About Us


A decade after the initiation of the Nature of Nursing in Rural and Remote Canada research (2001-2004), it is evident that knowledge gaps are emerging. Health human resource (HHR) planning and the accessibility, quality and sustainability of rural health care continue to be of concern nationally and provincially. This study will:

  • Include all four types of nurses
  • Provide a better understanding of the complexity of rural/remote nursing practice, especially with respect to primary health care
  • Address significant gaps in our understanding about the  personal, professional and community factors that are involved in recruiting  and retaining LPNs, RNs, RPNs, and NPs in rural and remote communities
  • Reflect national and provincial/territorial needs

Current Research Activities

There are four major research activities planned for the four year period (2012 -2016) during which Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II study is being implemented:

  1. An analysis of the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s 2010 Nursing Database (NDB) data
  2. An analysis of policy documents
  3. A national survey of nurses in rural and remote areas across Canada
  4. The production and distribution of knowledge translation materials that report the study’s findings

The NDB analysis and policy document analysis will be completed in the first year. The policy document analysis will update the analysis completed during the first study, which provided a comprehensive compilation of over 130 published and grey literature documents relevant to rural nursing.  Development and piloting of the survey will also be completed in the first year, in preparation for its implementation.

During the second year, the survey will be mailed out to nurses (including Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and Nurse Practitioners) working in rural and remote areas in all Canadian provinces and territories. Nurses will be able to complete the survey and return it by mail, or, they can choose to complete the survey online.

Analyses of the survey data, as well as the production and distribution of knowledge translation materials, such as articles, reports, fact sheets and presentations, will take place over the third and fourth year of the Project.


Co-principal investigators:

  • Martha MacLeod (University of Northern British Columbia)
  • Norma Stewart (University of Saskatchewan)
  • Judith Kulig (University of Lethbridge)
  • Roger Pitblado (Laurentian University) (2012-13)


The success of this national study relies on an Advisory Team that works with the researchers throughout the Project to refine the focus of the survey, facilitate access to the survey sample, determine lines of analyses, and to direct the translation of the knowledge created through the study. The Advisory Team includes members from provincial and territorial nursing regulatory bodies (colleges) and nursing associations, health authorities, federal healthcare providers, and national organizations.

Advisory Team:

  • Penny Anguish, Advisory Team Lead (Northern Health)
  • Cathy Ulrich (Northern Health)
  • Karla Biagioni (BC Ministry of Health)
  • Becky Palmer (First Nations Health Authority)
  • Anita Paras (Health and Wellness Alberta)
  • Carol Gregoryk (Prince Albert Parkland Regional Health Authority)
  • Linda Smyrski (Manitoba Health)
  • David McNeil (Health Sciences North)
  • Kate Sheppard (Nurses Association of New Brunswick)
  • Ann Mann (College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia)
  • Rosanne McQuaid (Health PEI)
  • Beverly Griffiths (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Denise Bowen (Registered Nurses Association of Nunavut and Northwest Territories)
  • Amy Lea (Government of the Northwest Territories)
  • Jennifer Berry (Government of Nunavut)
  • Sheila Thompson (Government of Yukon)
  • Leila Gillis (First Nations and Inuit Health Branch-Indigenous Services Canada)
  • Dawn Bruyère (First Nations and Inuit Health Branch-Indigenous Services Canada)
  • Andrea Porter (Canadian Institute for Health Information)