Jean Barry, a 2002 graduate of the UBC Masters of Science in Nursing program, is currently working at the International Council of Nurses in Geneva, Switzerland. Jean was born in Bell Island, Newfoundland and completed her Bachelor of Nursing at Memorial University of Newfoundland. For over a decade, she worked in various areas of adult and paediatric nursing practice in Newfoundland, Ontario and British Columbia. In 1989, she accepted what was to be a one month position at the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) and has been involved in nursing regulation and policy work ever since.
She worked in a number of different positions at CRNBC and then in 2003 moved to address regulatory policy issues at the national level with the Canadian Nurses Association. In Jean’s own words, she made the best decision of her career when she decided to return to university to complete her Masters and applied for and was accepted into the UBC program. The program opened her eyes to the broader health policy issue and introduced a global way of thinking. She was inspired by fellow students and their questioning minds and by the dynamic dialogue and interaction between the professors and students in her classes. She focused a lot of her Masters work on issues related to the integration of internationally educated nurses into the Canadian health care system and this helped to inform her work at CRNBC and later at CNA where she started as senior nurse consultant and moved into the position of Director of Regulatory Policy. There her horizons expanded into nursing ethics when she oversaw the update of the CNA Code of Ethics to its current version. In this position she also dealt with policy issues, the national exams for RN’s and NPs and oversight of the specialty certification program.
In 2010 she made the leap to working at the international level and moved to Geneva Switzerland to work as a consultant, nursing and health policy for the International Council of Nurses. Her portfolio there includes addressing issues related to regulation, education, advanced practice and maternal and child health from a global perspective. Her work takes her on much international travel with a focus currently in West Africa to help support nursing education and regulation in that region. As part of addressing issues at the international level, she works closely with other international organisations such as the World Health Organisation. She indicates it is very challenging, eye-opening and exciting to address issues from a global perspective. She greatly enjoys the opportunity to work with nursing leaders from around the world. She is very proud of her Masters from UBC and credits it with setting her on this new and exciting career path.