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Valerie Gerlach, RN, BScN, M.Ed, CCNE


Office: Saskatoon, Innovation Place, Concourse Building, Room CO 111.19
Phone: 306-649-8831
Fax: 306-664-7131

Academic committments and interests:

My commitment to nursing education is to further develop and expand the boundaries of nursing knowledge and education. My interests in scholarly work focus’s on the concept of further development of a critical and transformative education pedagogy in nursing education respecting cultural integrity, diversity, inclusion and conceptual awareness.

The areas of social justice, cultural integrity in a nursing education with philosophical reflection and praxis are of great interest to me.

The ability to promote autonomous thinking and reasoning based on knowledge and practice are core values in nursing. When students understand issues in human justice, they have a frame of reference to link experience and critical reflection to transform their learning.

My professional goals in nursing education are to give students a foundation of ethical spaces, experiences and worldviews that they need to experience, absorb, comprehend, process and value in theory and clinical practice. This will build success in critical engagement and awareness.

Academic Credentials:

  • Master of Education – Education Foundations, 2013                              

A focus in Social Justice & Ecological Health in Nursing Practice, University of Saskatchewan                           

  • Bachelor of Science Nursing, 2008                                                       

University of Saskatchewan

  • Diploma in Nursing – Registered Nurse, 1980                                             

Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences (SIAST)

 Clinical experience:

  • Nurse Educator Clinician with SHR in Chronic Disease Management (CDM)
  • Patient Care Supervisor at Saskatoon City Hospital
  • Pediatric Staff Nurse at Royal University Hospital for 20 years
  • General Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery and Burn Nursing
  • Orthopedic Nursing
  • Urology Nursing
  • ENT, Ortho-maxillo reconstructive nursing
  • Nursing Management
  • Medical / general nursing

Clinical education interests:

  • Member of Canadian Burn Nurse’s Association
  • Surgical Nurses Education Committee
  • Pediatric Education Committee
  • Pediatric Pain Study and Research Committee
  • Member of SUN Grievance and Arbitration Committee
  • Electronic health record documentation/charting and interdisciplinary management of patients with chronic disease
  • Improving access to care and empowering health promotion strategies within at risk population groups throughout rural northern and southern populations
  • Providing equal access without boundaries and to provide holistic care for cultural and diverse populations. Ensuring hospitals provide safe spaces for everyone.
  • Respecting and promotion of the pediatric population’s unique bill of rights and privileges and rights afforded to them
  • Great respect for the family-centered model of care and the improvement of safety initiatives within healthcare
  • Intersectoral collaboration with education and healthcare to plan for health promotion strategies in pediatric obesity for ecological and cultural health improvement demographics. Healthy growth and development for the lifespan.

Teaching experience:

Adjunct Faculty Clinical Instructor – Interim/casual position

Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan (NEPS) -                   

  • Teaching and mentoring students in areas of surgical, pediatric and medical clinical nursing
  • Engagement in practice, the application of theory and promoting self-empowerment in nursing
  • Teaching clinical lab scenarios and the utilization of simulation lab experiences

SIAST Practical Nursing Instructor

Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences (SIAST) -                                                      

Involved in curriculum development and adaptation in teaching students
  • Teaching courses: Pharmacology, Administration of Medications, Health Challenges, Health & Healing, Nursing Arts and Personal & Professional Relationships
  • Course leader in areas involved with best practice standards in nursing, and delivering quality based education
  • Clinical Instructor in several adult and pediatric nursing units in SHR, involved in nursing care and administration of medications

Research & Scholarly interests:

  • My interests in scholarly work focus's on the concept of further development of a critical education pedagogy in nursing education respecting cultural integrity, diversity, inclusion and conceptual awareness.
  • My work and research has centered around the philosophy and theory of nurse theorist Rosemary Rizzo Parse and The Human Becoming Theory:
    • The philosophy of transcendence in culture, diversity, resilience in culture, Indigenous and anti-racist pedagogies and social justice stimulate a praxis of scholarly learning in my work.
    • Nursing can empower and promote resilience in healing and resilience within humanity. This theory embodies unity within humanity in holistic healthcare.
  • My research and work has also centered in the Philosophy of Paulo Freire and a critical educational theory and praxis, all applicable to a critical nursing process inclusive of all society.  How we adapt our nursing praxis to practice and recognize the respect the holism in humanity is deeply imbedded in Parse and Freire theory.
  • The adaptation and social engagement in scholarly and holistic nursing care is essential in recognizing and respecting Indigenous knowledge and worldviews and should form the foundations for academic curriculum and adaptation in learning the stories and truths from the land.  There are many academic scholars and Elders within Indigenous knowledge systems that form a basis of regard and understanding in respect to learning and values.  This is invaluable in nursing education.  The cultural bridge needs to include this as a foundation for a circle of vision in teaching.  The inclusion and respect merits an untold wealth of knowledge.  It is extremely interesting in nursing scholarship.
  • The use of The Giger and Davidhizar Transcultural Assessment Model in undergraduate nursing education can be utilized to explore communication, time, space, social organization, environmental control and biological variations.  this framework provides a holistic assessment from which culturally sensitive care can be designed.

Presentations / Research:

  • Ethical Spaces of Engagement in Nursing Education, 2012.  Threads of Social Justice.  College of Education, Saskatoon, Sk.
  • Reflections in Resilience: A Narrative Journey in Cancer 2011.  A Study of the Journey and Attributes in Empowering Resilience in Women.  College of Education, Saskatoon, Sk.
  • A Cultural Ethnography of Childhood Obesity, 2011.  The links between health within a culture, the inherent part of sustainability, and the health impacts of globalization.
  • Sexual Minority Youth:  From Silence to Voice, 2011.  Social justice awareness in sexual minority youth and praxis of the unique social ecology and health disparities.  An epistemological paradigm for health advocacy.
  • Poster Presentation at Saskatoon Quality Health Fair, 2010.  Improving Diabetic Management and Access to Care - A Chronological Improvement Study.
  • Cardiac and Diabetes Update and Management, 2010.  College of Pharmacy, Saskatoon, Sk.
  • A Discourse of Inequity in Women's Rural Health, 2008.  A Symposium of Women's Health, Saskatoon, Sk.
  • Gerlach, V. (2015) Childhood Obesity Panel: A Cultural Ethnography of Childhood Obesity. Pediatric Professional Nursing Journal Conference, July 8-12, in Chicago, USA
  • Gerlach, V. (2016) Session 36: Panel: Urban Indigenous Health & Wellness. “Nurturing a Culture of Resilience and Advocacy for Indigenous Peoples”. Canadian Indigenous Studies Association (CINSA), June 22-24, First Nations University, Regina, Sk.