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Roberta Heale

Roberta Heale

Full Professor, School of Nursing
School of Nursing
Faculty of Education and Health
9th floor, R.D. Parker Building


NOTE: Dr. Heale is currently not accepting PhD or Masters students for supervison.

Roberta Heale received her BScN from the University of Toronto in 1988. In the following years, she worked in several acute care hospital settings including General Medicine, Neurosurgery, Intensive Care Nursery, Intensive Care Unit and ER. In 1999, Roberta obtained licensure as a primary health care nurse practitioner and began a full-time practice in Sudbury. She completed a Master of Nursing degree from Athabasca University in 2005. In addition, Roberta was a preceptor for many nurse practitioner students and began teaching in the COUPN NP program as well as in the Master of Nursing program at Athabasca University. In 2006, Roberta and her colleague, Marilyn Butcher, were awarded the development of Canada's first NP-Led Clinic. The Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinics are the result. The success of this clinic and the NP-Led Clinic model were such that in 2008 the Ontario Government announced the development of 25 additional clinics in this model by 2012.

Dr. Heale is a Professor at Laurentian University School of Nursing where her teaching focus is in the nurse practitioner and Master of Nursing Science programs. She completed a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 2012 and a PhD in Rural and Northern Health from Laurentian University in 2018. Dr. Heale's research is focused on NP education, practice and health policy and she regularly publishes and presents evidence around the world. She is an avid mentor to both NP, MScN and PhD students and encourages their professional growth.

Dr. Heale's commitment to her profession is evident in continued research related to the NP role and practice as an NP. She is active at the local, provincial, national and international levels in NP organizations. She has had a lead role in the development of a national NP conference and two regional NP conferences.  She is the founder of Nurse Practitioner Global Initaitives and leads a team in the development of an international NP conference on Jan 24, 2020 

Dr. Heale continues to strive for excellence in her NP practice, in teaching and in research.  


  • PhD Rural and Northern Health
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Nursing
  • Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Academic Appointments


On The Web



1. NOAMA Grant:  I was co-primary lead on research that included obtaining data from Health Sciences North related to emergency department (ED) and Crisis visits of those with borderline personality disorder in 2016.  Data were analyzed and the research group has drafted an article that we’ll be submitting for publication within the next month. This dataset will be used by my PhD student, Stacey Roles, for her thesis work.

2. a) BORN (Better Outcomes Registry and Network) dataset: BORN is an organization that collects data from every birth in Ontario that can be used for research. I applied for a dataset with a MScN student, Tiana Briglio, that I currently supervise. The data is of all vaginal births in 2015-2016; a total of 246,900 cases. We analyzed the data to answer Tiana’s research question about the risk factors for operative vaginal birth for women in Ontario. Tiana is in the final stages of writing her thesis.

b) BORN dataset will be analyzed for a different secondary analysis by one of my other MScN students.  Nicole Lafreniere and I will be exploring the factors impacting the type of pain management for labour and delivery of women in Ontario.

3.ICES Dataset. Collaboration with Kristen Morin, PhD student, her supervisor is Dr. David Marsh from NOSM.  Together, they received a large dataset of patients in Ontario (approximately 50,000) who received methadone or suboxone for treatment of opioid addiction. We collaborated with them so that my MScN student, Marisa Bedard, can conduct a secondary analysis on this data for her thesis.  She’ll be comparing the quality of life measures for men and women in the dataset.

4. Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Project:  I am a co-primary investigator with the  Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Association of Ontario to examine the complexity of patients registered to NPLCs.

5. A dataset from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for from Long Term Care facilities in Ontari will be used by one of my MScN students, Abimbola Akomah, for completion of her thesis, the focus of which is the risks of falls in LTC.

6. I am primary investigator for a project to determine the practice patterns of NPs working in different models of primary health care in Ontario, Canada



  • 2008 Nurse of the Year: Sudbury Local of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario 
  • Co-founder and President of the Board of Directors (2007-2011) of The Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinics. Opened for registration August 2007.
  • Primary Health Care System Program Research Fellowship
  • Honorary Lifetime Member of the Nurse Practitioner's Association of Ontario
  • Canadian Nurses Association: One of 150 Nurses honoured during Canada's 150th Birthday 
  • Founder of Nurse Practitioner Global Initaitives


Click on this link to read Roberta Heale's Teaching Philosophy 




Heale, R. (Aug 2003).  Family practice quick review for nurse practitioners.


Heale, R. (2016). Advanced practice nursing from a global perspective. (Chapter 21). In Staples, E., Ray, S. & Hannon, R. A. (Eds.). Canadian Perspectives on Advanced Practice Nursing. (Editors).  Toronto : Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Warren, C., Heale, R., Haugh, E.B., Yiu, L. (2012).  Nursing roles, functions, and practice settings (Ch.3).  In Stamler, L., & Yiu, L, (Eds.).  Community health nursing:  A Canadian perspective (3rd Ed.).  North York:  Pearson Education Canada.


