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Nursing Research

A global leader in paediatric nursing research, quality, improvement and evaluation

Nursing research at SickKids is working towards several strategic short- and long-term goals, including:

  • Supporting innovative nursing research that aligns with SickKids strategic directions and priorities 
  • Building capacity and growth in nursing research, quality improvement and evaluation through learning, participation, mentorship and partnership 
  • Promoting the integration of nursing research, learning and clinical practice to create a streamlined infrastructure of research and learning at SickKids 
  • Encouraging collaboration with external healthcare institutional and educational partners 
  • Developing new partnerships across institutions and disciplines, as well as with children and their families 
  • Discovering new strategies to understand and integrate new knowledge that improves academic practice and evidence-based care

Hello, my name is Bonnie Stevens and I am the Associate Chief of Nursing Research and a Senior Scientist in the Research Institute at SickKids. The Nursing Research portfolio consists of nurse researchers and research staff within the Collaborative for Professional Practice, the Learning Institute and the Research Institute. Our goal is to be a global leader in paediatric nursing research and we are committed to promoting evidence-based academic practice and innovation. We aim to build research capacity and interact with multi-disciplinary research partners in, and outside of SickKids. We strive to implement new knowledge into practice using innovative knowledge translation and dissemination strategies. We are committed to critical inquiry that spans research program and project evaluation and quality improvement. We invite you to explore this site and to contact us if you are interested in nursing research at SickKids.

Next-generation nursing research at SickKids

The Pediatric Cancer Priority Setting Partnership

The Pediatric Cancer Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) website contains a survey that childhood cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and/or clinicians can fill out. The site also outlines details about the project’s goals and its central steering committee.

Visit PSP website

Partnering for Pain

Dr. Jennifer Stinson is co-lead in the CIHR-funded patient-engagement project called “Partnering for Pain”. The goal was to identify the top patient-oriented research priorities according to the people who stand to benefit most from research findings in their daily lives.

The team engaged more than 250 different Canadians who have lived with paediatric chronic pain, and a consensus was reached on the Top 10 research priorities for paediatric chronic pain in Canada. More information and resources can be found by visiting the Partnering for Pain website. 

Visit Partnering for Pain

Meet MEDi

Meet MEDi: The humanoid robot who comforts children at SickKids.

Introducing ImPaC

The ImPaC Resource is an interactive tool that guides health care professionals through a seven-step process to update their pain practices, with the goal of consistent pain management improvements.

The Stevens Lab research team is currently conducting an RCT to determine effectiveness and implementation of the Resource.

Nurse-led research programs, education and mentorship

Our team includes global leaders in paediatric nursing research that contribute to several areas of the Hospital, including Collaborative for Professional Practice, the Research Institute and the Learning Institute at SickKids. We aim to set the standard in paediatric nursing research. We frequently form partnerships with scientists from other health-care and educational institutions, whose research focuses on children and their families.

Nurse researchers actively engage patients and families to partner on new and ongoing research projects within the department. This helps ensure that research conducted is relevant to important stakeholders. Being a patient or parent partner could involve assisting with designing and developing study interventions, providing patient stories, designing outcome measures, creating educational materials, and presenting the research study results.

Learn more about participating in Clinical Research

Enhancing research across SickKids

Nurse researchers are connected to various programs in the Research Institute, including Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Centre for Global Child Health, and Neurosciences & Mental Health. We’re also vital members of several Centres such as the Pain Centre, Garron Family Cancer Centre, and Labatt Family Heart Centre.

We provide leadership, consultation and collaboration amongst researchers from other disciplines, as well as opportunities for focusing on capacity building of researchers (e.g. Pain in Child Health, which supports the development of new researchers through education and mentoring) and supporting staff (e.g. Clinical Research Investigators Group supports CRNCs and Canada Research Chairs working in research).


Our research capacity is expanding with the work of the following PhD students who are nurses at SickKids.

Carol McNair 

Supervisor: Dr. Anna Taddio

Carol’s PhD study is a before and after mixed methods study evaluating the impact of a parental education program on improving the use of non-pharmacological pain management strategies and parental presence during painful procedures in the NICU. Carol is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in the NICU.

Summer Haddad  

Supervisor: Dr. Robyn Stremler

The ABC Parent Sleep Study is examining sleep for parents of babies born preterm in Canada. The study will examine sleep and factors affecting sleep for parents of babies born preterm during hospitalization and when they go home, and will compare sleep and factors to those reported by parents of babies born healthy at full-term.

Azadeh Assada  

Supervisors: Patricia Trbovich (IBBME @ UofT) and Peter Laussen (IMS @ UofT and Harvard Medical School)

This project focuses on understanding and applying the way clinicians think in the development and design of a clinical decision support application. Applying these techniques to the development and design of artificial intelligence models will aim to integrate them more effectively and efficiently into medicine. Principles of human factors engineering and cognitive processing are key in this study. 

Laura Buckley 

Supervisor: Kim Widger

The aim of the study is to identify which modifiable work environment factors have the greatest impact to burnout in paediatric nurses, and to provide recommendations on actionable improvements for paediatric nurse burnout based on key stakeholder feedback directly from nurses. 

