Josephine Etowa – Strengthening Leadership in Community Health Nursing and Collaborative Partnerships

In today’s complex dialogues of an ever changing health care system, nursing leaders are being required to think and work across boundaries; both to build collaborative visions and to accomplish those visions together through joint goal setting and active pursuit of those goals. Having stakeholders share commonalities of purpose have been associated with productive environment and positive health outcomes, which rightly serve the common good of Canadians. And there are reasons to believe that collaborative partnerships are effective strategies for promoting health outcomes, especially in community-based efforts. What is equally important to effective collaborative partnership is the leadership necessary to promote and sustain it. This includes leaders who have a passion for change and expertise in politics, policy making and implementation as well as communication.

This keynote lecture examines and discusses various aspects of the kind of leadership needed in community health nursing and effective collaborative partnerships including the processes, activities, and relationships necessary deal with the challenge of collaboration. It uses current research to uncover the conditions that inhibit or hinder collaborative leadership in community health and the characteristics of successful collaborative leaders. The speaker concludes with a discussion of the vital role that community health nurses may play in promoting innovation in community health practice and collaborative leadership. Hosted by the UBC School of Nursing’s 2013 Marion Woodward Lecture.  The Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward’s Foundation has generously supported the annual Marion Woodward Lecture since 1969.


Dr Josephine B. Etowa is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing. Dr Etowa completed her BSc. N and MN degrees from Dalhousie University and her PhD in Nursing at the University of Calgary. She completed a Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) Post-Doctoral Fellowship focusing on diversity within Canadian nursing at the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa. Her research program which is grounded in over twenty-three years of clinical practice is in the area of inequity in health and health care as well as maternal-newborn health. Her research projects have been funded by international, national, provincial and local agencies and these projects are guided by the tenets of qualitative research and participatory action research (PAR). In an effort to explicate the complexities of the social realities often embedded in nursing research, she also uses mixed research methods including integration of both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Select Articles Available at UBC Library

McGibbon, E. A., & Etowa, J. B. (2009). Anti-racist health care practice. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Vukic, A., Jesty, C., Mathews, S. V., & Etowa, J. (2012). Understanding race and racism in nursing: Insights from aboriginal nurses. ISRN Nursing, 2012(4), 1-9. doi:10.5402/2012/196437. [Link]

Etowa, J., Vukic, A., & Jesty, C. (2011). Indigenous nurses’ stories: Perspectives on the cultural context of aboriginal health care work. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 31(2), 29. [Link]

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