Dr. Nancy Clark

Dr. Nancy Clark
Associate Professor
School of Nursing

Accepting PhD Students

Office: A426


Area of expertise

Community-engaged, immigrant & refugee mental health; intersectionality, social justice, equity, ethnography, arts-based methods

I am a community engaged scholar and work with non-government organizations and settlement agencies across BC to support the mental health and well-being of immigrant, refugee ethno- cultural and racialized groups in Canada. As an alumna of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia and Intersections in Mental Health and Addiction Research Training, my research is informed by social justice, intersectionality and equity-oriented health and social policy. My clinical practice area focuses on community mental health and integration of social determinants of health of structurally vulnerable groups, including immigrant women and other groups affected by displacement. I am also an affiliate with the UBC Centre for Migration Studies: https://migration.ubc.ca/people/nancy-clark

My consolidated three pillars of research focus on human rights, immigrant and refugee mental health, social justice, intersectionality

Within the school of Nursing, I serve on the research and scholarship committee the graduate education and PhD committees. At the university, I also serve as a representative of the faculty on the Academic Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity University of Victoria.

Please see my online academic CV


My research is in the field of mental health; I believe that health status is not separable from broader social, economic and political processes. I situate my scholarship within critical theoretical approaches and am interested in indigenous epistemology and standpoint methods. These approaches give voice to dominant narratives, which potentially reinforce inequities in health. In my doctoral work, I conducted extensive ethnographic field research and applied a standpoint feminist approached in knowledge production. Standpoint methods in particular constructs knowledge from the standpoint of women and their everyday lives and experiences. This approach helps build relational approaches to research and can bring women’s voices forward, particularly women that are subjugated from knowledge production.

I am interested in innovative theoretical approaches such as intersectionality which seek to disrupt racism, classism, ableism, sexism and which further perpetuate social exclusion, discrimination and poverty. It is my strong belief that research, which seeks to understand these complex intersections, will promote excellence in mental health policy and practice.


My extensive clinical experiences in the field of mental health and addiction as well as my community development work and advocacy are brought into my teaching forums including curriculum development and classroom interactions. I am particularly committed to scholarship with collaborates with community partners and fosters relationships with various community service organizations by linking these services with education of undergraduate students. For example, I have collaborated with Vancouver’s Downtown Community Court to facilitate students’ participation and knowledge of the social determinants of mental health through student orientation and seminars and participation in the judicial system. As an approach to participatory learning, I feel passionate about creating an emancipatory learning environment that fosters critical dialogue and reflection.


    • Hamilton, C., Dehnadi, M., Snow, M.E., Clark, N., Lui, M., McLean., Mamdani, H., Kooijman, A., Bubber, V., Hoefer, T., Patients as Parteners Team., Li, L.C. (2021). Themes for evaluating the quality of patient and family caregiver engagement in decision-making in healthcare systems: a scoping review. BMJ 11 (10), 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050208

    • Clark, N. (2021). Exploring Syrian Men’s Mental Health and Participation in Labour Employment: A Community Participatory Arts-Based Project. Voices Against Torture-International Journal of Human Rights, 1(2), September 2021, 28-31.

    • Katsistohkwí:io , J. Gallard, M., Mendell, J., Lauscher, D., Schmitz, D., Stewart, M., Worthington, C., Clark, N., Duddy, J., & Pooyak, S. (2021). Making Allyship Work: Allyship Perspectives in a Community-Based Research Study. Journal of Indigenous HIV Research Volume 11, 14-27.

