Arlene Bourassa Nursing Scholarship

After visiting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and meeting staff at RIH last year, a local philanthropist, Arlene Bourassa approached the Foundation with the idea of funding a scholarship specific to nurses working in the NICU who care for pre-term infants as young as 30 weeks gestation. Specialty training is required to work in this department and the NICU team is continually upgrading their skills to ensure infants receive the best care possible.

In June 2017, the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee was pleased to select RN Paula Tommasini to receive the first Arlene Bourassa NICU Scholarship. In her role as the Educator for the NICU, Paula is responsible for ensuring the NICU team receives the training they need, particularly when new equipment or standards of care are introduced to the department. Reviewing each patient’s case with the care team is another important aspect of her role, which helps ensure staff learn from each experience and feel supported by their team.

Paula plans to attend an upcoming medical conference and also pursue leadership training which she believes will help her grow in her current role as Educator and will also contribute to patient care excellence for the entire department.


Pictured: Scholarship donor Arlene Bourassa with recipient, Paula Tommasini. Arlene is passionate about contributing to family-centred care for infants at RIH. She also supports a nursing scholarship in the area of pediatric oncology at the University of Calgary.