Thompson Rivers University

Donna Murnaghan

Name: Dr. Donna Murnaghan
Position: Dean & Professor
Phone: 250-852-7288


Dr. Donna Murnaghan is the Dean and Professor of Nursing at Thompson Rivers University. She is a member of Deans & Directors of Health Care BC, Nurse Educators Council BC, Canadian Association School of Nursing. Previously she was Director of PEI Health Research Institute, founding member of the National Alliance of Provincial Health Research Organizations, Chair of Board of Health PEI, President of the PEI Division of the Canadian Cancer Society and Board of Directors for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Her interests are in leadership, systems change, nursing education, research and improving the health and well being of the population.

Research Interests

Her area of research expertise is in prevention of chronic disease by working with youth population in areas of tobacco, drugs, alcohol, physical activity, healthy eating and mental fitness. She is Co-PI of the Comprehensive School Health Research Unit since 2007. She was Director of the PEI Health Research Institute from 2003- 2009 where she was responsible for building, supporting and mentoring faculty research.
Her research funding is in excess of $25,000,000 funding from PEI Government, Health Canada, Canadian Institute Health Research, and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer,


She is a Registered Nurse with a completed BN (UNB), MN (Dalhousie), and PhD (University Helsinki, Finland ) in area of Primary Health Care and Quality improvement in Health Care. Dr. Murnaghan has been teaching nursing for over 30 years and brings leadership in theory, practice and research. Her teaching expertise is in areas of nursing theory, leadership, research, advanced nursing practice, chronic disease, population health and primary prevention.


Comte M1, Hobin E, Manske S, Casey C, Griffith J, Leggett C, Veugelers P, Murnaghan D, McGavock J. Is the Provision of Physical Education to Senior Years Students Associated With Greater Physical Activity Levels? Insight into a Province-Wide Policy. J Phys Act Health. 2014 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print] Susan C. Kaai Stephen R. Manske Scott T. Leatherdale ; K. Stephen Brown ; Donna Murnaghan (2014) Are experimental smokers different from their never-smoking classmates? A multilevel analysis of Canadian youth in grade 9 to 12. Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada: 34(2-3):121-131. Murnaghan, D., Laurence, C., Bell, B., and Munro-Bernard, M. (2014). Engaging Canadian youth in conversations: Using knowledge exchange in school-based health promotion. Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement 7; 85-100 Murnaghan, D., Morrison, W., Laurence, C., Bell, B., and Munro-Bernard, M. (2014). Investigating mental fitness and school connectedness in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, Canada. Journal of School Health: 84(7): 444-450. Lillico, H., Hammond, D., Manske, S., Murnaghan, D. (2014). The prevalence of eating behaviors among Canadian youth using cross sectional school bases surveys. BMC Public Health 14:323 doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-323 Susan C. Kaai, K. Stephen Brown, Scott T. Leatherdale, Stephen R. Manske, and Donna Murnaghan (2014) We do not smoke but some of us are more susceptible than others: A multi- level analysis of a sample of Canadian youth in grades 9 to 12. Addictive Behavior, 39(9:1329- 1336. doi 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.04.015 Murnaghan, D., Morrison, W., Griffith, E.J., Bell, B.L., Duffley, L.A., McGarry, K., and Manske, S. (2013). Knowledge exchanges systems for youth health and chronic disease prevention: a tri-provincial case study. Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada 33(4): 257-266. Blanchard CM., McSweeney J., Giacomantonio N., Reid, R., Rhodes, R., Spoence J., Murnaghan D., Mc Gannon K. (2014). Distinct Trajectories of light and moderate to vigorous physical activity in heart disease patients: Results from the Activity Correlates afTer cardIac hospitalization (ACTION) trial. Journal of Science and Medicines in Sport17, 72-77. Vanderlee, L. Hammond D., Manske, S., Murnaghan, D. Hanning, R. (2014) Sugar sweetened beverage consumption among a subset of Canadian youth. Journal of School Health, 84(3):168- 176. doi: 10.1111/josh.12139 *Murnaghan D., Blanchard, C., Rodgers, W. La Rosa, J. MacQuarrie, C., MacLellan, D. Gray B. (2010). Predictors of physical activity, healthy eating and being smoke free at school in teens: A theory of planned behaviour approach. Psychology and Health, *Murnaghan, D., Sihvonen, M.; Leatherdale, S.T.; Kekki, P. (2009). School based tobacco control efforts and the smoking behaviour of high school students in Prince Edward Island, Canada: Examining differences. Primary Health Care Research and Development, 10(2), 117- 129. *Blanchard, J.A., & Murnaghan, D.A. (2009). Nursing patients with acute chest pain: Practice guided by the Prince Edward Island conceptual model for nursing. Nurse Education in Practice, 10(1), 48-51. *Murnaghan, D., Sihvonen, M., Leatherdale, S., Kekki, P. (2009). School based tobacco control programming and student smoking behaviour. Chronic Diseases in Canada, 29(4), np. *Murnaghan D., Blanchard, C., Rodgers, W. La Rosa, J. MacQuarrie, C., MacLellan, D. Gray B. (2009). The influence of student level normative, control and behavioral beliefs on staying smoke free: An application of Ajzen's theory of planned behavior. Addiction Research and Theory, 17(5), 469-480. *Murnaghan D., Leatherdale, S., Sihvonen, M., Kekki, P. (2008). A multi-level analysis examining the association between school-based smoking policies and prevention programs and youth smoking behaviour: Evaluating a provincial tobacco control strategy. Health Education Research, 23(6), 1016-1028.

Employment History

2013- Present Dean & Professor, School of Nursing, Thompson Rivers University
1997-2013 Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University Prince Edward Island
2011-2012 Acting Dean, School of Nursing, University Prince Edward Island
2003-2009 Director Programs and Partnerships, PEI Health Research Institute
1992- 1997, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing University Prince Edward Island
1978-1992 Nursing Instructor, School of Nursing PEI School of nursing
1975-1978 Nurse Charlottetown Hospital, Prince Edward Island

Courses Taught

Nursing 611 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing
Nursing 404 Conceptual Models and Nursing Theory
Nursing 402 Advanced Nursing practice
Nursing 401 Nursing and Population Health
Nursing 304 Nursing Research
Nursing 323 Partnerships with Clients and Families Experiencing Chronic Illness
Nursing 203 Health Assessment
Nursing 102 Nursing and Health Care
Nursing 101 The Nature of Nursing

Professional Affiliations

Canadian Nurses Association
Canada Registered Nurses British Columbia
Canadian Association Schools of Nursing
Canadian Patient Safety Institute
Nurse Educators Council British Columbia


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