Donna Wilson, RN, PhD


(780) 492-5574
4-381 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 - 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9


Area of Study / Keywords

health services and health policy aging end-of-life care bereavement ageism



  • PhD (Educational Administration), University of Alberta (1993)
  • MN (Gerontology/Nursing Administration), University of Texas (1985)
  • BScN, University of Alberta (1981)
  • RN diploma, Royal Alexandra Hospital (1976)


My program of research focuses on health services and health policy, although primarily in relation to aging and end-of-life care. I have undertaken a wide range of studies such as those focusing on: grief and bereavement, high users of hospitals, ageism, social isolation, bioethics and social values, acute delirium, location of death, the good death, home care utilization, home care client trends, long-term-care resident trends, health services use before and after admission to a nursing home, use of hospitals prior to death, linkages between chronicity and home care utilization, transitions in place of care in the last year of life, waiting for placement, and many others. I have conducted large population based studies and other quantitative studies, as well as many different types of qualitative studies, and mixed methods studies and many literature or systematic reviews. I have held and hold a number of regional, provincial, and national grants to facilitate my research.


I enjoy teaching, and place my student's work ahead of my own research and publications. I am actively sought as a supervisor for graduate and undergraduate honor's students, in part because of my varied research and practice background and wide-ranging research interests. Through employment in hospitals and long-term-care facilities, both in and outside of Canada, I have developed a wide range of clinical skills and knowledge. I continues until recently to work in a large acute care hospital on a part-time casual basis as a staff nurse to maintain my acute care nursing knowledge and skills. I have expert knowledge and skills in cardiac care, medical/surgical nursing, gerontology, and palliative/end-of-life care. Gerontology was the primary focus of study in my Master's program, as I began to realize how little I knew about normal aging and the usual and other care needs of older persons. Health services administration was another focus in my Master's program, as well as my PhD program. I have worked as a manager in hospitals and nursing homes, and have taught managerial courses. This managerial background, as well as concern about bioethics and nursing advancement are major contributors to my research program.


I will be pleased to send you my CV, which lists over 300 publications, and highlights the graduate students who I have assisted, and other important considerations.


Survey reveals gaps and opportunities in multicultural nursing education.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Benedetti, C., & Triscott, J.
Publication Date: 8/19/2020
Publication: Canadian Nurse Journal.
Volume: August
Page Numbers: 1-3
External Link:

A scoping review of research to assess the frequency, types, and reasons for end-of-life care setting transitions.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., & Birch, S.
Publication Date: 6/1/2020
Publication: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 48(4), 376-381. Impact factor 2.183.
Volume: 48
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 376-381
External Link:

Determining if nurses are involved in political action or politics: A scoping literature review.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Anafi, F., Kusi-Appiah, E., Darko, E. M., Deck, K., & Errasti-Ibarrondo, B.
Publication Date: 5/1/2020
Publication: Applied Nursing Research
Volume: 54
Issue: 2020
Page Numbers: 151279
External Link:

Identifying contemporary early retirement factors and strategies to encourage and enable longer working lives: A scoping review.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Errasti-Ibarrondo, B., Low, G., O’Reilly, P., Murphy, F., Fahy, A., & Murphy, J.
Publication Date: 3/2/2020
Publication: International Journal of Older People Nursing
Volume: 2020
Page Numbers: e12313, pages 1-17
External Link:

Who are high users of hospitals in Canada? Findings from a population-based study.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Shen, Y., & Birch, S.
Publication Date: 12/2/2019
Publication: Canadian Journal of Nursing Research
Volume: 51
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 245-254
External Link:

Educational needs of healthcare professionals and members of the general public in Alberta Canada, 2 years after the implementation of medical assistance in dying.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Triscott, J., MacLeod, R., & Cohen, J. (2019, September).
Publication Date: 9/2/2019
Publication: Health & Social Care in the Community
Volume: 27
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 1295-1302
External Link:

A research literature review to determine how bereavement programs are evaluated.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Errasti-Ibarrondo, B., & Rogriguez-Prat, A.
Publication Date: 8/20/2019
Publication: Omega – Journal of Death and Dying
Volume: 68
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 347-366

A study to understand the potential impact of bereavement grief on the workplace.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Punjani, S., Song, Q., & Low, G. (2019).
Publication Date: 8/19/2019
Publication: Omega – Journal of Death and Dying
Volume: 74
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 260-274

Is the bereavement grief intensity of survivors linked with their perception of death quality? A pilot study.

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Cohen, J., Deliens, L., MacLeod, R., Hewitt, J. A., & Houttekier, D.
Publication Date: 8/1/2019
Publication: International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Volume: 25
Issue: 8
Page Numbers: 398-405

Where are we now in relation to determining the prevalence of ageism in this era of escalating population ageing?

Author(s): Wilson, D. M., Errasti-Ibarrondo, M. B., & Low, G.
Publication Date: 3/19/2019
Publication: Ageing Research Reviews
Volume: 51
Page Numbers: 78-84

Current end-of-life care needs and care practices in acute care hospitals

Author(s): Thurston AJ, Wilson DM, Hewitt JA
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Nursing Research and Practice

Age-based differences in care setting transitions over the last year of life

Author(s): Wilson DM, Hewitt JA, Thomas R, Mohankumar D, Kovacs Burns K
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research

Home care developments in the Canadian province of Alberta with regionalization

Author(s): Wilson DM, Birch S, Cohen J, MacLeod R, Mohankumar D, Williams A
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Global Journal of Health Science
Volume: 3
Page Numbers: 3-8

"No one dies of old age": Implications for research, practice, and policy

Author(s): Wilson DM, Cohen J, Birch S, MacLeod R, Mohankumar D, Armstrong P, Froggatt K, Francke A, Low G, McCormack B, Hollis V, Williams A.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Journal of Palliative Care
Volume: 27
Page Numbers: 148-156

Upstream thinking and health promotion planning for older adults at risk of social isolation

Author(s): Wilson D, Harris A, Hollis V, Mohankumar D
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: International Journal of Older People Nursing