Josephine B. Etowa
Josephine B. Etowa
Full Professor

RGN 1118K
613-562-5800 ext. 7671


Dr Josephine B. Etowa is an Full Professor at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing. Dr Etowa completed her BSc. N and MN degrees from Dalhousie University and her PhD in Nursing at the University of Calgary. She completed a Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) Post-Doctoral Fellowship focusing on diversity within Canadian nursing at the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa. Her research program which is grounded in over twenty-three years of clinical practice is in the area of inequity in health and health care as well as maternal-newborn health. Her research projects have been funded by international, national, provincial and local agencies and these projects are guided by the tenets of qualitative research and participatory action research (PAR). In an effort to explicate the complexities of the social realities often embedded in nursing research, she also uses mixed research methods including integration of both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Her employment history spans across international boundaries and as a registered nurse (RN), a midwife, a lactation consultant, a researcher and an educator, Dr Etowa has worked in various capacities within the Canadian health care system. Prior to her present appointment she worked as an Associate Professor of Nursing at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Health Professions. She holds an honorary appointment with the IWK Health Centre, Halifax Nova Scotia.

  • Loyer-DaSilva Research Chair in Public Health Nursing

Research interests

  • Inequities in Health and Health care
  • Diversity in Nursing
  • Women's Health
  • Qualitative Research; Critical theory; Participatory action research (PAR) approaches.


