Huey-Ming Tzeng

New nursing dean keen to serve Saskatchewan

When you were born and raised in Taiwan and have travelled the world for your career, it’s easy to imagine that life in the Canadian Prairies might be a tad quaint by comparison.

By HenryTye Glazebrook

But for Huey-Ming Tzeng, who began a five-year term as dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan on Sept. 15, the lifestyle and geographic features of her new province has a near indescribable, pastoral air that makes her feel perfectly at home.

“I have been fortunate to travel off the main campus in Saskatoon to all our campuses and sites—Prince Albert, Regina, La Ronge, Île-à-la-Crosse and Yorkton—in the months I have been here to meet our students, staff, faculty, alumni and strong nurse supporters in these communities,” Tzeng said. “The beautiful sunsets and expansive skies make this province so lovely. I am very enthusiastic to live in Saskatchewan, where the people are very warm and friendly.”

Tzeng comes to the U of S from her most recent role as dean of the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing at Tennessee Technological University, after teaching at the University of Michigan and Washington State University-Spokane and earning her PhD at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Tzeng was also selected for Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing and inducted into the academy in 2011.

As a noted researcher with more than 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals to her name—focusing primarily on patient safety and quality of care, particularly related to patient falls for hospitalized adults—Tzeng said the striking research output of the U of S made it a natural fit for her career aspirations.

“The research that takes place in both the College of Nursing and at the U of S as a whole is remarkable,” she said. “I am humbled to be part of a university included in the U15 (Canada’s top 15 research intensive universities), and I am committed to working together with my great colleagues to discover knowledge and solutions that impact lives and create opportunities for people in Saskatchewan and around the globe.”

Tzeng emphasized that the campus-wide push for Indigenization at the U of S is a commitment which speaks directly to her own beliefs, and noted with enthusiasm the 18.8 per cent undergraduate and 17.7 per cent overall enrolment of Indigenous students in the nursing program.

“I am proud and honoured to serve in a leadership role in the College of Nursing for a number of reasons, including the fact that we continue to lead the nation in Indigenous student recruitment and retention, and the college is proportionate to the Indigenous population of the province,” she said.

Looking to the future, Tzeng said she hopes to continue to develop the college’s inspiring efforts in research and education, particularly its role of bringing health care and educational opportunities to remote and northern communities.

“The College of Nursing is innovative, forward-thinking with technology and has successfully brought nursing education to areas in Saskatchewan where there are traditionally shortages of registered nurses,” she said. “To lead a college that has been so successful using distributed learning technologies is inspiring and motivating.”

HenryTye Glazebrook is a freelance writer and former U of S communications co-ordinator.