Health Workforce Thesis Projects


We are pleased to feature here some of the ongoing research undertaken by trainees across Canada related to health workforce topics. If you would like to have us feature your health workforce thesis research here, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 Exploring the Barriers and Facilitators to the Integration of the Nurse Practitioner as Most Responsible Provider Model of Care within a Hospital Setting

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      Researcher: Abby Ayoub, RN

      Education: Masters (MSc) of Nursing Student 

      Institution: University of Ottawa, Faculty of Nursing

Summary of Work: 

During my graduate studies, I have been involved as a research assistant on two projects at the Institut du Savoir Montfort. At the Institut du Savoir Montfort, one of projects evaluates the effectiveness of the role of a nurse practitioner as most responsible provider in a hospital setting, whereas the other evaluates the model of care of a nurse practitioner integrated to an orthogeriatric team. I have also been involved as a trainee in the nursing case study for the Health Professional Worker Partnership at the University of Ottawa. 


Predicting Quit Intentions Among Nurses Working in The Bahamas Using Proximal Withdrawal States Theory: A Mixed Methods Case Study 



      Researcher: Shamel Rolle Sands RN,  MSN (Ed)

      Education: Doctoral Student 

      Institution: University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing 


Summary of Work: 

Healthcare systems in The Bahamas, like many of its Caribbean neighbours struggle to provide essential services due to inadequate nursing personnel (1). Many suggest that the current nursing and nursing skill shortages throughout the region are largely due to vacancies left by the turnover of nurses (2). This is particularly troubling with empirical evidence supporting nurse staffing levels and improved patient outcomes (3-5). Turnover of nurses working in The Bahamas is not a new, however, there remain critical gaps regarding empirically supported information on which feasible, context specific retention interventions may be developed and implemented.

Dominant turnover theories/models primarily address voluntary turnover, where the employee controls their decision to stay or leave (6-7). However, these theories appear to have peaked in explaining the variance in predictors of turnover (8). My thesis research will be ground breaking work for at least two reasons. First, I will test the Proximal Withdrawal States Theory (PWST) by Hom et al. (8) which to my knowledge remains untested in the nursing population. The PSWT reimagines turnover theory by simultaneously exploring leavers/intent to leave and stayers/intent to stay. PWST also identifies four types of leavers (enthusiastic, reluctant) and stayers (enthusiastic, reluctant) based on their preference for leaving or staying and their perceived control to do so. The PWST, then simultaneously attends to voluntary and involuntary turnover. My work will extend the body of turnover literature. Second, my thesis research will begin to address critical gaps by providing the needed empirical support on which feasible, context specific retention interventions may be developed and implemented in The Bahamas.


Learning to lead: A multiple case study exploration of leadership skills development and use by dietitians
     Researcher: Billie Jane Hermosura
     Education: Doctoral Student

     Institution: University of Ottawa, Faculty of Education, Health Professions Education
Summary of Work: 
Billie Jane Hermosura is a registered dietitian and adult educator. Her research focuses on competency-based education, in particular leadership development in the health professions.
The Emergence of Birth Centre Aides as a Novel Maternity Support Role in Ontario Freestanding Birth Centres: A Community-Based Institutional Ethnography of Gendered Healthcare Work
      Researcher: Yvonne James
      Education: Feminist and Gender Studies, PHD
      Institution: University of Ottawa, Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies 
Summary of Work: 

Yvonne’s doctoral research project explores the introduction of Birth Centre Aides (BCAs) in Ontario Freestanding Birth Centres. Her research examines how the introduction of FSBCs and the inclusion of BCAs in Ontario can illuminate healthcare workers’ experiences of the sociological processes that construct professional and paraprofessional work.


How early-career female physicians experience workplace mental health and leaves of absence in Ontario 
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       Researcher: Mara Mihailescu
       Education: Masters (MSc) of Health Systems Student
       Institution: University of Ottawa, Telfer School of Management
Summary of Work: 
Mara Mihailescu is an MSc Health Systems candidate in the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. She is supervised by Dr. Ivy Bourgeault and working towards her thesis on the mental health and leave of absence experiences of early-career female physicians using qualitative research methods. Her research interests are the mental health of the health workforce, women in medicine, and medical training and culture.