​​​Image of Marnie Rodger (left) and Andrea Marrie
Marnie Rodger (left) and Andrea Marrie, RN, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, one of two nurses who nominated Marnie. (Photo: PMCC)

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."

- Albert Einstein

Anyone who has had the privilege of learning from Marnie Rodger would likely concur with Mr. Einstein when speaking to her passion for teaching. 

"Beyond providing exceptionally high-quality patient-centred care, Marnie is a remarkable mentor and true leader in her field," says Andrea Marrie, a Registered Nurse who trained with Marnie from September to December, 2013. "Marnie was available to support me as a student, and she contributed immensely to my professional growth."

That passion for supporting the education of her colleagues, patients and students recently earned Marnie a high honour --- the Nursing Excellence in Precepting (Graduate Award) from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. 

Thanks to her beginnings as a staff nurse in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) over seven years ago, Marnie can directly relate to the importance of having someone by your side as a measure of support and guidance.

"As a new staff nurse transitioning into the Nurse Practitioner role, it is important to have mentors who are already well established," explains Marnie, who joined the PMCC as a Nurse Practitioner in 2002, and has a sub-specialty in caring for LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) patients. "It is a big transition from being a bedside nurse who follows medical orders to being the individual solely responsible for ordering the tests, blood work and medication. Having someone there to assist you with the process instills confidence and belief."

Marnie's education-focused approach integrates student nurses into the team, seeking out opportunities for them to practice their respective interests through engaging activities.

"At the start of my placement, Marnie clarified my learning objectives and assisted me in creating a learning plan to meet my objectives," says Andrea. "We identified cardiovascular assessment, 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and chest x-ray interpretation as important goals of mine, and Marnie supported me in attaining sound competencies in these areas."

What ultimately drives Marnie is witnessing the personal and professional growth of her students, challenging them on their clinical reasoning, stimulating critical thinking and motivating them to find evidence that supports it.

"Developing critical thinking is key to developing self-autonomy," explains Marnie. "Everything from seeing the patients to performing physical examinations, interpreting lab reports, presenting a plan of care - I think it is an important part of the learning process."

Andrea now works as a staff nurse in the transplant unit. When she started with Marnie, she had no background in electrocardiogram interpretation. Her focus was learning how to interpret rhythms. With Marnie's guidance, she was able to facilitate these tests on her own, interpret their meaning correctly, and carry this knowledge over to the transplant patients she cares for.

"It's very rewarding when there are nurse practitioners who are keen and have a desire to learn," says Marnie. "From that point of view, it is a great experience for me as well. It's gratifying to see that you are helping them in this process, and at the same time, ensuring the quality of care at the hospital."

Marnie Rodger is the second Peter Munk Cardiac Centre nurse to win this prestigious award. She was nominated by Andrea Marrie, RN, and Jane MacIver, Nurse Practitioner, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.


The Excellence in Precepting: Graduate Award recognizes:

  • Excellence in precepting as demonstrated by outstanding professionalism and role modelling
  • Exceptional approaches to clinical learning that is supportive, respectful, creative, enthusiastic, evidence-based and student-centred
  • Effectiveness in fostering critical thinking and problem solving skills

This award is both peer- and student-nominated.

The award was handed out during a special ceremony on September 24, 2014.​

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