Members of the Northern Nursing Education Network have been conducting research on pedagogical models, northern clinical practice, and recruitment and retention issues for many years. Below is a list of relevant scholarly articles on northern nursing education and practice, as well as decentralized/distributed learning in rural & remote areas.

Special Issue

There have been about a dozen nursing programs established in the Circumpolar North in the past 25 years, beginning with the decentralized nursing education program at UiT in Tromsø, Norway in 1990; to the distributed learning nursing program launched in northern Saskatchewan in 2012.  Most have a particular mandate to address rural and remote nursing recruitment challenges.  In April 2015, representatives from nursing programs in northern Saskatchewan, northern Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Lapland, Tromsø/Finnmark, and Yakutia gathered in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss the value and potential of establishing a northern nursing network to share best practices and promote distributed/decentralized nursing education in the Circumpolar North.  Two months later, the University of the Arctic officially approved the group as a Thematic Network on Northern Nursing Education. Since then, the Network has welcomed additional members from Greenland, Luleå in Sweden, northern British Columbia and Akureyri, Iceland.

The members of the Northern Nursing Education Network worked with the journal Northern Review to develop a Special Issue on “Nursing Education in the Circumpolar North” in December 2016.   It represents our attempt to comprehensively describe and assess the nature and practice of accessible nursing education in the Circumpolar North.

All of the content is online available at through the Simon Fraser University Library.

Works from NNEN Members

researchpageBerry, Lois, Lorna Butler and Amy Wright. “Transforming the health landscape in northern communities: Shared leadership for innovation in nursing education.” Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 9. 33-43.

Exner-Pirot and Lorna Butler. Healthy Foundations: Nursing’s Role in Building Strong Aboriginal Communities. Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada, 2015

Hounsgaard, L., Jensen, A.B., Præst Wilche, J “The nature of nursing practice in rural and remote areas of Greenland”. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 2013, 72: 20964.

MacKinnon, Karen. “Learning maternity: the experiences of rural nurses.CJNR (Canadian Journal of Nursing Research) 42.1 (2010): 38-55.

MacKinnon, Karen. “Rural nurses’ safeguarding work: Reembodying patient safety.Advances in Nursing Science 34.2 (2011): 119-129.

MacLeod, Martha, Judith Kulig, Norma Stewart et al. The nature of nursing practice in rural and remote Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, 2004.

Møller, Helle. ‘‘Double culturedness’’: the ‘‘capital’’ of Inuit nurses. Int J Circumpolar Health 2013, 72: 21266.

Nilsen, Gudrun, Jeanette Huemer and Liss Eriksen. Bachelor studies for nurses organised in rural contexts: A tool for improving the health care services in circumpolarregion?” Int J Circumpolar Health 2012, 71: 17902.

Norbye, Bente and Mari Wolff Skaalvik. “Decentralized nursing education in NorthernNorway: towards a sustainable recruitment and retention model in rural Arctichealthcare services.” Int J Circumpolar Health. 2013; 72: 10.3402

Skaalvik, Mari Wolff , Margrete Gaski and Bente Norbye. “Decentralized nursing educationin Northern Norway: a basis for continuing education to meet competence needs inrural Arctic healthcare services.Int J Circumpolar Health 2014, 73: 25328.

Stewart, Norma J., et al. “A profile of registered nurses in rural and remote Canada.” CJNR (Canadian Journal of Nursing Research) 37.1 (2005): 122-145.

Watt, Maxine, Lorna Butler, Heather Exner-Pirot and Amy Wright. “Linking Learners For Life Where They Live (L4): Developing a Global Health Initiative for Student Engagement.” J Prof Nurs 0:1-6, 2015.

Zimmer, Lela, Davina Banner, Khaldoun Aldiabat, Gwen Keeler, Amy Klepetar, Heather Ouellette, Erin Wilson, Martha MacLeod. “Nursing education for rural and northern practice in Canada” Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 8. 162-172.

Other Works on Northern, Rural, Remote, and Aboriginal Nursing Care and Education

Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada. (2002). Aboriginal Nursing Educational Needs Assessment. Ottawa: Author.

Battiste, M. (2002). Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy in First Nations education: A literature review with recommendations. INAC, Ottawa, ON. Retrieved March 10th, 2008, from:

Canadian Council on Learning. (2009). The State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A Holistic Approach to Measuring Success. Ottawa: Author.

Camacho Carr, Katherine, Judith T. Fullerton, Richard Severino, M. Kate McHugh. Barriers to Completion of a Nurse-Midwifery Distance Education Program” Journal of Distance Education.Vol. 11, No. 1, 111-131.