    • Reid, C., Clark, N., Alonso, M., & Landy, A. (2020). The lived experience of recovery: The role of health work in addressing the social determinants of mental health. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health38(4). DOI: 10.7870/cjcmh-2019-018

    • Kassam, S., Marcellus, L., Clark, N., & O’Mahony, J. (2020). Applying intersectionality with constructive grounded theory as an innovative research approach for complex populations: Demonstrating congruency. International Journal of Qualitative Methods,19(1), 1-11.DOI: 10.1177/1609406919898921

    • Glatts, L., Clark, N., Clarke, P. S., & Fukuyama, E. K. (2019). Examining the impact of the NLN structure for critical conversation: Implications for critical dialogue in IPE disaster preparedness simulation. Nursing Education Perspectives.  [Epub ahead of print] 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000617

    • Hamilton, C., Snow, M.E., Clark, N, Gibson, S., Dehnadi, M., Lui, M, Koster., A, McLean., J, Li, L.C. (2019).Quality of patient, family, caregiver and public engagement in decision-making in healthcare systems: a scoping review protocol. BMJ, Open;9:e032788. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032788

    • Clark, N., & Saleh, N. (2019). Applying critical race feminism and intersectionality to narrative inquiry: A point of resistance for Muslim nurses donning hijab. Advances in Nursing Science (ANS), 42(2),156-171. doi:10.1097/ANS.0000000000000267

    • Park, S., Mills, S., Cui, A., Au, D., Clark, N., Davis, C., Flores, G., Fong, M., Hamilton, C., Holms, S., Koehn, C., Koehn, S., & Lacaille, D. (2018). Best practice principles on engaging underserved communities in health research: Review of the literature. Journal of Rheumatology, 45(7), 1023-1023.

    • O’Mahony, J., & Clark, N. (2018). Immigrant women and mental health care: Findings from an environmental scan. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. doi:10.1080/01612840.2018

    • Clark, N. (2018). Exploring community capacity: Karen refugee women’s mental health. International Journal of Human Rights and Health Care, 11(4), 244-256. doi:10.1108/IJHRH-02-2018-0025

    • Mills, S., Pumarino, J., Clark, N., et al. (2014). Understanding how self-management interventions work for disadvantaged populations living with chronic conditions: Protocol for a realist synthesis. BMJ Open, 2014; 4:e005822. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-00582

    • Smith, S., Clark, N., Grabovac, A., Inlakesh, E., & Taylor, D. (2013). Engaging mental health services in spirituality conversations: A spirituality poster and café spirituality. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 32(2), 59-65.

    • Pesut, B., Clark, N., Maxwell, V., & Michalak, E. (2011). Religion and spirituality in the context of bipolar disorder: A literature review. Mental Health, Religion & Culture,14(8), 785-796.doi:10.1080/13674676.2010.523890

    • Grabovac, A., Clark, N., & McKenna, M. (2008, July-August). The interface between spirituality, religion and psychiatry: Pilot course and evaluation of course effectiveness. Acad Psychiatry, 32(4), 332-337. doi:10.1176/appl.ap.32.4.332

    • Chiu, L., Morrow, M., Ganesan, S., & Clark, N. (2005). Choice of South East Asian immigrant women with serious mental illness: A socio-spiritual process. Journal of Transcultural Psychiatry, 42(4), 630-656.

    Books, Chapters, Monographs

    • Hills, M. D., Clark, N., and Carroll, S. (2020). Nurses Leading Change: A Relational Emancipatory Framework for Health and Social Action. In J. I. Waddell, N.A. Walton (EDs.). Yoder-Wise’s Leading and Managing in Canadian Nursing. pp. 333 – 346. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.

    • Clark, N., & O’Mahony, J. (in press). Considering primary health care as a social determinant of refugee health through the lens of social justice and care ethics: Implications for social policy. In B. Sethi, S. Guruge, & R. Csiernik (Eds.), Understanding the refugee experience in the Canadian context. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars.

    • O’Mahony, J., & Clark, N. (in press). Refugee mothers’ perinatal mental health experiences and access to health care. In B. Sethi, S. Guruge, & R. Csiernik. (Eds.), Understanding the refugee experience in the Canadian context. Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars.

