Dr. Esther Sangster-Gormley

Dr. Esther Sangster-Gormley
Associate Professor
School of Nursing


Area of expertise

Primary health care: the role and function of the nurse practitioner in the delivery of primary health care. The acceptance role of the nurse practitioner by patients, physicians and health care administrators, and integration of the role into the health system

I am currently on leave from the School of Nursing in order to assume the role of Associate Dean, Academic for the Faculty of Human and Social Development. As the Associate Dean my role is to engage and support faculty, students and staff to co-create dynamic learning environments where research inspired educational programs prepare graduates to have a vital impact on the university and society. Together, we transform behaviours, attitudes and educational outcomes, especially through our numerous distance degree programs.

I am a member of the UVIC Senate Continuing Studies, the Division of Continuing Studies Health Sciences Program Advisory Committee, and the Associate Dean’s Forum. I am a Co-chair of the College of Registered Nurses' Nurse Practitioner Standards Committee and the Research Universities’ Council of BC representative to the CRNBC’s Nursing Education Program Review Committee.


My research interests include advanced nursing practice roles and how they are initiated and sustained in the healthcare system. These are relatively new roles in Canada and my research seeks to identify how nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists are contributing to the healthcare system, including patients.    

In a study of nurse practitioner role implementation, I found that there is a connectedness between how the role is defined, who is involved, and how well the role is accepted by others. These findings have implication for the implementation of any new role in the health care system.



My philosophy of teaching is based on my respect for students and belief that, as adult learners, students will self-determine how and what they learn in any course. I recognize that students have unique learning needs and, as such, I try to honour their diversity and address their learning needs individually. I believe that a partnership exists between me and the students I teach. In this partnership I attempt to expose them to a variety of learning resources while challenging them to question and think critically about these sources of knowledge.

My role as teacher is one of facilitator/mentor as I work with students to help them recognize opportunities for learning in the courses I teach. My approach to teaching continues to evolve as my knowledge of learning and teaching in a virtual environment increases.


A partial list of my publications include:

  • Carter, N., Sangster-Gormley, E., Ploeg, J., Martin-Misener, R., Donald, F., Wickson-Griffiths, A., Kaasalainen, S., McCainey, C., Brazil, K., Taniguchi, A., Schindel Martin, L. (2016). “An Assessment of How Nurse Practitioners Create Access to Primary Care in Canadian Residential Long-Term Care Settings” Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 29(2), 45-63

  • Contandriopoulos, D., Brousselle, A., Breton, M., Sangster-Gormley, E., Dubois, C., Kilpatrick, K., … Perroux, M. (2016). Nurse practitioners, canaries in the mine of primary care reform. Health Policy. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2016.03.015.

  • Sangster-Gormley, E. Nurse Practitioner Sensitive Outcomes: A Summary Report. (2016) (updated) College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS). http://crnns.ca/supporting-your-practice/publications-resources

  • Sangster-Gormley, E. (2015). Prescribing patterns of nurse practitioners in Canada. Canadian Medical Association Journal. Invited commentary. Sept. 21, pii

  • Sangster-Gormley, E., Griffith, J., Schreiber, R., Borycki, E., Feddama, A. & Thompson, J. (2015). Nurse practitioners changing health behaviours: One patient at a time. Findings from a mixed methods study of nurse practitioner integration. Nursing Management, Accepted Aug. 18, 2015. NM1404.

  • Contandriopoulos, D., Brousselle, A., Dubois, C., Perroux, M., Beaulieu, M., I., Brault, Kilpatrick, K., D'Amour, D., & Sansgter-Gormley, E. (2015). A process-based framework to guide Nurse Practitioners integration into primary healthcare teams: results from a logic analysis. BMC Health Services Research, 15:78. DOI: 10.1186/s12913-015-0731-5.

  • Sangster-Gormley, E., Griffin, J., Schreiber, R., & Borycki, E. (2015). Using a multiphase mixed methods design to examine nurse practitioner integration into the healthcare system in British Columbia, Canada. Nurse Researcher, 22(6), 16-21.

  • Martin-Misener, R., Donald, F., Wickson-Griffiths, A., Akhtar-Danesh, N., Ploeg, J., Brazil, K., Kaasalainen, S., McAiney, C., Carter, N., Schindel-Martin, L., Sangster-Gormley, E.,& Taniguchi, A. (2014). A mixed methods study of the work patterns of full-time nurse practitioners in Canadian nursing homes. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(9-10), 1327-1337.

  • Sangster-Gormley, E. (2013). Using Case Study Research Methodology to Explain Nurse Practitioner Role Implementation. Nurse Researcher, 20(4), 6-11.

  • Sangster-Gormley, E., Martin-Misener, R., Downe-Wamboldt, B., and DiCenso, A. (2011). Factors affecting nurse practitioner role implementation in Canadian practice settings: An integrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(6), 1178-1190.

Book Chapters

  • Sangster-Gormley, E. (2016). The sustainability of advanced practice nursing roles in Canada. In E. Staples, S. Ray & R. Hannon (editors). Canadian Perspectives on Advanced Nursing Practice: Clinical Practice, Research, Leadership, Consultation and Collaboration. First Canadian Edition. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press.

  • Sangster-Gormley, E. (2016). Conducting case study research: An exemplar. In M. de Chesnay (Ed.) Qualitative Nursing Research Using Case Study. New York: Springer Publishing Co.


  • McDonald, C. (PI), Fraser, J., Sangster-Gormley, E (Team Member), Duncan, S., Bourque Bearskin, L, Watts, J.  (2017). Addressing rural/remote nursing within Nuu-chah-nulth nations: creating a dialogue between community members, researchers and the research users about how to improve quality and access to care in remote areas. Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Convening & Collaborating Award.

  • Sangster-Gormley, E. Canitz, B., Schreiber, R., Borycki, E., Frisch, N., Kuo, A, Biagioni, K. …Hannah, E. (2015). An Evaluation of the Integration of Nurse Practitioners into the British Columbia Healthcare System. Final Report to the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.