The 13-member CRNS Council consists of nine members elected from the CRNS membership (including seven Members-At-Large from seven regions of the province, the President, and President-Elect), three government appointed public representatives and the association’s Executive Director (a non-elected, non-voting position).
Francoise (Frankie) Verville, NP
Frankie Verville is a passionate and vocal advocate of the nursing profession. She believes that RNs can influence and improve care to the people of Saskatchewan. Her commitment to improving patient care outcomes has been the impetus for ongoing professional development. She is committed to demonstrating the difference RNs make in all areas of care delivery.
Frankie's registered nursing career spans acute care (critical care, emergency, transplant coordination, post-anesthetic care), and as an NP, she has worked in urban and remote communities. Currently her NP practice includes rural and LTC settings. Frankie is also involved in nursing education, currently at the graduate level, employed at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, she is the Program Head of the Collaborative Nurse Practitioner Program.
Frankie holds a Diploma of Nursing from Medicine Hat College, a Certificate in Advanced Nursing Practice from SIAST, a Post-RN Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a Masters of Nursing from Athabasca University, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Practice Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) from Athabasca University and a Doctor of Nursing Practice with an emphasis on Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Moni Snell, NP
Moni Snell began a lifelong nursing career in 1979 at the Regina General Hospital. For 39 years, Moni practiced as a bedside/transport nurse, nursing educator and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in the NICU. Recently, Moni has served on CRNS’s NP Advisory Committee and Discipline Committee for two terms.
2019 was a very special year as not only did Moni retire after 40 years of fulltime nursing—although she continues to work casual in the NICU—she was also honoured to receive the Jean Browne Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice Leadership from CRNS.
Nurses need to remain relevant, skilled and independent. We need to adapt and grow with rapidly changing health care advances. We cannot allow outside agencies or groups to regulate our scope of practices. We must state clearly for the public what it is we do and how we improve their health outcomes. Regulation of nursing practice for public interest and safety is a vital and key role of a regulatory body. As professionals, it is our responsibility to regulate our own practices and not allow those outside the profession to tell us what that looks like.
Joanna Alexander, BEd
Joanna Alexander brings significant experience in both the health care sector and in governance positions, as well as strong communications skills, to her position with the CRNS Council. A former teacher and health educator with the Ministry of Health, Joanna also served as a public representative with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Saskatchewan. Her governance experience includes serving as a Senator with both the Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina, and on the boards of the United Way and her local Rotary Club.
Joanna has a Bachelor of Education degree and a Public Relations certificate. She was honoured to receive the Canada 125 medal for her volunteer work in the community.
Doug Finnie, MBA, Pro Dir
Doug Finnie has served in leadership roles with Royal Bank and Canadian Western Bank in Saskatchewan as well as other provinces in Canada and the United States. He has extensive leadership experience with charitable, cultural and business development organizations in Saskatoon. These organizations include Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Saskatoon Regional Health Authority, Persephone Theatre and University of Saskatchewan Senate. He was Executive Director with Leadership Saskatoon.
Doug has several years Public Representative experience on the Discipline Committee and Professional Practice Committee of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan (CPAS). He is a Public Representative with the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants Association.
James Struthers, Q.C.
James Struthers believes that public service and serving on the CRNS Council is an important way to give back to his community. James has practiced law in southern Saskatchewan since 1984. During this time, he has also served as the Legal Director at Legal Aid Saskatchewan. For the last 12 years, James has served as a public representative on a number of governing councils of self-regulating health professions and has experience chairing discipline committees in this context.
James earned his B.A. at the University of Regina in 1979, his J.D./LL.B. at the University of Saskatchewan in 1982, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) in 2005.
Ashley Schwartz, RN
Ashley Schwartz has been a Registered Nurse for 12 years. After graduating from Medicine Hat College, through the University of Calgary, she started a full-time position in her hometown of Swift Current, on the Medical Surgical Ward. Ashley has been a preceptor for many nursing students over the years and has also been a clinical instructor for the University of Regina. Over the last 10 years, Ashley has focused her career on being a women's and children's nurse with a passion for labour and delivery, as well as lactation support.
Ashley served a three-year term on Council one year ago and is very excited to be part of the CRNS Council once again. Ashley is invested in seeing the CRNS continue to advance the practice of Registered Nurses as the needs of the health care system continue to evolve. As she was a member of Council when decisions regarding the transition towards a single mandate began, Ashley is eager to see this transition take place and play a role in setting the framework for the CRNS as a single mandate of regulation. Her goal is to see the CRNS set the standards for regulatory excellence in Canada, and globally, in order to keep the public safe and at the center of the nursing profession.
Elyza Wagman, RN
Elyza Wagman pursued her nursing education at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, ON. Throughout her education her focus was primarily on Long Term Care, Geriatrics and Psychology. Since completing her degree, Elyza has had the opportunity to pursue multiple educational avenues before landing in her current role. She originally began as an ER nurse in Wynyard, SK where she focused on Trauma Nursing. From here, she journeyed to Labour and Delivery where she truly learned how much she could change someone’s life for the better everyday. Elyza has since found her passion in Long-Term Care. She currently leads a team in Fort Qu’Appelle, SK and strives to positively impact the lives of senior citizens each day as a manager, and a Workplace Representative with the CRNS.
Elyza is looking forward to taking on her role with the CRNS Council to better support and provide insight from the Long-Term Care nursing community. She believes that the CRNS will lead the change for future nursing and ensuring the best for patients.
