Katherine Chubbs 

As my year in office draws to a close, I thought it an opportune time to introduce our new president, Katherine Chubbs, and share a bit about her as well as my hopes for the future for her and ACEN. So, I sat down, had a chat with Katherine and this is what I learned…

Having lived originally in two remote Labrador communities, Katherine did not grow up wanting to be a nurse; in fact, such a career never once entered her mind! The opportunity to apply to nursing school was happenstance but thankfully, she grabbed the chance and came to realize the gift of helping others. This enthusiasm propelled her into a leadership role after just a few months of becoming a nurse, and although the position lasted for only a few years, it made her recognize the importance of all nurses' becoming strong leaders. Today, Katherine is vice-president and chief nursing officer at Eastern Health in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is currently completing a doctorate degree in business administration through Walden University. She has been fortunate to be surrounded by a loving and supportive family who has never questioned her commitment to learning or her demanding career in healthcare.

Katherine's philosophy of leadership is twofold: first, she believes that all registered nurses are potential leaders and need to step up to the challenges put before them. Although our sphere of influence may change depending on our role, Katherine believes we all need to be change agents, mentors, innovators, problem solvers and effective communicators. Second, Katherine feels that not all managers are leaders, nor do all leaders need to be managers. What she does strongly believe, though, is that all nurses in management roles should be great leaders. She knows that some people are blessed with innate leadership qualities, while others need to acquire those skills deliberately. But what she feels is important is that all leaders work to refine their leadership abilities to ensure they achieve their very best.

Katherine self-admittedly is someone who loves to seek out new experiences, including membership in new and interesting organizations. She finds learning from others stimulating, especially when their experience differs from her own. If she joins an organization, she wants to make sure she can contribute to it, and enrolling in ACEN was no exception. Shortly after joining, she became a member of the executive committee representing Eastern Canada and from there, took on the role of president-elect. As of June 2013, Katherine took the reins as ACEN president and feels that she has learned, and continues to learn, from her peers and colleagues at the Academy.

What I have come to learn in getting to know Katherine, both personally and professionally, is that ACEN is in good hands. We have an exciting year ahead of us for growth and change. Under Katherine's direction, it will be a year designed to engage members, develop value-added member services and explore our membership structure. It will also be a year for strengthening leadership at all levels, creating opportunities for new and emerging nursing leaders in a unique and meaningful way and integrating with others across the spectrum of healthcare.

In closing, I would like to thank ACEN for the opportunity to fulfill the role as president over the past year. I wish Katherine and ACEN members every success in continuing to be a strong voice for nursing leadership in Canada.

About the Author

Nancy Lefebre, RN, MScN, Chief Clinical Executive and Senior Vice President, Saint Elizabeth, President, Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses