Donna Wilson, RN, PhD



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.

Featured Publications

Wilson, D. M., Benedetti, C., & Triscott, J.

Canadian Nurse Journal. . 2020 August; August

Wilson, D. M., & Birch, S.

Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 48(4), 376-381. Impact factor 2.183. 2020 June; 48 (4):376-381

Wilson, D. M., Anafi, F., Kusi-Appiah, E., Darko, E. M., Deck, K., & Errasti-Ibarrondo, B.

Applied Nursing Research . 2020 May; 54 (2020):151279

Wilson, D. M., Errasti-Ibarrondo, B., Low, G., O’Reilly, P., Murphy, F., Fahy, A., & Murphy, J.

International Journal of Older People Nursing. 2020 March; 2020

Wilson, D. M., Shen, Y., & Birch, S.

Canadian Journal of Nursing Research. 2019 December; 51 (4):245-254

Wilson, D. M., Triscott, J., MacLeod, R., & Cohen, J. (2019, September).

Health & Social Care in the Community . 2019 September; 27 (5):1295-1302

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

Wilson, D. M., Errasti-Ibarrondo, B., & Rogriguez-Prat, A.

Omega – Journal of Death and Dying. 2019 August; 68 (4):347-366

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

Wilson, D. M., Punjani, S., Song, Q., & Low, G. (2019).

Omega – Journal of Death and Dying. 2019 August; 74 (2):260-274

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

Wilson, D. M., Cohen, J., Deliens, L., MacLeod, R., Hewitt, J. A., & Houttekier, D.

International Journal of Palliative Nursing. 2019 August; 25 (8):398-405

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

Wilson, D. M., Errasti-Ibarrondo, M. B., & Low, G.

Ageing Research Reviews. 2019 March; 51

Thurston AJ, Wilson DM, Hewitt JA

Nursing Research and Practice. 2012 January;

Wilson DM, Hewitt JA, Thomas R, Mohankumar D, Kovacs Burns K

Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research. 2011 January;

Wilson DM, Birch S, Cohen J, MacLeod R, Mohankumar D, Williams A

Global Journal of Health Science. 2011 January; 3

Wilson DM, Cohen J, Birch S, MacLeod R, Mohankumar D, Armstrong P, Froggatt K, Francke A, Low G, McCormack B, Hollis V, Williams A.

Journal of Palliative Care. 2011 January; 27

Wilson D, Harris A, Hollis V, Mohankumar D

International Journal of Older People Nursing. 2011 January;