Ronda Zinger, RN
Ronda has been a registered nurse (RN) for more than 30 years and has worked in all areas of acute care. She worked for six years under the Quality Improvement Program as a Clinical Nurse Educator moving into a managerial role in 2018 managing the Connected Care Unit at the Lloydminster Hospital. Ronda moved to Saskatoon and managed the Maternal Services unit at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital for nearly 2 years returning to Lloydminster in March of 2021 where she is currently the Manager of Primary Health NW4. Ronda graduated from SIAST and later completed her undergraduate degree through Athabasca University.
Ronda is passionate about the safety of patients/clients and it’s one of her utmost priorities.
She believes in collaboration with all nursing bodies as well as other health care professionals and looks forward to working with all stakeholders to enhance best practice across the province. Nurses are leaders of change, and she believes that the CRNS is one of the organizations that will lead the change going into the future.
Mary Ellen Walker, RN
Mary Ellen Walker has been an RN for 13 years and has practiced in rural acute care, rural home care and rural community health positions. Mary Ellen has also worked as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate and graduate level classes at the University of Saskatchewan.
Currently, Mary Ellen works as a Diabetes Nurse Clinician and a Tuberculosis Nurse Clinician in Saskatoon. She has a passion for nursing research and has been involved in research terms that have addressed a variety of health issues, including homelessness, child health and mental health interventions. Mary Ellen completed her Master of Nursing in 2013 and her PhD in Nursing in 2020, with her research exploring the influence of the political economy on health.
Mary Ellen is excited to collaborate with the other members of the CRNS Council to serve the nurses of Saskatchewan.
Leah Thorp, RN
Leah Thorp acknowledges that nurses within all practice areas contribute to a healthy and vibrant population. She believes that the future is optimistic and nursing will be at the forefront of the observed changes in society and within the dynamic health care system.
Leah is the Coordinator of the Perinatal Outreach Education Program where she can share her passion for perinatal and obstetrical care. She obtained CNA’s Perinatal Nurse Certification in 2013, and participates in various local, provincial, and national committees. She is a point of care nurse on the Labour and Birth Unit at the Regina General Hospital and also educates undergraduate nursing students as a clinical instructor with the University of Saskatchewan. Her other nursing experiences have been concentrated in critical care, medicine, and interprofessional education.
Leah received her BScN in 2001 and her Master of Nursing in 2016 from the University of Saskatchewan. She has a keen interest in research with a focus on simulation education, patient and family centered care, perinatal loss, and indigenous health.
Joelynne Radbourne, NP
Nursing Practice Area: advanced practice nursing or direct care nursing
Joelynne Radbourne is a Nurse Practitioner, currently working in Fort Qu’Appelle, specializing in Women’s Health. She has a passion for providing safe, ethical and family-centered care to the people of Saskatchewan. Her professional career started as a Registered Nurse in 2012, before completing her graduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2018 to become a Nurse Practitioner.
As a Registered Nurse, Joelynne worked in Labour and Birth, NICU and oncology. Her contribution to the nursing profession included the creation of a Family Centered Care (FCC) position as part of an initiative to improve patient and family satisfaction during the birthing and postpartum experience. As a Nurse Practitioner, Joelynne practices in Primary Care. She believes in creating a supportive provider-client rapport through collaboration with an interdisciplinary approach. She is passionate about advocating for NP practice, public education and supporting interdisciplinary collaborative practice. She is also currently the NP representative on the Saskatchewan Cervical Screening Guidelines Committee.
As an CRNS Council member, she hopes to create a diverse community that supports a team-based approach from nurses of all designations including LPN, RPN, RN and NP, and a supportive learning environment for nurses to develop strengths, skills and knowledge.
Kathy Chabot, RN
Nursing Practice Area: nursing education, nursing administration, policy or research
Kathleen Chabot advanced through nursing as a Nurse Attendant, Licensed Practical Nurse with completion of her BScN in 2007. Her point-of-care experience includes LTC, medicine, ambulatory care, renal/dialysis, emergency, women’s health/obstetrics, public health, Northern/First Nations outpost nursing, occupational health nursing, home care and as a clinical nurse educator.
Her grassroots knowledge and experience has provided her with the understanding that the CRNS’s mandate of public protection can only be fully achieved through collaboration within the nursing domain itself and collectively with all medical disciplines and partners. To maximize our voice and contribution in this shared responsibility, RNs must be supported both as individual health care agents and as a professional organization.
Kathleen is looking forward to working with Council in leading CRNS members in a manner that exemplifies the cornerstones of the CRNS guiding principles and strategic plan: evidence-based, accountability, excellence, transparency, collaboration and fairness.
Cindy Smith, RN
With over thirty years of professional practice in health care settings, Cindy Smith has served in all domains of nursing, from practice and education to administration and research.
For the last 20 years of her career, Cindy has been dedicated to nursing leadership. She has served as manager of Adult Rehab at Wascana Rehab Centre, manager of Neurosciences at Regina General Hospital, and as an educator and program head at SIAST. Cindy joins the CRNS leadership team from Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Regina, where she served as Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences since 2011. Her passion for registered nursing in Saskatchewan and across Canada is reflected in her pursuit of advancing scholarship and research in nursing education, serving on more than 30 teams, committees and councils in the last 15 years.
Following her diploma in nursing in 1985 and post registration Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1998, Cindy obtained a Master of Nursing in 2008 from Athabasca University.