Heale, R. (2018). Use of a Business Improvement Process to Evaluate a Nursing Curriculum and Develop Improvement Strategies.  Ireland International Conference on Education. Dublin, April 23-26, 2018. p. 127. DOI: 10.2053/IICE.2018.0166

Martin, J., Heale, R., Lightfoot, N., Hill, L. (2018). Nursing processes related to unexpected ICU admissions. Diversity of Research in Health Journal, (2) DOI 10.28984/drhj.v2i0.126

Heale, R., Dahrouge, S., Johnston, S. & Tranmer, J. (2018). Characteristics of nurse practitioner practice in family health teams in Ontario, Canada. Policy Politics & Nursing Practice,19(3-4), p 72-81.

Rietze, L., Heale, R., Roles, S. & Hill, L. (2018). Identifying Registered Nurses’ Educational and Supportive Needs to Promote Advance Care Planning.  Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 20(3), 230-236.

Villeneuve, P., Heale, R., Rietze, L., & Carter, L. (2018). Exploring self perceptions of anxiety among nursing students in the clinical setting.  International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 15(1), 20170042, ISSN (Online) 1548-923X, DOI:

Heale, R., Rietze, L., Hill, L., & Roles, S. (2018).  Development of Nurse Practitioner Competencies for Advance Care Planning. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. 20(2), 166-171. DOI: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000425

Heale, R., James, S., & Garceau, M.L. (2018).  Nurse Practitioner’s Perceptions of the Impact of the Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic Model on the Quality of Care of Complex Patients, Primary Health Care Research and Development Journal, doi: 10.1017/S1463423617000913

Heale, R., Wenghofer, E., James, S. & Garceau, M. L. (2017).  The Quality of Care of Patients with Diabetes and Mulitmorbidity Registered at Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, DOI: 10.1177/0844562117744137 (published online first December 2017)


Briglio, J., Heale, R., Beites, Crestina & Donato, E. (2017). Development of Local Guidelines for the Management of Intrahepatic Cholestasis in Pregnancy: A Delphi Study. Diversity of Research in in Health, [S.l.], v. 1, p. 33-43. ISSN 2561-1666.

Cowan, E., Heale, R., Koren, I. & Horrigan, J. (2017). Hydrotherapy as a nursing intervention for labour pain: A literature review. Diversity of Research in in Health, [S.l.], v. 1, p. 121-132, june 2017. ISSN 2561-1666.

Barry, A., Heale, R., Pilon, R. & Lavoie, A. M. (2017). The meaning of home for aging women living alone in North Eastern Ontario. Diversity of Research in in Health, [S.l.], v. 1, p. 70-83. ISSN 2561-1666.

Heale, R. & Fournier, Jennifer. (2017.) Impact of Advanced Access Scheduling on Patient Care Choices and Health Behaviours in a Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic. Diversity of Research in in Health. [S.l.], v. 1, p. 33-43. ISSN 2561-1666.

Barry, A., Heale, R., Pilon, R. & Lavoie, A. M. (2017). The meaning of home for ageing women living alone: An evolutionary concept analysis. Health & Social Care in the Community. July 4, 2017, online DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12470

Rietze, L., Heale, R., Hill, L.& Roles, S. (2016) “Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Ontario-Based Nurse Practitioners’ Advance Care Planning: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study” Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 29(3), 106-119.   doi:10.12927/cjnl.2016.24897

Heale, R., James, S., & Garceau, M. L. (2016). “The Quality of Care for Patients with Multimorbidity at Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics: A Multiple Case Study.”  Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 29(3), p 37-46. doi:10.12927/cjnl.2016.24891

Rochon, A., Heale, R., Parent, M. & Hunt, E. (2015). Teamwork and Patient Care Teams in an Acute Care Hospital. Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 28(2), 28-39. DOI:10.12927/cjnl.2015.24352

Heale, R. & Rieck-Buckley, C. (2015). An international Perspective of Advanced Practice Nursing Regulation. International Nursing Review, 62(63), 421-429. DOI: 10.1111/inr.12193.

Fournier, J., Rainville, A., Ingram, J. & Heale, R. (2015). Impact of Advanced Access Scheduling on Patient Care Choices and Health Behaviours. Healthcare Quarterly, 18(1), 60-64. doi:10.12927/hcq.2015.24241

Heale, R. & Forbes, D. (2013). Understanding triangulation in research. Evid Based Nurs 2013;16:98 doi:10.1136/eb-2013-101494.

