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Dr Debra Bournes

Debra A. Bournes, RN, PhD
Chief Nursing Executive and Vice President, Clinical Programs, The Ottawa Hospital, Regional Vice President, Ontario Health, Cancer Care Ontario

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Dr. Debra Bournes is the Chief Nursing Executive and Vice-President of Clinical Programs at The Ottawa Hospital. She provides professional leadership to nurses and other regulated health professionals across the organization, as well as operational leadership for the Mental Health, Obstetrics / Gynecology and Newborn Care Programs.

Prior to starting at The Ottawa Hospital in October 2014, Dr. Bournes was Ontario’s Provincial Chief Nursing Officer at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She has also recently served as the Director of Nursing New Knowledge and Innovation at University Health Network in Toronto, as Assistant Professor at York University, and in cross-appointments at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bournes earned her Bachelor and Master of Nursing degrees at the University of Toronto, and her doctorate at Loyola University Chicago.

Dr. Bournes has had a leadership role in health-care research, education, and administration for more than 20 years. Her work in nursing theory-guided practice and research, health-services research, and leadership has been widely presented and published. It has also sparked international interest and led to collaborations among provincial health-care organizations and nursing unions interested in the recruitment and retention of nurses. Her work has been cited as a promising practice by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, and named a national best practice by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation.

Dr. Bournes is known nationally and internationally for leading and providing consultation in areas such as patient and family-centred care, academic practice and professional development for health professionals, health human resource analysis, strategic planning in nursing, and quality workplace / quality patient care indicator dashboards for health-care leaders.

In 2008, Dr. Bournes received the University of Toronto, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing Award of Distinction and the Ontario Hospital Association Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership. In 2009, she received the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s Leadership Award for Nursing Research for her work on developing a research culture among health professionals.

Last updated on: April 12th, 2021