Vince Salyers breaks ground as the first dean of MacEwan’s newest faculty
Registered nurse. University dean. On the surface they seem like very different lines of work. Both, however, require a similarly unique skillset: a respect for order and process, while maintaining the capacity to handle the unexpected. And, perhaps most importantly, at the core of both is a deep sense of caring.
Vince Salyers has made a career of balancing all of the above. The inaugural dean of the university’s new Faculty of Nursing began his career as a registered nurse in 1991 in his native USA. Between then and now, he has held a number of positions in clinical settings and post-secondary environments, , including his most recent role as associate dean of the Faculty of Health, Community & Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Connection (and confection) is key
Whether working on the front lines of an oncology unit or occupying an administrative role, Vince has learned that clear and transparent communication is critical to success. That’s why he’s reaching out to students—and offering them a tasty incentive to share their thoughts. “I'm going to implement something called Dialogue and Danish with the Dean,” he says. “It's an opportunity to bring students together from across all years of all of our programs and talk to them about their experiences.
“Usually I ask three broad questions,” he continues. “What should we continue doing? . . . What do we need to reconsider? Are there other things we should be doing? It opens up the door for dialogue and for discussion—it's a way to make sure their voices are heard.”
An amicable split
Though the Faculty of Nursing is new, nursing programs have been operating at MacEwan University for years as part of the Faculty of Health and Community Studies. Vince is clear that both faculties will continue to collaborate on initiatives.
“In client care situations, you have social workers, you have therapists, you have nurses—numerous individuals who are working together for the best possible outcomes,” he explains. “Because some of those disciplines are taught in the Faculty of Health and Community Studies, we want to create that notion of interprofessional collaboration and continue those kind of activities across students, programs and faculties.”
An inside view
Though he’s only been here a few weeks, Vince is already impressed with the MacEwan environment. “What I perceived as an external individual has not changed. The excitement, the collegiality, the freshness, the joy of being here at MacEwan is prevalent,” he says. “The one thing I'm sure of is that our faculty, staff and students are passionate about their nursing careers, and about the care that they want to provide. That passion comes through in every way, shape and form.”
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