Heale, R., Dickieson, P., Carter, L., & Wenghofer, E. (2013).  Nurse practitioners’ perceptions of interprofessional team functioning with implications for nurse managers.  Journal of Nursing Management. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12054.

DiCenso, A., Housden, L., Heale, R., Carter, N., Canitz, B., MacDonald-Rencz, S., & Rieck Buckley, C.  (2013).  Incorporating a health policy practicum in a graduate training program to prepare advanced practice health services researchers.   Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice. doi:10.1177/1527154413484067.

Heale, R. & Pilon, R. (2012).  An exploration of patient satisfaction at a nurse practitioner-led clinic.  Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 25 (3), 43-55.

Heale, R. (2012). Overcoming Barriers to Practice:  A Nurse Practitioner-Led Model.  Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2012.00737.x

Fournier, J., Heale, R. & Rietze, L. (2012). "I can't wait": Advanced access scheduling decreases wait times in primary health care. HealthCare Quarterly, 15(1), 64-68.

Heale, R. & Butcher, M. (2010).  Canada’s first nurse practitioner-led clinic:  A case study in healthcare innovation.  Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 23(3), 18-26.

Heale, R., Gorham, R. & Fournier, J. (2010).  An evaluation of nurse practitioner student experience with online education.  Journal of Distance Education, 24(3), available at

Carter, L.M. & Heale, R. (2010).  Teaching undergraduate nursing courses via teleconference:  All that glitters is not gold.  Journal of Distance Education, 24(2) available at

          Heale, R., Mossey, S., Lafoley, B. & Gorham, R.  (2009). Identification of facilitators and barriers to the role of a mentor in              the clinical setting. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 23(4), 369-379.


          Heale, R. & Griffen, MT.Q. (2009).  Self-efficacy with application to  adolescent smoking cessation: a                   concept analysis.  Journal of advanced nursing, 65(4), 912-918.            


          Lamarche, K., Heale, R. (July/ August 2007). Communicating the safety essentials of oral anticoagulant therapy.  Home            Healthcare Nurse, 25(7), pp. 448-458.

Tisdale, R.  (February 1989). Learning from Mark.  The Canadian nurse l’infirmiere Canadienne. 85(2), 22-23.


Heale, R. and Noble, H. (2019). Integration of a theoretical framework into your research study.  April, 10.1136/ebnurs-2019-103077

Heale, R. (2019). Maternity and postpartum care:  perspectives Evidence Based Nursing April, 10.1136/ebnurs-2019-10306

Heale, R. (2019). Better support and education is imperative to bolster informal at home carers of people with cognitive impairment and reduce incidences of involuntary treatment of older adults in their homes. Evidence Based Nursing, 10.1136/ebnurs-2018-103028

Heale, R. (2018). Communication technology and healthcare. Evidence Based Nursing, online first, Feb 24, 2018. Doi 10.1136/eb-2018-102893

Heale, R. & Twycross, A. (2017).  What is a case study?, Evidence Based Nursing,

Noble, H. & Heale, R. (2017).  Care of the older person.  Evidence Based Nursing, 20(2). 37-39. doi: 10.1136/eb-2017-102637

Heale, R. & Noble, H. (2016). Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care. Perspectives.  Evidence Based Nursing, Online First, Nov 4, 2016. 10.1136/eb-2016-102515

Heale, R. & Shorten, Allison. (2016). Ethical context of nursing research. Research Made Simple. Evidence Based Nursing, Online First, Nov 4, 2016.  10.1136/eb-2016-102514

Heale, R. (2016). Advance care planning in an acute care world.  Evidence Based Nursing;19:33 Published Online First: 15 February 2016 doi:10.1136/eb-2016-102333

          Heale, R. & Twycross, A. (2015). Validity and reliability in quantitative research.  Evidence Based Nursing, 18(3), 66-67.


          Koren, I., Heale, R., Mian, O., Fournier, J., Lamarche, K. & Rukholm, E. (2014).  The     Nurse Practitioner Preparedness for              Practice Study.  Summary Report.  Submitted to COUPN PHC-NP program April 30, 2014.

         Maki, J. & Heale, R. (2013).  Social Marketing Strategies for Chlamydia Prevention:  Findings from Focus Groups with                   Youth and Young Adults.  Summary Report.   


          Heale, R.  (2012).  Invited Commentary: In smokers not willing to quit, counselling on smoking reduction plus free nicotine              replacement therapy, compared with one-off cessation advice, increases the proportion achieving abstinence or reduction           in smoking rate at 6 months. Evidence Based Nursing, 15(1).


          Heale, R. (2011). Towards Seamless Patient Care.  Assessment of Health Systems:  International and Provincial                 Perspective.  Contracted by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Primary Health Care System Program for         $49,500.  Report available at