Curran, Vernon, Shirley Solberg, Sandra LeFort, Lisa Fleet, and Ann Hollett. (2008). A Responsive Evaluation of an Aboriginal Nursing Education Access Program. Nurse Educator, 33(1), 13-17.

Fahy, Patrick J., Nancy Steel, and Patricia Martin.(2009). Preferences of Residents in Four Northern Alberta Communities Regarding Local Post-Secondary Programming. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3), 1-10.

Gregory, David, and Janine Barsky. (2007). Against the Odds: An Update on Aboriginal Nursing in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing.

Gregory, David, Mary Jane L. McCallum, Karen R. Grant, and Brenda Elias. (2008). The Swampy Cree Tribal Council and Aboriginal Governance: A Case Study of Nursing Education in Northern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 40(2), 132-149.

Gum, L.F. (2007). Studying Nursing in a Rural Setting: Are Students Adequately Supported and Prepared for Rural Practice? A Pilot Study. Rural and Remote Health 7, 628-645.

Katz, Janet R., Gail O’Neal, C. June Strickland, and Dawn Doutrich. (2010). Retention of Native American Nurses Working in their Communities. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 21(4), 393-401.

Larson, Ann, Denese Playford, and Belynda Wheatland. (2010). Does Teaching an Entire Nursing Degree Rurally Have More Workforce Impact Than Rural Placements? Contemporary Nurse, 35(1), 68-76.

Laurence Thompson Strategic Consulting. (2010). Need and Readiness for an LPN Distance Education Program in the North. Saskatoon: Author.

Lecompte, Emily. (2012). Aboriginal Human Health Resources: A Matter of Health. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 8(2), 16-22.

Martin, Donna, and Marilyn Seguire. (2013). Creating a Path for Indigenous Student Success in Baccalaureate Nursing Education. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(4), 205-209.

McMullen and Rohrbach (2003). Distance Education in Remote AboriginalCommunities: Barriers, Learning Styles and Best Practices. Prince George: College of New Caledonia Press. Retrieved October 5, 2005 from

Minore, Bruce, Margaret Boone, Mae Katt, Peggy Kinch, Stephen Birch, and Christopher Mushquash. (2005). The Effects of Nursing Turnover on Continuity of Care in Isolated First Nations Communities. Contemporary Journal of Nursing Research, 37(1), 86-100.

Molzahn A, Macdonald M, Banister E, Sheilds L, Starzomski R, Brown M, Gamroth L, Paskulin LG, Silveira DT. “Challenges and opportunities in graduate nursing education by distributed learning in Canada and Brazil”. Rev Gaúcha Enferm., Porto Alegre (RS) 2009 dez; 30(4): 755-61.

National Aboriginal Health Organization. (2007). National Environmental Scan: Comprehensive Survey of the Aboriginal Health Human Resource Landscape. Ottawa: Author.

Smith, Dawn, Sara Tedford Gold, Seraphina McAlister, and Maureen Sullivan-Bentz. (2011). Aboriginal Recruitment and Retention in Nursing Education: A Review of the Literature. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 8(1), 1-22.

Spence, Nicholas, Jerry White, and Paul Maxim. (2007). Modeling Educational Success of First Nations Students in Canada: Community Level Perspectives. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 39(1-2), 145-167.

Stewart, N.J., J.C. Kulig, K. Penz, M.E. Andrews, S. Houshmand, D.G. Morgan, M.L.P MacLeod, J.R. Pitblado, and C. D’Arcy. (2006). Aboriginal nurses in rural and remote Canada: Results from a national survey. Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan, College of Nursing.

Stewart, Norma J., Carl D’Arcy, J. Roger Pitblado, Debra G. Morgan, Dorothy Forbes, Gail Remus, Barbara Smith, Mary Ellen Andrews, Julie Kosteniuk, Judith C. Kulig, and Martha L.P.Macleod. (2005). A Profile of Registered Nurses in Rural and Remote Canada. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 37(1), 122-145.

Tarlier, Denise S., Annette J. Browne, and Joy Johnson. (2007). The Influence of Geographical and Social Distance on Nursing Practice and Continuity of Care in a Remote First Nations Community. The Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 39(3), 126-148.

Walker, Judith, Dawn DeWitt, Julie Pallant, and Christine Cunningham. (2012). Rural Origins Plus Rural Clinical School Placement is a Significant Predictor of Medical Students’ Intentions to Practice Rurally. Rural and Remote Health, 12, 1908.

West, Roianne, Leeona West, Karen West, and Kim Usher. (2011). Tjirtamai – “To Care For”: A Nursing Education Model Designed to Increase the Number of Aboriginal Nurses in a Rural and Remote Queensland Community. Contemporary Nurse, 37(1), 39-48.