best about her job is contributing to the student experience. She does what she needs to do and just gives it her best. Having goals is a big part of her success. She admits, “Standardization, consistency, having a goal and continually working on it until we get there is what makes things happen. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is an uphill battle but I focus on the end product.” She does whatever it takes to get the job done. She takes pride in doing a good job. Ultimately, to her the most important thing is that each student to have the best experience in the lab setting.
Lindsay believes that her educational background is an asset to her current position. Her nursing knowledge comes into play in each of the lab activities. She believes that she couldn’t do her job without being a nurse. She explains, “You have to have that understanding of supplies and equipment. Being a people leader has been new to me. If I ever wonder if I should be doing anything extra on the management side of things, my registered nurse background helps me”.
Lindsay has been an ASPA member since 2018. She is grateful for her professional development (PD) funds which allow her to attend a conference or take advantage of the many PD opportunities available. Lindsay recently finished a Canadian SIM Certification Program to be only one of two people in the CON that has this certification. She might not have completed the certification without her Accountable Professional Development Account (APDA). She also appreciates the transparency shown by the ASPA bargaining team in the last round of bargaining and keeping members up to date.
Lindsay’s advice to all ASPA members is “Get involved, pay attention to ASPA emails and know what ASPA has to offer you. Participate and go to the pizza lunches even if you can’t volunteer. Connect with your fellow ASPA members and get to know the ASPA Executive members”.