Media Releases

Book honours U of T nursing research pioneer

May 6, 2011

TORONTO, ON – In hon­our of Dr. Lin­da O’Brien-Pallas’ retire­ment, the Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing is pub­lish­ing a festschrift com­posed as a trib­ute to her many accom­plish­ments in the field of nurs­ing human resources. She is acknowl­edged glob­al­ly for her pio­neer­ing and inno­v­a­tive research in health human resources mod­el­ing, qual­i­ty of work life for nurs­es and nurs­ing work­load mea­sure­ment.

Twen­ty years ago, O’Brien-Pallas was one of the first aca­d­e­mics to answer the call for more knowl­edge regard­ing nurs­ing work­load, staffing, plan­ning and effi­cien­cy. At the time, there was no method, dis­ci­pline or empir­i­cal foun­da­tion to build upon; she helped estab­lish the ground­work, lead­ing the way for researchers to com­pre­hend these crit­i­cal issues and shape the direc­tion of the health care sys­tem.

“Lin­da tru­ly led the way in this field, open­ing doors for the next gen­er­a­tion of health human resource schol­ars,” says Sioban Nel­son, pro­fes­sor and dean of the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing. “It was a priv­i­lege to work with such an extra­or­di­nary aca­d­e­m­ic and researcher, and a plea­sure to join Linda’s friends and col­leagues in acknowl­edg­ing her notable accom­plish­ments in the Faculty’s first festschrift.”

In 2010, pro­fes­sor O’Brien-Pallas stepped down from her co-direc­tor­ship of the Nurs­ing Health Ser­vices Research Unit (NHSRU) at the Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty and end­ed her term as the inau­gur­al Cana­di­an Health Ser­vices Research Foun­da­tion (CHSRF) / Cana­di­an Insti­tutes of Health Research (CIHR) nation­al chair, nurs­ing health human resources. As a festschrift hon­ours some­one whose aca­d­e­m­ic work has had a major influ­ence on a field of study, it seemed a fit­ting to trib­ute to mark the end of an influ­en­tial career and an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty for the Fac­ul­ty to spear­head a knowl­edge trans­la­tion ini­tia­tive.

Map­ping the field: Nurs­ing schol­ar­ship in health human resources is a review of O’Brien-Pallas’ schol­ar­ly con­tri­bu­tions and of the nurs­ing field as a whole, putting her career in per­spec­tive. She was a dri­ving force of the new direc­tion for nurs­ing sci­ence in Cana­da. The pow­er­ful alliances she cre­at­ed between stake­hold­ers, deci­sion-mak­ers and the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty led to a series of impor­tant stud­ies that shaped the nurs­ing health human resources field. In 1990, O’Brien-Pallas estab­lished the NHSRU with co-direc­tor Dr. Andrea Bau­man, which became an inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized cen­tre for mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary research on health human resources and qual­i­ty of work life for nurs­es.

The book is an edit­ed col­lec­tion of papers from the spring 2010 festschrift in hon­our of O’Brien-Pal­las that brings togeth­er the per­spec­tives of lead­ing schol­ars from around the world. Her pio­neer­ing work in nurs­ing human resources pro­vides a start­ing point to a broad dis­cus­sion of the issues and emerg­ing trends in health human resources. Each paper was writ­ten specif­i­cal­ly for this festschrift and offers a unique view of the estab­lish­ment of this field. From doc­tor­al stu­dents to col­leagues, men­tors and admir­ers, this text maps the evo­lu­tion of a new area of inquiry and the tra­jec­to­ry of a stel­lar career.

The Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to ranks among the pre­mier nurs­ing pro­grams in the world in both edu­ca­tion and research. In 2007, ours became the first named fac­ul­ty of nurs­ing in Cana­da. We are com­mit­ted to ensur­ing the approx­i­mate­ly 650 stu­dents in our under­grad­u­ate, mas­ters and PhD pro­grams have the high­est qual­i­ty learn­ing expe­ri­ences. More­over, with a Fac­ul­ty com­prised of the country’s lead­ing nurse researchers and edu­ca­tors, major con­tri­bu­tions to knowl­edge, health pol­i­cy and future prac­tice are pro­duced reg­u­lar­ly.




Con­trib­u­tors to the festschrift include:

  • Sean Clarke, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing and inau­gur­al RBC Chair in car­dio­vas­cu­lar nurs­ing research, Uni­ver­si­ty Health Net­work (Peter Munk Car­diac Cen­tre) and Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing;
  • Diane Doran, pro­fes­sor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing, and sci­en­tif­ic direc­tor of the NHSRU;
  • Chris­tine Duffield, act­ing asso­ciate dean (research) and direc­tor of the Cen­tre for Health Ser­vices Man­age­ment, Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing, Mid­wifery and Health, Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia;
  • Lau­reen Hayes, research asso­ciate for the CHSRF/CIHR chair in nurs­ing health human resources, cur­rent­ly work­ing in the NHSRU;
  • Bar­bara Mil­don, doc­tor­al grad­u­ate of the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing and pres­i­dent-elect of the Cana­di­an Nurs­es Asso­ci­a­tion;
  • Sioban Nel­son, dean and pro­fes­sor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing and chair, Coun­cil of Health Sci­ences; and
  • Judith Shami­an, pres­i­dent and CEO of VON Cana­da (Vic­to­ri­an Order of Nurs­es), pro­fes­sor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing, and pres­i­dent of the Cana­di­an Nurs­es Asso­ci­a­tion (2010–12);


To down­load a copy of Map­ping the field: Nurs­ing schol­ar­ship in health human resources, please vis­it our web­site.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Sarah Gopaul
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Assis­tant
Lawrence S. Bloomberg Fac­ul­ty of Nurs­ing
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to