Nursing Story Slam

All stories matter. We want to hear yours.

Nurses have stories. Stories about people, love, pain, suffering, grief, relief, depression, appreciation, regret, health, illness, death, research that changes practice, teaching that changes practice, practice that changes practice, teaching, and research. All of these stories matter but often go untold.

UCalgary Nursing is hosting its second annual Nursing Story Slam on May 9, 2024 (during National Nursing Week) to share these stories. Nurses are invited to submit a summary or description of a 5-minute story. Ten stories will be selected for the live presentation.

Participants will be offered a workshop to shape and rehearse their story and craft it into a quality performance for an audience. At the main event, each presenter will be given 5 minutes to share their powerful short memory, reflection, or experience in front of a live audience. Of all stories presented at the “Slam,” three will be selected for first, second, and third prizes.

2024 UCalgary Nursing Story Slam

Open to the public, free admission 

Event details and registration will be online March 2024

Thursday, May 9, 2024

6-9 p.m.

Doors open at 6 p.m., Presentation begins at 7 p.m.

A cash bar reception is available prior to the performances in the hotel lobby

Aloft Calgary University Hotel

2359 Banff Trail NW 

Google Maps link

Important Dates

February 16, 2024

Story Submission Deadline

March 4, 2024

10 participants will be selected and notified this week

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Performance and coaching workshop

How to submit your story to the 2024 Nursing Story Slam

Please submit the following online:  

  • 250-word summary or description of your story 

  • 100-word biography 

If your story is selected, you will be notified the week of March 4, 2024. 

NOTE: Previous winners of the 2023 Nursing Story Slam are not eligible to participate. However, previous presenters are eligible to submit a new story that was not done in a previous year. You must be UCalgary Nursing faculty (sessionals and adjuncts included), grad students, post-docs or alumni to participate. 

Dr. Mike Lang on how to craft your story

If you are unsure about having a story to share, please watch this short video from filmmaker and UCalgary Nursing alumni, Dr. Mike Lang MSc'15, PhD'22. In it, he provides ideas of how to pull moments from routine clinical practice, research, and/or personal experience, and craft them into stories that deepen our understanding of the human health experience.

Nursing Story Slam Workshop

Performance and Coaching Workshop April 13, 2024

For the 10 selected presenters, we're offering a performance and coaching workshop Saturday, April 13, 2024 in the Professional Faculties Building on main campus.

Last year’s workshop for our inaugural event was such a success that the presenters agreed it was a key activity to be a part of.

Pictured: Our 2023 presenters for Nursing Story Slam with co-lead Dr. Nancy Moules and coaches Dr. Mike Lang and Dr. John Williamson.

Meet the Judges

Karen Cook

Karen Cook

Director, Communications, UCalgary Nursing

Karen Cook has been telling stories for over 40 years as a communications practitioner. Her experience includes roles with the University of Manitoba, the Canadian Red Cross, Western Canada Lottery Corporation and Calgary Public Library. But her passion is post secondary education and the stories of all the students she has met along the way. Working in UCalgary's Faculty of Nursing for 20+ years, she calls herself a nurse through osmosis and, as a Story Slam judge, she will be paying close attention to recollections that make her laugh or cry since she enjoys doing both. 

Dr. Lorelli Nowell

Dr. Lorelli Nowell

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean Graduate Programs, UCalgary Nursing 

Dr. Lorelli Nowell is a proud UCalgary alum, obtaining both her MN (2013) and PhD (2017) in the Faculty of Nursing. She  has a particular interest in mentorship and innovations in teaching and learning where she shares and listens to stories that help captivate, inspire, convey complex concepts, and foster a deeper emotional and intellectual understanding of diverse experiences. 

Dr. Aoife Mac Namara, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Arts

Dr. Aoife Mac Namara

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Arts

Dr. Mac Namara is a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, UCalgary. Originally trained as an artist herself, she holds a doctorate in art, design, and the built environment from the University of Ulster in Belfast. She pursued a doctorate in art education at Concordia University, holds a master’s degree in the social history of art from the University of Leeds, and a master’s in fine art from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. There is an art in the performance of good stories and Dr. Mac Namara offers her discerning artist eye to our Nursing Story Slam.

