Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Dr. Virginia Vandall-Walker

Associate Professor

Contact

Education

  • Ph.D. Nursing (Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Alberta, 2006)
  • M.N. Nursing (Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary, 1995)
  • CCN Cert. (Misericordia Hospital/University of Alberta, 1992)
  • CTN Cert. (Health & Welfare Canada/University of Manitoba, 1973)
  • B.Sc.N. (School of Nursing, University of Windsor, 1972)

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
  • Member Scholar, International Institute of Qualitative Methodology, University of Alberta

Biography

I joined the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University in 1995. My career dream had always been to work in nursing education, and to this end I pursued MN and PhD degrees in nursing, focusing on nursing support for family members of critically ill adults.

In 1972 I graduated with a BScN from the University of Windsor and was lured by the mystique and adventure of Canada’s north and worked as a nurse practitioner in communities from northern Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia to the Yukon. Many and varied opportunities presented over the ensuing 30 years and I was fortunate to work not only as an Outpost Nurse, but as a Director of Nursing, founding Director and Instructor of a pre-licensure practical nurse program, and as a staff nurse in ICU and ER.

Farming, flying, and mountain climbing became passions. It was with mixed emotions that I traded my tractor and cows for a computer and books when I decided to enroll first in the Critical Care Nursing Program in Edmonton, and then in the clinical MN program at the University of Calgary. A stint at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbour, for my final clinical practicum rounded out this thrilling foray into academia. Then it was on to PhD studies at the University of Alberta.

Home is an acreage near Breton, AB with hubby David, a computer consultant and computer science instructor and our three horses - that I never get to ride but enjoy spending time with. Jamie (30) and Jeffrey (28) and Lorin (26) have struck out on their own and live in Alberta. On many weekends we have our enchanting grandson Christopher (8 yrs.) out to the acreage.

I enjoy working with students who, like me, are juggling to keep all the balls in the air - to support you as needed to meet your educational and professional goals.

Research Interests

My overarching research interest involves the investigation of Family Nursing questions with an emphasis on family-focussed critical care. In doing so, I seek to better understand the impact of the health system on family members in terms of both the emergent illness and end-of-life experiences of one family member, so as to improve the nursing support for family members. The populations of interest are family members of individuals: in critical care, and at the end-of-life. It is a personal priority to make my research available to health consumers, in formats that are useful to them in dealing with their health and illness experiences. I am currently working on a manuscript, Before, during, and after critical illness: A guide for family members that incorporates results from two grounded theory studies conducted with family members of critically ill adults.

Clinical Implications of Research

Based on my desire to disseminate research knowledge to the consumers of health services, my research colleagues (K. Moore & D. Pyne) and I, have published a user-friendly book for men and their partners dealing with prostate cancer, Before and after prostate surgery: Information and resource guide (2008).

Additionally, the results of my studies with families and critical illness corroborate the reported benefits of open access for designated family members to adult critical care units (e.g. ICU, CCU, CV-ICU). As well, results provide a blueprint for critical care nurses to provide family focussed care i.e. to be welcoming & respectful to family members, and openly informative and inclusive of family members as partners in the provision of care to the patient.

Recent Publications (Since 2008)

Books, Monographs, and Chapters Authored

Vandall-Walker, V., Moore, K., & Pyne, D. (2009). Avant et après la prostatectomie radicale: Guide d’information et de ressources. Athabasca, AB: AU Press. Transduction: Karima Afchar.

Vandall-Walker, V., Moore, K., & Pyne, D. (2008). Before and after prostate surgery: Information and resource guide. Athabasca, AB: AU Press.

Vandall-Walker, V. (2002/8). Nursing support with family members of the critically ill: A framework to guide practice. In L. E. Young, & V. Hayes (Eds.). 変形の健康の昇進の練習: 概念の問題および適用. Japanese translation rights arranged with F.A. Davis c/o John Scott & Company through Japan UNI Agency Inc. Tokyo.

Vandall-Walker, V. (2002/8). Nursing support with family members of the critically ill: A framework to guide practice. In L. E. Young, & V. Hayes (Eds.) Transforming health promotion practice: Concepts, issues, and applications (pp. 174-189). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis & Company. Note: This text was the winner of two American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards in Community/Public Health and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing categories.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles/Abstracts (Since 2007)

Vandall-Walker, V., Park, C., & Munich, K. (2012). Outcomes of modified formal online debating in graduate nursing education. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 9(1), 1-17. doi: 10.1515/1548-923X.15

Vandall-Walker, V., & Clarke, A. (2011). It starts with access! A grounded theory of family members WORKING to get through critical illness. Journal of Family Nursing, 17, 148-181. doi: 10.1177/1074840711406728

Tupala, B., Vandall-Walker, V., Koop, P.M., & deJong-Berg, M. (2012). Family caregiving of persons at the end of life: When the family caregiver is also a nurse. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Vandall-Walker, V., Moore, K., & Pyne, D. (2012). Information needs of men and their partners about prostate surgery. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Vandall-Walker, V., & Clarke, A. (2010). Family members’ and critical illness: “Working to Get Through”. [Abstract]. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 9(4), 395.

Vandall-Walker, V. (2010, Summer). The WORK of family members: Pushing our boundaries. [Abstract]. Dynamics [Pembroke], 21(2), 39.

Vandall-Walker, V. & Clark, A. (2008). Nursing support with families of critically ill cardiac patients. [Abstract]. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 24(Suppl. E), 367E.

Vandall-Walker, V., Moore, K.,& Pyne, D. (2008). Information needs of men and their partners about prostate surgery. [Abstract]. CUAJ/JUAC Canadian Urological Association Journal, 2(3), 336-337.

Vandall-Walker, V., Jensen, L., & Oberle, K. (2007). Nursing support for family members of critically ill adults. Qualitative Health Research, 17(9), 1207-1218.

DeJong-Berg, M., Tupala, B., Koop, P., & Vandall-Walker, V. (2007). Pearls of wisdom: Advice to new family caregivers. [Abstract]. Journal of Palliative Care, 23(4), 261.

Tupala B; Koop, P. M., DeJong-Berg M. A., Vandall-Walker, V. (2007). Family caregiving of persons at end of life: How do caregivers achieve respite? [Abstract]. Journal of Palliative Care, 23(3), 213

Tupala, B., Vandall-Walker, V., Koop, P.M., & deJong-Berg, M. (2009). Family caregiving of persons at end of life: When the family caregiver is also a nurse. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Vandall-Walker, V., & Clark, A. (2008). Nursing support with families of critically ill cardiac patients. [Abstract]. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 24(Suppl. E), 367E.

Vandall-Walker, V., Moore, K., & Pyne, D. (2008). Information needs of men and their partners about prostate surgery. [Abstract]. CUAJ/JUAC Canadian Urological Association Journal, 2(3), 336-337.

Links

Top ^

Updated May 26 2015 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.