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Margaret Harrison

Emerita Professor of Nursing

Contact Info
RN, PhD (McMaster)

Graduate student supervision

Dr. Margaret Harrison is a Professor Emeritus and is not accepting graduate students. 



As an academic nurse, my research, practice, and teaching are inextricably linked and my teaching philosophy is guided by this reality. Nursing is a practice discipline that encompasses empirical and experiential learning. It is the study of human health and illness processes and as such, is a relational practice and science. Nursing is dynamic since health care knowledge is continually being generated. It is also situational to individual patients and their environments. Excellent nurses engage in life-long learning and most nursing knowledge only begins in the classroom. As a teacher, my approach is to engage learners in a reflective and evidence-based approach to learning. The intent is to provide tools for the essential proactive, life-long learning required within our discipline. The pedagogy encompasses the tenets of adult learning, where, as mentor, the role is to understand the goal the learner is striving to reach, and then to guide the journey. My philosophy stems from my first experiences as teacher where, in professional practice departments, I served as a mentor with registered nurses and other practitioners. The thrust of my educational endeavours has been to apply the knowledge from available research and evidence to clinical practice, and to facilitate the uptake of knowledge by clinicians, students and patients. As an educator and researcher, my goal is to understand, develop and promote methods to achieve this with clinicians and student clinicians so that they, in turn, may assist patients to achieve the best possible health outcomes through 'best' practice.



My research covers a spectrum of complex populations, including chronic wounds, stroke, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. The research program with complex health populations has a dual focus: continuity of care and evidence-based practice. Complex populations are groups characterized by multiple health challenges with one or more chronic conditions often requiring care in more than one health sector. The constellation of complexity, along with the number and type sector and condition transitions, puts these individuals at high risk for discontinuity. Care continuity involves 3 major inter-sectoral components, namely care activities, linkages and the balance of caregiving between individuals/families and professional providers. Evidence-based practice is an area of knowledge translation and currently a key health services focus. My research has been aimed at advancing and operationalizing this concept in health care settings, with a particular focus on nursing practice. Themes of continuity and knowledge translation are intertwined. Knowledge translation at the point of care directs care processes to ensure consistency based on 'best' practice. Organization of clinical care, along with a supporting health service delivery model based on evidence, is ultimately an intervention for continuity. It drives reorganization by providing a common script for "what ought to be done". This research has been supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). At the international level, I collaborate with investigators at York University and Thames Valley University in the UK, the Joanna Briggs Institute (AUS), the Cochrane Wounds Group, and am a founding member of the Nursing International Collaboration for Evidence-based Implementation and Research of Guidelines (NICEBIRG) and the ADAPTE Group.



Knowledge Translation in Nursing and Healthcare: A Roadmap to Evidence-informed Practice by Margaret B. Harrison and Ian D. Graham (March, 2021 release)

Knowledge Translation in Nursing and Healthcare provides authoritative guidance on the implementation of evidence-informed practice, covering issue identification and clarification, solution building and implementation, evaluation, and sustainment. Integrating theory, empirical research, and experiential knowledge, this hands-on resource assists nurses and healthcare practitioners in collecting quality evidence, transforming it into a useable, customized recommendation, and then applying best practice in various point-of-care settings.

Written by highly experienced implementation researchers working with practitioners, the book demonstrates how the synthesis and translation of evidence supports improvement of existing care and service delivery models, and produces increased benefit for both patients and health services. Examples drawn from the authors' first-hand experience—such as pressure injury prevention in acute care, transition of care for people with heart failure, and community leg ulcer care—illustrate the use of best practice in addressing care and quality issues. This important reference and guide:

  • Outlines a planning framework that activates research and evidence in practice settings, moving knowledge into action and sustaining the use of best practice
  • Introduces the framework that enables effective evidence-informed methodology and decision-making
  • Features numerous illustrative field examples of both successful and unsuccessful implementations in a variety of practical situations
  • Offers perspectives on best practice implementation from experienced practitioners and researchers

Knowledge Translation in Nursing and Healthcare is a must-have for those wanting to implement, evaluate, and sustain best practice in the delivery of evidence-informed healthcare to patients, families, and communities.

For other publications, please click here .