Doctoral student receives major CIHR award

24 April 2014

April 23, 2014, Toronto ON – Doctoral student Alexandra Harris has received a prestigious award to advance her doctoral studies. Harris will receive more than $100,000 over three years in the form of a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship, awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, one of Canada’s Tri-Council Funding Agencies for graduate research.

Harris’ project is titled Nursing intellectual capital and hospital performance: Determining the value of nursing knowledge assets in healthcare organizations. “Alexandra’s study is being conducted in an area where little research has been done previously,” says Linda McGillis Hall, Interim Dean of Bloomberg Nursing and Harris’s doctoral supervisor. “Competition for the Banting and Best Graduate Scholarship is fierce all across Canada, and I’m thrilled that CIHR has recognized the timeliness and merit of Alexandra’s scholarship.”

Harris has a long tradition of academic excellence, having won numerous awards during her undergraduate work at Queen’s University, before contributing to major research projects at Bloomberg Nursing during the completion of her BScN and the combined MN/MHSc program.  Most recently, Harris has been the lead author of a substantive national nursing report. “Healthcare organizations are being asked constantly to do more with less – resources will always be a challenge,” says Harris. “The future success of these healthcare organizations relies heavily on the strategic management of health professionals’ knowledge.”

Harris’s research will look at how different elements of nursing intellectual capital – including individual nurses’ knowledge, as well as nursing structures and relationships that support knowledge sharing and development – influence hospital performance. The results of her research will provide insight into new approaches to managing and using nursing resources. “By gaining a better understanding of how nursing knowledge assets impact organizational performance , I hope that my research will help administrators better manage, support and invest in their human resources to improve healthcare quality and delivery in Canada,” Harris continues.

The Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship distributed more than $13 million to more than 130 deserving candidates across Canada. “Ms. Harris is a truly exemplary scholar and leader who will be a role model for incoming students, as well as future generations of nurses and nurse scholars,” says McGillis Hall. “Work such as hers is part of what attracts Canada’s best nursing scholars to the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.”