MacLeod, Dr. Martha

Dr. Martha MacLeod
PhD (Edinburgh), MA, BA (Toronto), RN Professor, Nursing Professor, Health Sciences Northern Health - UNBC Knowledge Mobilization Research Chair Co-Leader, Health Research Institute
Email: Phone:
  • Prince George


Martha MacLeod comes from a professional and practice background in nursing management and continuing education. She has been at UNBC since 1994. She is currently the Northern Health – UNBC Knowledge Mobilization Research Chair and Co-Leader of the UNBC Health Research Institute. Martha is in the School of Nursing and is cross-appointed to the School of Health Sciences. Martha teaches in the areas of leadership, knowledge development and moving evidence into practice. Her research, broadly speaking, takes a qualitative approach to examining health services and health human resources, particularly in rural and northern settings. Martha has published and presented widely on rural and northern nursing issues, nursing practice, nursing education, knowledge translation, and network development.

As Knowledge Mobilization Research Chair, Martha is exploring how knowledge can be developed and taken up in practice in complex rural and remote health systems. In doing this, she is working with the Strategic Patient Oriented Research Northern Centre in supporting the development of research that engages rural and northern persons, their families and communities.

Martha has a longstanding partnered research program with BC's Northern Health Authority and is currently investigating the processes of system transformation in primary health care. She is exploring a hermeneutic approach to implementation and is also leading a national study of rural and remote nursing. Martha is active in national, provincial and regional multidisciplinary research and knowledge translation networks.

Research and Expertise

Martha’s research program concerns the nature of everyday practice and its development; how knowledge is both created and taken up in practice to improve health services for rural and northern persons, families, and communities:

  • Rural health services
  • The nature of everyday practice and how its development is helped or hindered in health care organizations 
  • Organizational development and change
  • Decision-maker-practitioner-researcher partnerships, networks and their development 
  • The nature of everyday learning and experience 
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • Qualitative research methodologies, particularly hermeneutics, interpretive phenomenology, participatory action research and development of multi-approach research teams 

Research Fields:
  • Health
Areas of Expertise:

nursing, rural remote and northern health, knowledge translation, knowledge mobilization, research uptake

Available to be contacted by the media as a subject matter expert

Selected Publications

Partnering for Change - Primary Health Care Transformation

  • MacLeod, M.L.P., Hanlon, N., Reay, T., Snadden, D, & Ulrich, C. (2020). Partnering for change: How a health authority, physicians, and communities work together to transform primary healthcare services. Journal of Health Organization and Management, DOI 10.1108/JHOM-02-2019-0032
  • Snadden, D., Reay, T., Hanlon, N., & MacLeod, M. (2019). Engaging primary care physicians in system change – an interpretive study in a remote and rural health region in Northern British Columbia, Canada. BMJ Open, 9, e028395. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028395 
  • Hanlon, N., Reay, T., Snadden, D., & MacLeod, M. (2019). Creating partnerships to achieve health care reform: Moving beyond a politics of scale? International Journal of Health Services 49(1) 51-67. DOI: 10.1177/0020731418807094

Rural and Remote Nursing

  • MacLeod, M.L.P., Kulig, J. C., & Stewart, N. J. (2019). Lessons from 20 years of research on nursing practice in rural and remote Canada. Research in brief. Canadian Nurse. May 13, 2109. Retrieved from
  • MacLeod, M.L.P., Stewart, N.J., Kosteniuk, J.G., Penz, K.L., Olynick, J., Karunanayake, C.P., Kilpatrick, K., Kulig, J.C., Martin-Misener, R., Koren, I., Zimmer, L.V., Van Pelt, L., Garraway, L. (2019). Rural and remote registered nurses’ perceptions of working beyond their legislated scope of practice. Nursing Leadership 32(1), 20-29.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2019.25851
  • MacLeod, M.L.P., Stewart, N.J., Kosteniuk, J.G., Penz, K.L., Olynick, J., Karunanayake, C.P., Banner, D., Wilson, E., Kulig, J.C., Labrecque, ME, Moffitt, P., Jahner, S., Garraway, L. (2019). Rural and remote licensed practical nurses’ perceptions of working below their legislated scope of practice. Nursing Leadership 32 (1), 8-19. doi:10.12927/cjnl.2019.25852
  • Lenthall, S., Wakerman, J., Dollard, M.F., Dunn, S., Knight, S., Opie, T., Rickard, G., MacLeod, M., (2018). Occupational stress interventions to reduce stress among registered nurses in very remote Australia, using a participatory action research approach. Collegian 25, 181-191.
  • MacLeod, M., Garraway, L., Jónatansdóttir, S., & Moffitt, P. (2018). What does it mean to be a nurse in Canada’s Northern Territories? Chapter 35 In H. Exner-Pirot, B. Norbye, & L. Butler (Eds.), Northern and Indigenous health and healthcare. Saskatoon, SK: University of Saskatchewan. Available at
  • Zimmer, L.V., Banner, D., & MacLeod, M. L. P. (2016). Nursing scholarship in and for the Northern Canadian context. The Northern Review. 43, 51-66

Note: Further Rural and Remote Nursing Fact Sheets and Reports are at

Knowledge Mobilization

  • Bowen, S., Botting, I., Graham, I.D., MacLeod, M., de Moissac, D., Harlos, K. Leduc, B., Ulrich, C., Knox, J. (2019). Experience of health leadership in partnering with university-based researchers in Canada – a call to “re-imagine” research. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 8(12), 684-699. doi 10.15171/ijhpm.2019.66 See the video:
  • de Moissac, D., Bowen, S., Botting, I., Graham, I.D., MacLeod, M., Harlos, K., Songok, C. M., Bohémier, M. (2019). Evidence of commitment to health research partnerships? Results of two web reviews. BMC Health Research Policy and Systems, 17:73
  • Graham, I.D., Kothari, A., McCutcheon and on behalf of the Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network Project Leads (2018). Moving knowledge into action for more effective practice, programmes and policy: Protocol for a research programme on integrated knowledge translation. Implementation Science 13, 22. DOI 10.1186/s13012-017-0700-y

Curriculum Vitae

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