Blythe V. Bell

Blythe V. Bell
PhD Candidate in Leadership Studies
Department: Leadership Studies – Adult Education
Area of expertise

Anti-racism in nursing education

Areas of research/expertise

Diversity & inclusion; Teaching and learning; Leadership; Anti-racism in nursing education

What would you like others to know about you?

Upon entry to grad studies I was certain I was not a researcher and that I would never write a thesis. Two and a half years later, I am a keen PhD candidate loving the intellectual challenge of critical theoretical critique and development. What changed my mind was exposure to anti-hegemonic academic scholarship and teaching.
I come to graduate studies in Leadership from a nursing practice and education background. I am applying the broad critical perspective developed in the Leadership program back to the nursing discipline and the education of pre-licensure nurses. For me, an education outside of my discipline, and in a multi-disciplinary department, has been instrumental in developing a transformative lens.
My doctoral research addresses a knowledge gap by producing scholarship that maps how anti-racism is operationalized by Canadian nurse educators, and identifies barriers that exist to prevent a robust uptake of anti-racism in nursing education. I’ll be employing a cross-Canada self-administered anonymous online qualitative questionnaire to create safety for nurses with marginalized and identifiable identities. The questionnaire will be a combination of open-ended questions, and q-sort activities. I will likely follow-up with focus groups for data triangulation. My methods of analysis will be content and critical discourse analysis, though I would also like to remain open to an emergent analytic design.

What have you done so far, or what do you hope to accomplish during your graduate degree at UVic?

I have published a critical literature review and one of my candidacy exams, which was a discourse analysis. I’ve learned to get really clear about what type of final product I am hoping to create, before I start a project! Maintaining clear and retrievable notes about methodological decisions you make is essential if you want to publish. Engaging with the world of academic publishing is steep learning but has further developed my writing skills and has been an affirming experience overall. Incidentally, I have also learned about predatory journals and conferences.
I am currently leading an internationally collaborative paper and hope to continue to find opportunities to work in teams. Doctoral research can be a lonely experience otherwise!