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Dr. Nancy A. Sears, RN, BScN, MPA, PhD


In addition to Baccalaureate of Nursing Science and Master’s in Public Administration degrees, both from Queen’s University (Ontario), Dr. Sears holds a PhD in Health Administration, Faculty of Medicine, Department (now Institute) of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation from the University of Toronto (Ontario). Her doctoral studies focused on health service and health system organization and management and her dissertation research focused on harm that individuals receiving health care within the home care sector can experience.

Career Overview

Over the course of her career Dr. Sears has been responsible for the planning and delivery of home care services to a mixed urban and rural population in Ontario, and for health care services in a long-term care facility.  She has led the planning and development of  health care services for a population of over half a million people, again in Ontario and was the conceptual architect of the Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily (SMILE) program, a provincially funded community services program in South Eastern Ontario that is credited by the Local Health Integration Network as being instrumental in reducing alternate levels of care patients in acute hospital care, reducing waiting times in emergency rooms and in the need for home care services across the region. She currently teaches knowledge theory, research theory, leadership and change management to upper year nursing students within the School of Baccalaureate Nursing at St. Lawrence College. For 10 years within her career, Dr. Sears was an elected member of the governing council of the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), the regulatory body for nurses and nursing practice in Ontario. She has served as the chair of the CNO's Discipline Committee, the Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee, the Executive Committee and the Patient relations Committee. In 2015/16 Dr. Sears served as the President of the CNO. Having spent almost one-third of her nursing career as a CNO governor, she has finely tuned expertise in nursing regulation, professionalism and professional accountability.  Dr. Sears’ expertise and research in patient safety in home care is well established. She is a member of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s (CPSI) Home Care Patient Safety Expert Faculty group. In 2017/18 she was a member of the national advisory committee for CPSI and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, contributing materially to the establishment of standards for inclusion of patient safety curriculum within accredited programs for baccalaureate nursing education across Canada.  She has been an invited speaker on home care and community services at numerous regional, provincial and national conferences for over 20 years. Her recent and ongoing research includes patient safety related to nursing education, in the relationship between student performance in nursing undergraduate programs and on the NCLEX-RN entry to practice exam being introduced into Canada in 2015, and to the study of nursing students’ clinical errors. Dr. Sears is a recipient of an ACE (Achievement Commitment Excellence) award from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.


Hroch J, VanDenKerkhof EG, Sawhney M, Sears N, Gedcke-Kerr, L.  2019.   Knowledge and attitudes about pain management among nursing students, Paine Management Nursing, in press

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing and Canadian Patient Safety Institute (2018)   Learning Outcomes for Patient Safety in Undergraduate Nursing Curricula. Ottawa, ON: Author.  Print ISBN 978-0-921847-74-8.  Electronic ISBN 978-0-9212847-75-5 (Sears N, member advisory committee)

Sears N.  2017.  Module 18:  Patient/Client safety in Home Care, in Emanuel LL, Taylor L, Hain A, Combes JR, Hatlie MJ, Karsh B, Lau DT, Shalowitz J, Shaw T, Walton M, eds. The Patient Safety Education Program Canada (PSEP Canada) Curriculum. © PSEP – Canada, 2017

Sears NA, Blais R, Spinks M, Paré M, Baker GR.  Associations between patient factors and adverse events in the home care setting:  A secondary data analysis of two Canadian adverse event studies.  BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Jun 12;17(1):400-406. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2351-8.

Sears NA, Othman M, O’Neil L, Hopman WM. Canadian NCLEX-RN outcomes: A two-year cross-sectional exploratory study in Ontario.  Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. 2017, 7:10. 36-45.

Sears NA.  CPSI Patient Safety Education Program Module 18: Patient / Client Safety in Home Care.  [Internet] Canadian Patient Safety Institute.  Edmonton (AB). 2017 Mar.

VanDenKerkhof EG, Sears N, Edge D, Tregunno D, Ginsburg L. Patient safety in practical nurses' education from the perspective of newly registered Ontario nurses: a cross-sectional survey. Nurse Education Today. 2017:51, 48-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2017.01.003.

Doran D, Blais R, et al. Safety at Home. A Pan-Canadian Home Care Safety Study. Canadian Patient Safety Institute 2013

Sears N, Baker GR, Barnsley J, et al. The incidence of adverse events among home care patients. Int J Qual Health Care 2013; 25:16–2

Blais R, Sears NA, Doran D, et al. Assessing adverse events among home care clients in three Canadian provinces using chart review. BMJ Qual Saf  2013; 22(12): 989–997.

Chafe, R; Sears, NA; Coyte, P.  A review of interventions for improving the management of waiting lists for long-term care facilities, Healthcare Management Forum. 2010bSummer

Grant, J; Sears, NA; Born ,K. Public engagement and the changing face of health system planning. Healthcare Management Forum 2008; 21(4)

Sears, NA. 2002. Design and application of a theory based case/care management model for home care: Advanced practice for nurses as care managers. Journal of Case Management 3(4)