Find your Doctor of Nursing Supervisor

Information about DN Supervisors

Before you submit an application, DN applicants must have a faculty member agree to supervise your thesis work. This agreement fosters a close link between a student’s thesis project and those of the prospective supervisor, which in turn helps to promote the student’s success in the doctoral program and its timely completion. This matching occurs during the mandatory applicant screening process.

To help identify potential supervisors:

  • Connect with the Director of the Doctoral Programs ( who will suggest potential good matches for you
  • There are many considerations in choosing a supervisor for the DN program that are quite different from choosing a supervisor for the PhD program. Review faculty profiles on our website to become familiar with potential supervisors’ areas of interest by reading a selection of their publications.

After you have found a match through the mandatory applicant screening process and have been approved to submit your application, you will need to have the faculty member sign the DN Supervisor Agreement Form, which is to be submitted with your application package.

The number of faculty members in the position to take on new DN students varies year to year depending upon current supervision load, leaves and sabbatical plans. Junior faculty members, working in collaboration with senior faculty members, from time to time agree to supervise doctoral students.

Connecting with prospective supervisors

The mandatory applicant screening process will determine if and when it will be appropriate to reach out to prospective supervisors. Selecting a supervisor is perhaps the next most important decision you’ll make after deciding to pursue a Doctor of Nursing. Your supervisor is your guide through the program as a whole, and specifically in reaching the milestones that lead to successful completion of a thesis. The investments you both make are huge and the fit must be mutual.

When you engage with faculty at Bloomberg Nursing who are prospective supervisors, they will assess whether or not they are in a position to help you given their interests and constraints/commitments and your skills, strengths and aspirations. You, in turn, will focus on whether or not they are a good fit for you, in terms of their interests and your needs. When requesting a meeting with a potential supervisor you should provide your CV and a short description of your interests. Prepare for meetings with prospective supervisors by reading their work and drafting questions to ask of them. Here are some documents we suggest:

  1. Canadian Association for Graduate Students. Your Future: A Guide for Potential Graduate Students:
    This document is offers guidance in selecting a graduate program and a supervisor, as well as in seeking financial support for graduate study. Pay particular attention to the specific questions you can and should ask of a potential supervisor.

  2. The School of Graduate Studies website also has excellent material for prospective and current students.
    Pay particular attention to Graduate Supervision: Guidelines for StudentsFaculty and Administrators. Like the other guide from the CAGS above, this document contains a helpful list of questions for potential supervisors.

Ideally, you and your supervisor will be interested in the same subject matter and/or population. However, sometimes successful student/supervisor pairings bring together individuals who are not necessarily exact matches on all of these parameters and sometimes matches that are not immediately obvious can turn out to be logical and fruitful. The precise nature of your project usually crystallizes in the first year of doctoral work, as you complete course work, attend seminars, and have discussions with your supervisor and committee. Your applicant statement must provide some early ideas that you have about a possible project.

You and your supervisor will assemble a committee of faculty members to oversee your thesis work. These professors offer additional viewpoints on your work as it evolves and complement your supervisor’s expertise.