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Sandra Davidson, RN, PhD

Associate Professor, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs


About Me


  • PhD (Leadership Studies), Gonzaga University (2011)
  • MSN (Nurse Educator Track), Gonzaga University (2001)
  • BN, University of Lethbridge (1996)
  • Diploma in Nursing, Lethbridge Community College (1994)


Prior to her current appointment as Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, she served as Dean of Nursing and then Chief Academic Officer for Carrington College based in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Davidson is originally from Lethbridge Alberta, although she lived and worked in the United States from 2005-2013.

Dr. Davidson has also served as the Organizational Development and Clinical Education Specialist for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Goodyear, Arizona. In this position she worked with the Vice-president of Patient Care Services and nursing staff to implement and evaluate an innovative acuity adaptable care delivery model on the inpatient oncology unit.

Sandra has an extensive background in the art and science of healthcare innovation.  She was one of the developers of the Master of Healthcare Innovation degree program (MHI) at Arizona State University's College of Nursing & Health Innovation.  She taught widely within this curriculum and also served as the program's director. The MHI is an interdisciplinary degree that prepares students to design, implement and lead transformation in health care.

Sandra has 15 years of experience as an evidence-based practice mentor and has facilitated workshops and projects with healthcare practitioners aimed at developing their knowledge, skills and ability to become change agents and EBP champions.

She is lead author/editor of the book “Leadership for Evidence-Based Innovation in Nursing and Health Professions” published by Jones & Bartlett (2016).

Dr. Davidson’s clinical practice has focused on Chronic Disease and Gerontology and she has worked in roles such as clinical educator, clinical nurse specialist and clinical education coordinator. In a nutshell, her clinical practice has focused on assisting clients to live well and age well.


Dr. Davidson's research interests and projects include:

Teaching & Learning
Transitions of New Faculty (Faculty Navigator Role)
Game-based Learning
Relational Learning (view the YouTube Channel for the Relational Learning Project and the Relational Learning Project Google+ Page)

Innovation in Healthcare & Education
Innovative Care Delivery Models (e.g., Acuity Adaptable Units)
Social Processes of Innovation in Organizations
Emerging 21st Century Learning Theories

Mindfulness Practices in Nursing Education
Communities of Practice
Appreciative Practices

Leadership & Organizational Development
Leading Healthcare Innovation
Complexity in Organizations
The Organization as “Conversation” (Complex, Relational Perspective)
Power Dynamics in Organizations

Evidence-based Practice
Teaching Evidence-based Practice
Evidence-based Innovation
Evidence-based Education
Practice-based Evidence and the Social Construction of EBP

Modes of Inquiry
Complexity Informed Narrative Inquiry
Social Constructionist Approaches (PAR, Appreciative Inquiry)
Qualitative Systematic Review
Arts-based Inquiry
Qualitative Methods (Generally)


Dr. Davidson has taught nursing and healthcare related subjects throughout the continuum; from certificate and undergraduate levels to the doctoral level.
She is a passionate practitioner of student centered learning.

She has expertise in the use of:
•    context-based learning
•    "flipped" learning
•    online learning
•    game-based learning (mastery learning)
•    simulation
•    relational learning

She also has experience in program and curriculum development, curriculum mapping, program evaluation and faculty development.

Nursing education is her passion and she delights in seeing students achieve their learning goals.