Congratulations to BCIT Forensic Health Sciences Instructor and forensic nurse examiner Aimee Falkenberg for receiving the Visionary Award from the Canadian Forensic Nurses Association. This award recognizes Aimee for her significant contribution to forensic nursing in Canada.
Aimee entered the field of forensic nursing in 2008, when the field was still relatively young in Canada. Since then, she has participated in the development of human trafficking education and training for healthcare professionals and became the lead instructor at BCIT for the first nationally-accredited forensic nursing course. Aimee’s compassion, kindness, and commitment also prompted her to take on the role of coordinating forensic nursing examiner services in the central Island to expand to larger centres and rural and remote areas. This increased access to care has resulted in increased use of forensic nursing services across Vancouver Island, including 130% growth in the Central Island from 2015 to 2016, as well as from 2019 to 2020.
“One of my reasons for doing this work is empowering others and encouraging others. To educate another nurse and support them in doing this important work has fulfilled me more than I could ever imagine,” said Aimee Falkenberg. “I am living my dream job, coordinator of a successful forensic nursing team, educator for new forensic nurses in this field, and working alongside some of the greatest forensic nurses that I can truly call my dearest ‘bestest’ friends, advocates, mentors, and confidantes.”
Outside of expanding services and supporting new forensic nurse examiners, Aimee is an active supporter of community projects such as those related to patient comfort kits and public awareness campaigns about sexual assault and interpersonal violence.
“Aimee has been instrumental in the success of the Forensic Nurse Examiner education at BCIT. Her passion for this role translates to each and every student which enhances their ability to undertake these challenging positions in healthcare and other settings. Aimee is one of my most trusted and dependable instructors and we feel honoured to have her as part of our team,” shared Colin Harris, Program Coordinator, Forensic Health Sciences, BCIT.
“She is an advocate and a changemaker for forensic nursing in Canada. Since joining BCIT as a lead instructor in 2013, Aimee has supported and mentored hundreds of nurses through their career. She also continues to advocate and bring the role of the forensic nurse examiner into the frontiers of global healthcare whenever possible,” said Jennifer Talman, Associate Dean, Forensics, Science and Technology, BCIT. “Most recently, two of Aimee’s forensic nurse examiner courses at BCIT received accreditation as Canada’s only International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN)-approved provider of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE).
“To receive this Visionary Award is an honor I hold very dear to my heart,” said Aimee. “The most important thing I am going to say is thank you kindly to my colleagues and to the membership for the incredible recognition. This award is for our patients. It’s all for them.”
Congratulations and thank you for your dedication and contributions, Aimee!
(Photo credit for all images: Island Health)