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U of R awards honorary degree for lifelong commitment to nursing

Beginning her career as a registered nurse at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital in 1973, Dr. Marlene Smadu has held nursing, administrative, and educator positions in health and in nursing programs at three post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan.
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Recognized provincially, nationally, and internationally for her lifelong commitment and contribution to the nursing profession, Dr. Marlene Smadu has helped define the role of nursing in Saskatchewan.

REGINA — The University of Regina awarded someone who has dedicated her life and career to the health care system with an honorary Doctor of Laws honoris causa (LLD) during the Spring 2024 Convocation.

“I am deeply honoured to receive an honorary degree from the University of Regina, an institution that I have been associated with in many ways for over 50 years starting with my first paid summer job as a clerk at Extension Division on College Avenue Campus,” said Dr. Marlene Smadu. “The University of Regina has played a significant role in my life and the lives of my family members, contributing to our well-being and quality of life.”

“The University is proud to award this honorary degree to Dr. Marlene Smadu – someone who has dedicated her life and career to our health care system, and in particular, the noble profession of nursing,” said U of R President and Vice-Chancellor Jeff Keshen.

Recognized provincially, nationally, and internationally for her lifelong commitment and contribution to the nursing profession, Smadu has helped define the role of nursing in Saskatchewan. Beginning her career as a registered nurse at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital in 1973, she has held nursing, administrative, and educator positions in health and in nursing programs at three post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan, including the University of Regina. Her roles with the U of R included being a member and Chair of the University’s Board of Governors and a member of senate.

She has served as executive director with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA), and as Assistant Deputy Minister of Health and Provincial Nursing Advisor with the Government of Saskatchewan and as founding board member and chair of the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council.

Nationally, Smadu has served in a variety of roles including president of the Canadian Nurses Association, board member of the Canadian Institute for Health Information, chair of the Advisory Committee of Professional Development and Education, Canadian Patient Safety Institute, member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, and co-chair of the National Expert Commission on Health Care.

She has also contributed to the nursing profession internationally as Canadian representative to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and as board and executive member.