Christina Belza 

Supervisor: Paul Wales

The management and care of children with intestinal failure diagnosed in infancy largely falls on their parents and extended family who provide medical care at home, manage parenteral nutrition, IV medications, fluid imbalances and complicated symptoms, all with very little training or experience.

The burden of stress, health-related quality of life, and sleep is significant and has not been explored. Christina’s research will focus on understanding burnout, development of complications requiring hospitalization, and areas for respite that could be improved. 

Get involved in research at the SickKids iOuch Pain Lab

The Improving Outcomes in Child Health through Technology (iOuch) Lab aims to improve the lives of children and adolescents through the use of innovative information and communication technologies.

If youre interested participating in research with the iOuch Pain Lab, please send an email to

You can also visit the iOuch Pain Lab website for more information on lab research and recent breakthroughs.

Visit the iOuch Pain Lab

Upcoming presentations and events

Click each section below to learn more about our upcoming presentation and events!

Watch for exciting news on a new virtual research internship program in early 2021!

Interested? Contact Lindsay Jibb at

Talks focusing on the research of nurse scientists, their trainees and staff integrated in Research Institute Program rounds – e.g. CHES, Neuroscience & Mental Health, Global Child Health – let us know if you would like to present your work!

Contact us at for details.

A forum for sharing current nursing research developments.

Watch for the next one in 2021!

Keep an eye on SickKids' Learning Institute and Research Institute for news on these opportunities in 2021!

An opportunity for nursing leaders and nurse/ health-care clinician scientists to meet and determine how to best facilitate academic practice amongst clinical and educational partners.

Watch for dates in early 2021.

Co-ordinated as required.

Contact Bonnie Stevens at if you need a review.

An opportunity to receive expert feedback on your research or quality improvement project from a nurse scientist on an individual basis. 

Expand the section below to view our team's most recent publications.

  1. B. Stevens, J. Yamada, M. Campbell-Yeo, S. Gibbins, D. Harrison, K. Dionne, A. Taddio, C. McNair, A. Willan, M. Ballantyne, K. Widger, S. Sidani, C. Estabrooks, A. Synnes, J. Squires, C. Victor, S. Riahi. (2018). The minimally effective dose of sucrose for procedural pain relief in neonates: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics, 18(1):85. 
  2. B. Stevens, G. Hathway, W. Zempsky. (Eds). Oxford Textbook of Pediatric Pain (2nd ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press. To be published 2020. 
  3. M. Bueno, B. Stevens, MA Barwick, S. Riahi. S-A Li, A. Lanese, A. Willan, A. Synnes, CA. Estabrooks, C. Chambers, D. Harrison, J. Yamada, J. Stinson, M. Campbell-Yeo, M. Noel, S. Gibbins, S. LeMay, W. Isaranuwatchai. A cluster randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the Implementation of Infant Pain Practice Change (ImPaC) Resource to improve pain practices in hospitalized infants: a study protocol. (2019). Trials. 21(1): 16. 
  4. Jibb LA, Khan JS, Seth P, Lalloo C, Mulrooney L, Chee-a-tow A, Nicholson K, Nowak DA, Kaur K, Foster J, Stinson JN. 2020. Electronic data capture versus conventional data collection methods in clinical pain studies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Online ahead of print. 
  5. Jibb LA, Nathan PC, Breakey V, Fernandez C, Johnston DL, Lewis V, McKillop S, Patel S, Sabapathy C, Strahlendorf C, Victor JC, Moretti M, Nguyen C, Hundert A, Cassiani C, El-Khechen Richandi G, Insull H, Hamilton R, Fang G, Kuczynski S, Stinson JN. 2020. The Pain Squad+ smartphone app to support real-time pain management for adolescents with cancer: protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 10: e037251.
  6. Jibb LA, Stacey D, Carley M, Graham I, Jolicoeur L, Kuziemsky C, Ludwig C, Truant T, for the COSTaRS Team. 2019. Research priorities for the pan-Canadian Oncology Symptom Triage and Remote Support (COSTaRS) practice guides: a modified nominal group consensus. Current Oncology. 26(3):173-182.
  7. Birnie KA, Dib K, Ouellette C, Dib MA, Nelson K, Pahtayken D, Baerg K, Chorney J, Forgeron P, Lamontagne C, Noel M, Poulin P, Stinson J. Partnering For Pain: a Priority Setting Partnership to identify patient-oriented research priorities for pediatric chronic pain in Canada. CMAJ open, 2019, 7(4), E654-664. 
  8. Stinson J, Jibb L, Nguyen C, Nathan P, Maloney A, Dupuis L, Gerstle J, Hopyan S, Alman B, Strahlendorf C, Portwine C, Johnston D. Construct validity and reliability of a real-time multidimensional smartphone app to assess pain in children and adolescents with cancer.  Pain, 2015, 156 (12): 2607 - 2615. 
  9. C. McNair, A. Taddio, L. Franck, M. McAllister, L. Burry, B. Stevens, V. Shah, N. Chirinian. (2020). Meta-synthesis of factors influencing parental participation in the provision of comfort measures in the NICU. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing. 49(3): 263-271.

Contact us

Have a question? Send as an email at

If you’re interested in being involved in the nursing research internship program coming in early 2021, contact Lindsay Jibb at

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