Dr. Derritt Mason

Dr. Derritt Mason

Associate Professor, English, UCalgary Arts
Educational Leader in Residence, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

Derritt Mason is the author of Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and Culture (2021) and the co-editor, with Kenneth B. Kidd, of two essay collections: Alt Kid Lit: What Children’s Literature Might Be (2024) and Queer as Camp: Essays on Summer, Style, and Sexuality (2019).

Derritt also produces and hosts a podcast called 3QTL: Three Questions About Teaching and Learning. As a scholar of literature, Derritt is interested in how stories shape the world around us—and how culture and convention shape the stories we choose to tell. 

See videos from the 2023 participants Read UToday article

Kate Wong

Graduate student, UCalgary Nursing

Sara Dolan

Graduate Student, UCalgary Nursing

Emily Hilton

Graduate Student

Eric Lavoie

Adjunct Clinical Professor

Katie Webber

Graduate student, UCalgary Nursing

Jennifer Chung

Graduate Student, UCalgary Nursing

Carina Zhu

Graduate student, UCalgary Nursing

Tracie Risling

Associate professor, UCalgary Nursing

Tiffany Brew

Graduate Student, UCalgary Nursing

Lorraine Venturato

Associate Professor, UCalgary Nursing

Meet your Nursing Story Slam co-leads and coaches

Marc Hall

Marc Hall

Co-lead and organizer, Nursing Story Slam

Research Specialist, Nursing Research Office

Marc Hall is one of our co-leads organizing this Nursing Story Slam event. He is a Research Specialist in the Nursing Research Office and has been with the Faculty of Nursing for 10 years. Although he has never been a practicing nurse, he has experience in telling stories from his involvement in the creation of a documentary, made-for-tv-movie, and musical about events from his high-school years. Since he has worked closely with nurses while being in the faculty, he has gained a deep appreciation for what they do and is really excited to be involved in this event to showcase their stories.

Nancy Moules

Dr. Nancy Moules (PhD)

Co-lead, organizer and coach, Nursing Story Slam

Associate Dean, Research and Professor, UCalgary Nursing

Dr. Nancy Moules, RN, PhD is a Professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Associate Dean, Research. She is Editor of the Journal of Applied Hermeneutics and the co-founder and Chair of the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute. Her clinical background in family and individual therapy and her research using hermeneutics has always had a focus on people’s stories. “Remember this one thing, said Badger. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” – Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel.

Mike Lang

Dr. Mike Lang (PhD)

Coach, Nursing Story Slam

Digital Storytelling Facilitator, Filmmaker/Producer, Mike Lang Stories

Dr. Mike Lang is a health researcher, filmmaker, and Level 3 Common Language Digital Storytelling facilitator. He has directed and produced five feature-length documentaries and three web series about the human health experience in addition to publishing academic research articles and facilitating the creation of over 850 short films with patients, family caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Connect with him on all socials @mikelangstories or @commonlanguagedst.

"Each of us is an artist of our days; the greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become." - John O’Donahue, To Bless the Space Between Us

Dr. John Williamson

Dr. John Williamson (PhD)

Coach, Nursing Story Slam

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Werklund School of Education

Dr. John Williamson, PhD, is a K – 12 Coordinating Teacher of Diverse Learning Services, adjunct assistant professor in the Werklund School of Education, and spoken word and “page” poet. His award-winning PhD Dissertation, The Case of the Appearing / Disappearing Slow Learner was republished in the Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, and, in 2019, he published his first chap book of poetry, Broken and Strong: Family Fragments through Calgary’s Loft 112. He continues to publish academically and creatively. John is a three-time winner of Calgary’s individual monthly poetry slam and a member of the Calgary 2018 poetry slam team that competed for the national title. He is also an executive member of Can You Hear Me Now? Provincial youth slam. Known for using humor and pathos to make the usual unusual and vice versa, John tries to live creatively by Emily Dickinson’s advice to “tell the truth but tell it slant”.