The Leadership Award in Nursing Research is presented to the RN or NP who actively explores innovative ideas in nursing research. This individual enhances the image of nursing by engaging in efforts to disseminate research knowledge, and is in dialogue with RNs, NPs and nursing students to identify nursing research needs. The member has a proven ability to attract research funding and actively participates in the activities of professional organizations.
For Karey McCullough, nursing was a calling. After graduating from the University of Ottawa in 1999, she returned to northern Ontario (she is originally from Barry’s Bay) and began working in the emergency department at McKellar Hospital (now Thunder Bay Regional Hospital). Getting hands-on experience, she says, opened her eyes to what nursing is all about. She decided to continue her academic studies, obtaining her master’s degree in 2004 from Queen’s University and her PhD in 2016 from the University of Alberta. In the early years of her career, McCullough moved to North Bay, where she began working as a part-time professor at Nipissing University, while also working in the local hospital. In 2006, she got a permanent job at Nipissing and is now an associate professor. McCullough says her reason for pursuing a career in research is simple. “I had a lot of questions,” she says, explaining she was always interested in understanding how thinking is informed when it comes to best practices in nursing. McCullough is currently a co-lead on the Nipissing University Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) team. She also recently completed research on Indigenous wellness in North Bay’s Anishinabek Nation community. For her next research topic, she is looking into international preceptorship and COVID-19.