Tanya Spence

Tanya Spence


Adjunct Clinical Associate

Faculty of Nursing, Adjuncts

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

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Tanya Spence is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and holds an Adjunct Clinical appointment with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan and Master of Nursing degree from Athabasca University. Tanya has worked in pediatric critical care for 20 years and as a CNS for the last 8 years. She is a clinical lead for the Extracorporeal Life Support program and the Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team. Program development, curriculum development, education and simulation are Tanya’s passion. She has been involved in various research projects including CPR, simulation, and educational topics. Innovative ways to deliver high quality education and excellence in the delivery of care to critically ill children is Tanya’s ultimate focus.


Areas of Research

Health Outcomes

Virtual gaming is emerging as a new and innovative learning tool in the education literature. In the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit there is a complex life-saving therapy called Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) where nurses and respiratory therapists are specially trained in an advanced role to provide this therapy for patients. Current educational cirriculum is delivered in traditional ways and through low and high fidelity simulation. The addition of virtual games would enhance the current cirrciulum by allowing learners to test knowledge through the interactive platform and have access to learning frequently over time to improve knowledge retention. The hope would be that having learners frequently exposed to learning through games would improve overall competence in an advanced skill set, and learner confidence would increase. 

Participation in university strategic initiatives