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Donna Murnaghan

Nursing Keynote Speaker - Donna Murnaghan

Title: Challenges or Opportunities for Quality and Improvement in Health Care? International Perspective on Nursing and Health Professional Education

Donna Murnaghan

Thompson Rivers University, Canada


Dr. Murnaghan, is Dean & Professor of Nursing at Thompson Rivers University.   She has a PhD from University of Helsinki, Finland in Primary Health Care and Quality Improvement in Heath Care.  Her area of research is primary prevention, youth/school health, and impact of policy on heath outcomes. Dr. Murnaghan has been a Nursing Academic for over 30 years and teaches undergraduate and graduate students.  She is a known expert in curriculum development and has provided consultation and support for creating innovative and robust curricular models that support active learning.

Previously, Dr. Murnaghan was the Director of the PEI Health Research Institute, where she successfully developed, supported and enhanced research capacity across interdisciplinary sectors resulting in a 600% increase in research capacity.In this role she was responsible for advancing and supporting partnerships between health, governments and educational settings in areas of relevance to the health system. Dr. Murnaghan has served as Chair of the Board for Health PEI and implemented Quality Improvement as a targeted measure for success of the Department. She chaired the establishment of a Quality and Safety committee of the Board. Previously Dr. Murnaghan was President of the PEI Cancer Society, was a member of the Board of Directors for the National Cancer Institute of Canada (Research arm of CCS) and currently serves as a Board Member for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

Dr. Murnaghan has received numerous awards and honors. In particular in 2002 she was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for her work in the area of Cancer Control and, in 2013 she received the Commemorative Medal for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in Nursing and Health Care.


Quality Improvement in health care has been a driver for promotion of patient safety. Yet, research shows that harm occurs every day in our health systems, incidents of harm and/or near misses continue to rise at exponential rates, measurable targets for improvements are not being met, and opportunities to implement and test best practice models has been limited even with ongoing education and resource allocations.  Canadian Patient Safety Institute, a leader in developing educational models and tools for curricula in Canada will be used as a benchmark of novel approaches to health care curricula development and implementation. Frameworks/Models, such as the Vincent Framework, used in formal and informal teaching for quality improvement and patient safety will be reviewed. An international analysis of formal and informal educational frameworks used in nursing and health care professional curricula will provide insight into the impact and/or efficacy of quality improvement results and the influence of health system environment.