  • McGibbon, E.& Etowa, J. (2009). Anti-racist health practice. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Inc. (CSPI).
  • Etowa, J , Bernard, W., Clow, B. & Adongo, L. (in press). Racism and its impact on the health of African Canadians women in rural and remote communities. LaVeist-ICHAD Book
  • Etowa, J., Weins, J., Bernard, W. & Clow, B. (in Press). Defining health: Perspectives of African Canadian women living in remote and rural communities. Book chapter In B. D. Leipert , B. Leach & W. E. Thurston (eds.), Rural Women’s Health in Canada.
  • Etowa, J. & McGibbon, E. (in Press). Racism as a Determinant of Health: In E. McGibbon (Ed). Oppression as a determinant of health. Halifax: Fenwick Publishing. Book Chapter
  • Etowa, J. (2011). Diversity issues in long-term care. In A. Silversides, Long Term care in Canada, Chapter 6, pp.48- 53.: Ottawa-CNFU
  • Edwards, N.C., Etowa, J., Peterson, W & Kennedy, M. (2011). Community Health Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. In L. Stamler & L. Yiu (Eds.) Community Health Nursing: A Canadian Perspective (3rd Ed). Chapter 14,  Toronto: Pearson-Prentice Hall
  • Etowa, J., Jesty, C., Vukic, A., Weins, J., *Blacklaw, M., Matthews, V. & MacDougall, A. (2010). Understanding the cultural context of health care: Insights from Aboriginal nurses. Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program (AAHRP): Community-Based Research Publication: Halifax
  • Edwards, N.C., Etowa, J.,& Kennedy, M. (2007) Community Health Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. In L. Stamler & L. Yiu (Eds.) Community Health Nursing: A Canadian Perspective (2nd Ed). Chapter 13, Pp. 212-226. Toronto: Pearson-Prentice Hall
  • Whitty-Rogers, J.,Etowa, J.& Evans, J.(2006)Entrance into the womb: Becoming an Aboriginal mother. In J. C. Lavell, D. & M. Lavell-Harvard (eds.), Until our hearts are on the ground: Aboriginal mothering, oppression, resistance and rebirth. Toronto: Demeter Press, a division of the Centre for Research on Mothering, York University.
  • Etowa J.,Keddy, B. & Acton, J. (2006). Attitudes and feelings: Cultural experiences of menopauseChapter 1in H. StephensonOur Bodies Ourselves Menopause Book (pp.3-17). New York: Touchstone Books, Simon & Schuster.
  • Richter, S.; Mill, J.; Muller, R.;  Kahwa, E.; Etowa, J.; Dawkins, P.; Hepburn, C. (in press). “Nurses engagement in AIDS policy development" to International Nursing Review.
  • Premji, S. & Etowa, J. (in press). ‘Workforce utilization of visible and linguistic minorities in Canadian nursing  to Journal of Nursing Management
  • Vukic, A., Jesty, C.; Matthews, V., & Etowa, J. (2012). "Understanding race and  racism in nursing: Insights from Aboriginal nurses, International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN) Nursing Journal volume 2012, article ID: 196437, Doi5402/2012/196437
  • Etowa, J (2012). Becoming a mother: The meaning of childbirth for African Canadian women. Contemporary Nurse Journal 41(1), 28-40.
  • Etowa, J. (2012) Black women’s perceptions of supportive care during childbirth. International Journal of Childbirth Education 27(1), 27-32.
  • Beagan B.L, Etowa J, & Bernard W.T. (2012). With God in our lives he gives us the strength to carry on? African Nova Scotian women, spirituality and racism-related stress. Journal of Mental Health, Religion & Culture 15(2):  103-120. doi: 10.1080/13674676.2011.560145
  • Etowa, J.  Price, S. & Debs-Ivall, S. (2011). Strengthening the ethno-cultural diversity of the nursing workforce in Canada.International Journal of Arts and Sciences 4(26), 75-87.
  • Etowa, J. , Jesty, C. & Vukic, A. (2011). Indigenous Nurses’ Stories: Perspectives on the cultural context of health care for Aboriginal peoples. The Canadian Journal of Native Studies XXXI, (2), 29-46
  • Etowa, J. Matthews, V., Vukic, A. & Jesty, C. (2011). Uncovering Aboriginal Nursing Knowledge through Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Indigenous Policy Journal XXII (1), 1-16
  • Vukic, A., Gregory, D. Martin-Misener, R. Etowa, J. (2011). Aboriginal and Western conceptions  of mental  health and illness.Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Indigenous and Aboriginal Community Health. 9(1), 65-85.
  • Beagan B.L &  Etowa J,B. (2011). The Meanings and Functions of Occupations Related to Spirituality for African Nova Scotian Women. Journal of Occupational Science 18(3), 277-290
  • Etowa, J, Weerasinghe, S, & Eghan, F. (2010). Maternal Health Care Challenges within African Immigrant Communities.Journal of US-China Public Administration 7 (5), 30-40 (Serial No. 55).
  • Maddalena, V., Thomas-Bernard, W., Etowa, J., Davis-Murdoch, S., Smith, D & Marsh-Jarvis, P. (2010) Cancer Care Experiences and the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Home Remedies at End-of-Life in Nova Scotia’s Black Communities. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 21(2), 114-122
  • Etowa, J. & Keddy, B. (2009) Racism in Health Care: Experiences of Childbearing women of African descent. International Journal of Diversity in Organization, Communities and Nations, 9 (2), 17-34.
  • Etowa, J., Sethi, S. & Thompson, R. (2009) The Substantive Theory of surviving on the Margin of a Profession. Nursing Science Quarterly, 22 (2) , 174-181.
  • Beagan, B. & Etowa, J. (2009). The impact of everyday racism and the daily occupations of African Nova Scotia women. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(4), 285-293.
  • MacDonald, B. & Etowa, J. (2009) Registered Nurses describe their Experiences of being involved in Malpractice Litigation. Risk Management in Canadian Health Care,11(3),33-47
  • Whitty-Rogers, J., Evans, J., & Etowa, J. (2009) Bridging the Gaps: Reducing Barriers Mi’kmaq Women and Families during Childbirth.  Journal of Association for Research on Mothering11(1), 122-135
  • McGibbon, E., Etowa, J. & McPherson, J. (2008). Healthcare access as a social determinant of health. Canadian Nurse 104 (7), 22-27
  • McGibbon, E., McPherson, C., & Etowa, J. (2007).  The social determinants of health: Bringing advocacy to a health and public policy level. Nursing in Focus, 8(2), 17-19.
  • Etowa, J. & Adongo, L. (2007) Cultural Competence: Beyond Culturally Sensitive Care for Childbearing Black Women. Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 9 (2), 73-85
  • Etowa, J. (2007) Negotiating the Boundaries of Difference in the Professional Lives of Black Nurses. The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations, 7 (3), 214-226.
  • Etowa, J., Keddy, B., Egbeyemi, J. & Eghan, F. (2007) Depression: “The Invisible Grey Fog” Influencing the Midlife Health of African Canadian Women. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 16, 203-213.
  • Etowa, J., Thomas-Bernard, W., Clow, B. & Oyinsan, B. (2007) Participatory Action Research (PAR):  An approach for improving Black women’s health in rural and remote Communities.  International Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 18, (6), 349-357.
  • Etowa, J., Weins, J., Thomas-Bernard, W. & Clow, B. (2007) Determinants of Black women’s health in rural and remote communities. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research. 30 (3), 56-76.
  • Etowa, J., Thompson, R. & Sethi, S. (2006). The worklife experiences of African Canadian nurses. Abstract published in the Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library.
  • Etowa, J. (2006). Fostering healthy work environments for minority nurses in Nova Scotia. Nursing in Focus, 7(2), 15-18.
  • Etowa, J., Foster, S., Vukic, A., Wittstock, L., & Youden, S. (2005) Recruitment and retention of minority students: Diversity in nursing education. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 2(1), Article 13, 1-12.
  • Evans, J., Butler, L., Etowa, J., Crawley, I., Rayson, D. & Bell, D. (2005) Gendered and Cultural relations: Exploring African Nova Scotians perceptions and experiences of breast and prostate cancer. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal. 19 (3), 255-271.