Note from Michael May 10 2023 | Celebrating National Nursing Week

From the desk of Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO


Notes from MichaelHi everyone, 
May 8 to 14 is National Nursing Week in Canada. We doubt very much we have to remind you of the importance of nurses in the lives of Islanders, but we’re going to do it anyway, because nurses are everything.
The dates for National Nursing Week are always chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, which is May 12. This year, the theme chosen by the Canadian Nursing Association is Our Nurses. Our Future. It’s a theme designed to showcase the many roles nurses play in a patient’s healthcare journey.
On PEI, we have a couple of events this week to honour our nurses. This week, we’ll be announcing the recipients of the 2023 awards in excellence in service in nursing a the Prince County Hospital (the Kay Lewis Award) and at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (the Marjorie Vessey Award). The Emily Bryant Award for excellence in nursing in Mental Health & Addictions will be awarded later this year, but we do want to take this opportunity to encourage you to nominate your colleagues.
One exciting development in nursing of the last year we’d like to highlight the creation of the Provincial Nurse Practitioner Director to develop leadership and support for the many Nurse Practitioners working across the system. Nurse practitioners are integral to optimal patient care delivery within Health PEI. Working operationally within primary care and specialty areas, Nurse Practitioners continually maximize access to optimal patient care across the system. With one of the most expansive scopes in the country, Island Nurse Practitioner roles continue to grow and evolve to meet the demands of a complex health system. Shannell MacKinnon was appointed our first Provincial Nurse Practitioner Director last fall. This is a big job with several key areas of focus, including advocating for advance, support and stability of current NPs, developing mentorships and supports for new graduates entering the system, and facilitating placement of students with experienced practitioners to build a strong clinical foundation for students.
Finally, while we think all nurses are superheroes, we’d like to give a special shout out this National Nursing Week to Haley Campbell. Not only is she a much loved maternity nurse on Unit 4 at the QEH, but she’s also a lieutenant in the St. Peter’s Bay Volunteer Fire Department. Listen to her conversation with CBC Radio’s Matt Rainnie about a day last week when she fought an out-of-control forest fire all afternoon and still made it to work for her overnight shift at the hospital. Take a listen.
You can follow more of the great stories of nursing being told across the country by checking out the hashtags #NationalNursingWeek and #IKnowANurse on social media.
Please, join with us in wishing all our colleagues in nursing a very happy National Nursing Week.


Marion and Michael


Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to, subject line “Notes for Michael”.


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