NU instructor receives CASN Nursing Education Excellence Award

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) has announced that Laura Killam is the recipient of the 2022 CASN Nursing Education Excellence (Non-Tenured) Award. Killam is a part-time instructor at Nipissing University in the Registered Practical Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She was presented with this award on Monday, November 21 at CASN’s virtual Awards Recognition Event. 

This award is presented to a non-tenured (i.e., instructor, lecturer, lab instructor) nursing educator from a CASN member school that demonstrates sustained teaching activities of high quality, a commitment to mentorship of students and colleagues, an ability to introduce innovation in educational activities, leadership in influencing the quality of education within the academic and practice areas and promotes excellence in nursing education.  

Laura Killam portrait

Laura Killam

“It is hard to put into words how honoured I feel to have been nominated for the award, and winning it was a nice surprise,” shared Killam. “It takes a lot of energy to advocate for innovative approaches to education like co-creation. It is a passion of mine, but to see it externally recognized feels really heart warming.”  

Killam is also the recipient of doctoral scholarships and grant funding for her work on co-creation within nursing education. She believes that learner-educator co-creation builds meaningful relationships, promotes critical thinking, and develops student evaluative judgement. Her research in authentic assessment has helped her and others to overcome challenges with student-centered assessment.  

In Killam’s class, students benefit from her relationship-focused teaching philosophy that centers around empowering them to take control over their learning. Through co-creation, she shares the decision-making power over course design with her students.  

“I think we get more out of the experience when we can work together towards the common goal of becoming more knowledgeable,” she said. “I like to offer them the opportunity to customize their learning, so it is more meaningful and memorable.”  

Killam has published 18 times in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences at local, provincial, national, and international peer-reviewed events. Her gamification work was implemented with undergraduates at Cambrian College and Nipissing University and was used at a graduate student conference at Queen’s University to improve engagement.  

In an effort to provide accessible on-demand learning, Killam created a YouTube channel in 2010 to provide people answers to their questions and has help students understand complex topics in multiple disciplines. Her YouTube channels has over five million views and she receives thanks from students world-wide. She can also be found through her blog and on Twitter.  

She is currently working towards her PhD in Nursing at Queen’s University. 

To find out more about Laura Killam and her teaching philosophy, visit  

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