Lakehead University unveils newest nursing lab

Ribbon cutting photo

Dr. Kristen Jones-Bonofiglio, Director of the School of Nursing, third from right, cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Lakehead University's new Nursing Skills Lab. Also participating are, from left, Caroline Sabotig, Nursing Simulation Lab Coordinator; Dr. Mirella Stroink, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences; Dr. David Barnett, Lakehead's Provost and Vice-President (Academic); Jessica Melanson, Clinical and Lab Technologist; and third-year nursing student Erin Hamilton.  

March 14, 2023 – Thunder Bay, Ont. 

Lakehead University unveiled its newest nursing lab – in the Braun building – with a grand opening on Tuesday, March 14. 

This brings the total number of nursing labs to three, with a fourth lab coming soon. 

Along with highly trained faculty, nursing labs help Lakehead University students go further, said Dr. Kristen Jones-Bonofiglio, Director of the School of Nursing. 

“Our courses are taught by PhD-prepared faculty who have diverse clinical and research expertise,” Dr. Jones-Bonofiglio said. 

“They help bridge the theory-to-practice gap that new nurses would otherwise face,” she said. 

One of many benefits from completing a nursing degree at Lakehead University is that you can then go to graduate school if you wish. 

“Many of our graduates end up being leaders where they work due to the combination of hands-on training and theory that Lakehead provides,” Dr. Jones-Bonofiglio said. 

“At Lakehead University we are committed to providing the highest quality nurses in Northern Ontario. This is the type of training you can’t get elsewhere,” she said. 

Lakehead University nursing students focus on Northern, rural, remote, and Indigenous health and illness. The curriculum features foundations in relational practice, with hands-on clinical labs and simulations starting in year one. 

“Lakehead students have the opportunity to do placements in specialty areas, such as pediatrics or mental health, with complex care older adults, and in community health care,” said Dr. Jones-Bonofiglio, adding that fourth-year international placements are also possible. 

“Since 1965, Lakehead University has been a leader in nursing education, research, and scholarship. We are the past, present, and future of nursing in Northwestern Ontario,” Dr. Jones-Bonofiglio said. 

“We make a contribution to local and regional health care and health human resource needs in our communities and beyond,” she said. 

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing has fully accredited Lakehead’s BScN curriculum based on a foundation of relational practice. 

Lakehead offers several options for studying nursing: the three-year compressed Bachelor of Science in Nursing program; the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program; the Master of Nursing graduate program; Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Practice Nurse streams; the Indigenous Nurses Entry Program; and the All Nations Nurses Entry Program. 

“Lakehead University's Nursing programs, with their foundations in research and innovation, play an important role in building a strong health-care system in and for Northwestern Ontario,” said Dr. Mirella Stroink, Dean of Lakehead’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences. 

“The new Skills Lab will enable Nursing students in all of our programs to build and practice their skills with the latest tools and equipment,” Dr. Stroink said. 

The Nursing Skills Lab is a 10-bed, hands-on learning space that provides students with opportunities to use mannequins and other equipment to practice nursing on as they learn assessment and skills theory and put it into practice. 

“We are excited to see the continued development of our Nursing programs and the many contributions our graduates make to health care in our region and beyond,” said Dr. David Barnett, Provost and Vice-President (Academic). 

“This latest addition to our laboratory capacity further enhances the learning environment for our students as they prepare for careers in health care.” 

The Ontario Learn and Stay Grant is an exceptional funding opportunity for you to pursue Nursing at Lakehead Thunder Bay, with all expenses covered. 

The Ontario Learn and Stay Grant is a new student financial aid program that starts in the 2023-2024 academic year and will support postsecondary students enrolled in targeted priority programs in underserved communities. 

The grant will provide you upfront non-repayable funding for tuition, books, and other direct educational costs, in exchange for committing to serve for a specific term in the region where you studied.  

For more about Lakehead University’s School of Nursing, visit




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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2023 World Universities Rankings for the fourth consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit

Erin Hamilton, a third-year nursing student at Lakehead University and a member of the Lakehead University Nursing Association, checks the vitals on one of the mannequins in Lakehead's new Nursing Skills Lab.