    • Clark, N., & Vissandjée, B. (2019). Chapter 28: Exploring intersectionality as a policy tool for gender-based policy analysis: implications for language and health literacy as key determinants of integration. In O. Hankivsky, J. Zachery, & S. Julia (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of intersectionality in public policy. The politics of intersectionality. ISBN 978-3-319-98473-5

    • Clark, N., Handlovsky, I., & Sinclair, D. (2015). Chapter 9: Using reflexivity to achieve transdisciplinarity in nursing and social work. In L. Greaves, N. Poole, & E. Boyle (Eds.), Transforming addiction: Gender, trauma, transdisciplinarity (pp.120-136). London: Routledge.

    • Sadler, L., & Clark, N. (2014). Building community capacity to support Karen refugee youth in schools. In M. McCabe & C. Brewer (Eds.), Immigrant and refugee students in Canada (pp.183-201). Edmonton, AB: Brush.

    • Grabovac, A., & Clark, N. (2007). The interface between spirituality, religion and psychiatry. In J. D. Pappas, W. Smythe, & A. Baydala (Eds.), Cultural healing and belief systems (pp. 162-192). Calgary, AB: Detselig.

     Other Publications Media

    • Clark, N.,  July 4, 2020: Nancy Clark and Dan Hiebert appear on the Global Migration Podcast
    Dan Hiebert (Geography / UBC Migration) explores the refugee and settlement experience with Saleem Spindari, Senior Manager of Refugees and Migrant Workers Programs at MOSAIC, one of the largest settlement organizations in Canada, and with Dr. Nancy Clark (School of Nursing at the University of Victoria / UBC Migration). While Dan talks about the wider world of refugee affairs, Saleem and Nancy provide a more ground-up perspective into the sorts of challenges that refugees face, from questions of public health, employment, and education to how COVID-19 is creating further obstacles for those who work in and rely on the settlement sector. Listen to the third episode of the Global Migration Podcast to hear their insights into what could be done to foster greater resilience and success both in the midst of a pandemic, and long thereafter.
    • Clark, N., Kavanagh, S., & Zator, N. (2015). Postpartum well-being for Karen women and families. Produced by Nancy Clark. Funded by Langley Community Services Society.
    Video link:
    Papers, Lectures, Addresses
    Papers in progress:
    • Clark, N. Trauma and violence informed care: A framework for mental health. In E. Goldner, E. Jenkins, & D. Bilsker (Eds.), A concise introduction to mental health in Canada (3rd ed.). Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars Press.


Current Projects
  • Dr. Nancy Clark (PI);Cathy Costigan, UVic Psychology and Dr. Fred Chou, UVic Psychology (CoI’s); Ms. Anita David patient partner and public researcher; Cindy Quan RA, PhDc, Psychology. Planning and Developing a Culturally Safe Framework for engaging immigrant, refugee, ethnocultural patients in mental health research. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, BC SUPPORT Unit for Patient Oriented Research.
  • Dr. Nancy Clark (PI); Jean McRae CEO Inter-Cultural Association Victoria. Building capacity for promoting refugee and newcomer health: a community engagement project. Vancouver Foundation.
  • Dr. Joyce O’Mahony (PI); Dr. Nancy Clark CoI. Using Community Action Research to Support Syrian Refugee Mothers in the Resettlement Period. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development grant.
  • Dr. Davina Banner-Lukaris (PI); Ms. B., Croome, , Dr. S, Mills (UBC, SPPH), Dr. Nancy Clark (UVic) CoI; D. Kandola ; Dr. C. Shimmin (U Manitoba).Patient Engagement Methods Cluster: Diverse Communities Facing Multiple Barriers to Engagement in Patient Oriented Research. BC SUPPORT Unit Patient Engagement Methods Cluster/CIHR.
  • Mills Sue.(CoI), Lacaille, Diane (PI)., Koehn Sharon., Clark, Nancy. (CoI), Davis, Connie., Flores Perez Guillermina. Understanding the barriers to self-management support for underserved populations living with arthritis and co-morbidities and developing patient-derived tools for health care policy and practice. Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology Care (CIORA) Grant-Awareness, Advocacy and Education. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research.