Lorna Butler


MN (1987)



“I take great satisfaction knowing that there is a person’s life that I have had the privilege to touch as a nurse, a teacher, a scholar or a friend”.

Challenge seeker
Dr. Butler states that her success lies in situating herself with visionary people who challenge the status quo with alternative ways of being. Her career opportunities reflect her ability to push beyond her own comfort level and to be a risk taker in learning to lead.

Graduate leader
At the completion of her Master of Nursing program, Dr. Butler commenced practice as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax. While the role had been implemented prior her assuming the position she was the first CNS with graduate credentials.

Nurse Scientist
In 1995, Dr. Butler completed her PhD at the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto and was subsequently engaged as the first Nurse Scientist at the hospital and was the only nurse on staff with a doctoral degree. Butler joined the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University in 1999.

Focus on research
In 2004, she became a full professor but dedicated one third of her time to research in the Department of Urology at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre. This arrangement led to Butler’s appointment as an assistant professor in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine for inter- disciplinary research and resident training in socio-behavioural research. She also as research interests in: oncology nursing and patients’ communication needs.

Personal philosophy
Dr. Butler describes these career milestones as life altering events. Her philosophy has been to “lead from behind” and she believes that her accomplishments are “not as much about what I have done, but rather, what others have done because of opportunities I have been able to influence.”

She began her current role as Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan in 2007 and was recently reappointed to a second five year term.