Critical Care Nursing Program

Rachel Rizcallah, BScN, RN, CNCC (c)

Rachel graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2007 and began her nursing career working in general medicine/IMCU. Upon completion of the CCNP program in 2009, Rachel spent the next 12 years working in Critical Care, most recently as a Clinical Nurse Educator. In keeping with a love of life-long learning, Rachel earned her CNA certification in Critical Care in 2017, and in 2019 began her MSc.N through Memorial University, focusing on evidence-informed practice and leadership in nursing.

Over her career, Rachel has enjoyed being a preceptor and mentor for new nurses, sharing her passion for the unique and dynamic specialty of Critical Care nursing. Rachel feels fortunate to have cared for many patients and families during their times of critical illness and is excited to see learners expand their knowledge and skills, integrating them into practice.

In her spare time Rachel enjoys spending time with her young family, being active, and travelling.

902-717-7481 |

Lisa Gillis Rochon, RN, BN, CNCC (C), CCSNE

Lisa graduated from the Aberdeen Hospital School of Nursing in 1993 in New Glasgow, NS. After graduation, Lisa started her professional career in Texas where she specialized in Neuro Critical Care at a large teaching hospital in the Dallas area. While in Dallas, Lisa also worked on a critical care resource team floating between ICU, CCU, NCCU, and ER. After working 10 years in Texas, Lisa moved back home to Nova Scotia and spent the next 11 years working at the bedside in the Halifax Infirmary on the Med/Surg/Neuro ICU (5.2) and Cardiovascular ICU (5.1). Lisa's experience in both of these ICUs provided her the opportunity to focus on the care of an organ donor and their family, which then lead to work as an Organ Donation Coordinator for 5 years.

During her time at the Halifax Infirmary Lisa was able to complete her Bachelor of Nursing degree from Athabasca University. Lisa has also obtained her national certification in Critical Care Nursing (CNCC) and recently successfully completed the Canadian Certified Simulation Nurse Educator (CCSNE) program. Lisa is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education program through Mount Saint Vincent University.

As a lifelong learner and preceptor, Lisa is extremely proud and excited to be a part of the Learning Institute's faculty for the Critical Care Nursing Program since 2020.

In Lisa's spare time, she like to comb beaches for sea glass, travel and spend time at the “bungalow” out on the Mira with her husband.

902-499-6758 |

Kelsey Flynn, BScN, RN

Kelsey received her BScN from Dalhousie University. Her background is in med/surg, emergency, and critical care. She began her involvement in health care education as a clinical instructor with Dalhousie university and as an IEN facilitator with ISANS. Kelsey continues her education by pursing a MEd from Mount Saint Vincent University. 

902-266-4634 |

Rene Boyd, BScN, RN

Rene graduated from nursing in 2007 from CBU/StFX, then moved to Alberta to work at the Royal Alex in Edmonton, where she gained experience in vascular thoracic and neuro-trauma units. Rene moved back to Cape Breton to work in surgery, where she gained valuable skills to shape her critical care career and learned from the nurses how to be safe, competent, and advocate for her patients. Those nurses molded Rene into the nurse she is today.

Rene accepted a position at the Emergency Department at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, where she found her place in nursing. Starting in the acute zone in the ED, Rene learned how to care for the quite sick, building her competence and confidence in practice. After 3 years in the ED, Rene accepted a clinical nurse leader position at Victoria County hospital in Baddeck. She learned the importance of rural nursing and gained appreciation for the “jack of all trades” nursing they bring to the table. Missing the chaos in Sydney, Rene went back to the CBRH and accepted the CNL position in the ED. Rene has made many lifelong connections to patients, co-workers, and the interdisciplinary team.

Rene is currently working towards her master’s in nursing. She works as an instructor with the Emergency Nursing Program and the Critical Care Nursing Programs at the Learning Institute, and she works with the Sim IPE team to support Dalhousie medical residents. On top of that, she and her work partner (Sandra) are designing an emergency nursing elective for CBU, StFX, and Dalhousie.

In her personal life, Rene is a mom of a little fashionista 11-year-old girl. Her partner, Ev, keeps her on her toes with continuous pranks and laughs. They have 3 dogs and a busy, chaotic, life… just like the ED.

902-574-3573 |

Angela MacNeil, BSCN, RN

Angela graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a certificate in Oncology and Acute Care in 2007. After graduation, she worked at the bedside in both Cardiovascular Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery/IMCU. After returning from a maternity leave in 2015, Angela completed the Critical Care Nursing Program and accepted a position on CVICU, where her passion for critical care began.

Throughout her career, Angela has loved being able to assist others in their professional development and supporting new learners and staff through precepting and mentoring as well as working as a nursing clinical instructor with Dalhousie. Angela’s two passions merged when she transitioned to her new role with the Learning Institute as a Nursing Instructor for the Critical Care Nursing Program in 2023.

In her personal time, Angela has 2 children and 2 dogs she raises with her husband. When she’s not watching her kids at a hockey rink, ball field, or dance studio, you might catch her reading, dancing, cooking, or spending time with her friends and family.

902-456-3578 |

Allison White, BSCN, RN

Allison completed her BScN from Cape Breton University in 2018. She was born and raised in Cape Breton and started her career in the ICU at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. A year later, she moved to the Annapolis Valley where she continued her ICU career in Kentville at the Valley Regional Hospital.

Allison found her passion for teaching/educating through preceptorship and more recently as a Heart & Stroke instructor for BLS, ACLS, and PALS. She is excited to continue to grow this passion for critical care education as an instructor for the Critical Care Nursing Program.

On her downtime, Allison loves to stay active, spend time outdoors, and travel. When not doing these things, she can often be found at home, curled up with her two kitties and a book in hand.

902-599-2883 |

Molly Thomson, BN RN, CCN(C)

Molly completed her Bachelor of Nursing degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2018. She moved home to Nova Scotia and started her career at Valley Regional Hospital on the medicine/cardiology unit, which sparked her passion for cardiovascular nursing and education. While working medical IMCU, she pursued her CNA Certification in Cardiovascular Nursing before transitioning to critical care in the ICU at VRH. She briefly moved to St. John’s, NL, to work in the neuro-trauma ICU before returning home.

Molly has found her niche in teaching, which she discovered through preceptorship and her time as a clinical instructor with Dalhousie. She has a passion for lifelong learning and hopes that, as an instructor with the Learning Institute for both the Critical Care Nursing Program and Emergency Nursing Program, her enthusiasm for competent and knowledgeable nursing care inspires learners.

In her personal life, Molly loves spending time with her friends and family, skiing or paddleboarding (depending on the season), and planning day trips.

902-277-4094 |

The Nova Scotia Health Learning Institute for Health Care Providers offers education programming designed to meet the needs of learners across the province and strengthen our health care system. We are committed to delivering high-quality, evidence-informed programming that enables providers to develop and maintain foundational and specialty competencies.