Victoria Smye, PhD

Victoria Smye

Director and Associate Professor

Room 3301A, FNB
519 661-2111 x86986


  • PhD (University of British Columbia)
  • MHSc (McMaster)
  • BA (Brock)
  • Nursing Diploma (Hamilton Civic Hospitals School of Nursing)

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)
  • Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia (UBC)

Supervising Graduate Students

  • Yes

Research Interests

  • Inequities in access to mental health and substance use services
  • Indigenous health
  • Women and violence and, in particular, interpersonal and structural violence
  • Critical theoretical perspectives, including exploration and application of the concepts of cultural safety, relational practice, and intersectionality in nursing and health care more broadly

Additional Information

Research Biography

My research makes a contribution to current knowledge that links health inequality to social and structural inequities by shedding light on the processes and practices (including policies) that contribute to health inequality and to those that mitigate their effects and improve health and well-being, in particular in the substantive areas of mental health and addictions, women and violence and Indigenous health.

Recent Publications and Videos


  • Smye, V., Varcoe, C., Browne, A., Dion Stout, M., Josewski, V., Ford-Gilboe,M., & Keith, B. (2020). Violence at the intersections of women’s lives: Indigenous women’s experiences of leaving and/or staying with an abusive partner. Violence Against Women. 1-22.
  • Ross, C.A., Berry, N.S., Jakubec, S., Smye, V. & Goldner, E.M. (2020). The Business of Managing Nurses’ Substance-Use Problems, Nursing Inquiry. 27.
  • Varcoe, C., Ford-Gilboe, M., Browne, A., Perrin, N., McKenzie, H., Smye, V., Innyallie, J., Khan, K. & Dion Stout, M. (2019). The efficacy of a health promotion intervention for Indigenous women: Reclaiming our spirits, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, DOI: 10.1177/0886260518820818.
  • Davison, K.M., D’Andreamatteo, C., Markham, S., Holloway, C., Marshall, G.L. & Smye V. (2019). Food security in the context of paternal incarceration: Family impact perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Mar, 16(5), E776. Link:
  • Davison, K.M., D'Andreamatteo, C. & Smye, V.L. (2019). Medical nutrition therapy in Canadian federal correctional facilities. BMC Health Services Research, Feb;19(1), 89. Link:
  • Ross, C.A., Berry, N.S., Jakobec, S., Smye, V. Small, W., & Goldner, E.M. (2018). "A "Two-Glass-of-Wine Shift”: Dominant Discourses and the Social Organization of Nurses’ Substance Use." Global Qualitative Research, 5, 1-12. DOI: 10.1177/233339361881065
  • Ford-Gilboe, M., Wathen, N., Varcoe, C., Herbert, C., Jackson, B.E., Lavoie, J., Pauly, B., Perrin, N., Smye, V., Wallace, B., Wong, S. & Browne, A. on behalf of the EQUIP team. (2018). How Equity-Oriented Health Care Impacts Health: Key Mechanisms and Implications for Primary Health Care Practice and Policy. Millbank Quarterly, 1-37. .
  • Browne, A., Varcoe, C., Ford-Gilboe, M., Wathen, N.C., Smye, V., Jackson, B., Wallace, B., Pauly, B., Herbert, C., Wong, S., & Blanchet-Garneau, A. (2018). Disruption as Opportunity: Impacts of an Organizational-level Health Equity Intervention in Primary Care Clinics. Int J Equity Health, 17, 154. 
  • Ross, C.A., Berry, N.S., Smye, V. & Goldner, E.M. (2017). A critical review of knowledge on nurses with problematic substance use: The need to move from individual blame to awareness of structural factors. Nursing Inquiry. e12215.
  • Varcoe, C., Browne, A.J., Ford-Gilboe, M., Dion Stout, M., McKenzie, H., Price, R., Bungay, V., Smye, V. et al. (2017). Reclaiming our spirits: Development and pilot testing of a health promotion intervention for Indigenous women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Research in Nursing and Health. 237-254.
  • Browne AJ, Varcoe C, Lavoie J, et al. (2016). Enhancing health care equity with Indigenous populations: Evidence-based strategies from an ethnographic study. BMC Health Serv Res, 16(1), 544. doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1707-9.
  • Gross P., Efimoff, L., Patrick, L., Josewski, V., Hau, K., Smye, V. & Lambert, S. (2016). The Dudes club: A brotherhood for men’s health. Canadian Family Physician, 62(6), e311-e318.
  • Lindsay, G., Schwind, J., Papaconstantinou, E., Smye, V., & Cross, N. (2016). Autobiographical reflections on what it means to experience disruption. Reflective Practice, 17(5), 583-591, DOI: 10.1080/14623943.2016.1184635.
  • Tang, S., Browne, A. J., Mussell, B., Smye, V., & Rodney, P. (2015). 'Underclassism' and access to healthcare in urban centres. Sociology of Health and Illness. doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.12236.
  • Wong, S., Browne, A. J., Varcoe, C., Lavoie, J., Smye, V., Fridkin, A., . . . Tu, D. (2014). Development of health equity indicators in primary health care organizations using a modified Delphi. PLoS One, 9(12), e114563. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114563.
  • Browne, A. J., Varcoe, C. M., Wong, S. T., Smye, V. L., & Khan, K. B. (2014). Can ethnicity data collected at an organizational level be useful in addressing health and healthcare inequities? Ethnicity and Health, 19(2), 240-254. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2013.814766.


  • Smye, V.L. Theoretical issues in nursing in the 21st century: Nursing theorizing as everyday practice. (in press) (Chapter 7). In L. McCleary & T. McParland (Eds.) Canadian Nursing: Issues and Perspectives, 6th ed. Toronto: Elsevier.
     Wagler, J. & Smye, V.L. (2019). Nursing organizations: Nursing leadership in action (Chapter 6, pp. 93-112). In D. Gregory, C. Raymond Seniuk, L. Patrick & T. Stephen (Eds.). Fundamentals: Perspectives on the Art and Science of Canadian Nursing, 2nd ed. Toronto, Ontario: Wolters Kluwer.
  • Oudshoorn, A. & Smye, V.L. (2019). Substance use: A critical perspective (Chapter 30, pp. 537-556). In L.L. Stamler, L. Yiu, A. Dosani., Etowa, J., & van Daalen-Smith, C., (Eds.). Community Health Nursing: A Canadian Perspective, 5th ed. Toronto Ontario: Pearson.
  • Smye, V. (2019). Mental health assessment (pp. 78-109). In A. J. Browne, J. MacDonald-Jenkins & M. Luctkar-Flude (Eds.), Physical Examination and Health Assessment by C. Jarvis (3rd Canadian Edition). Toronto: Elsevier.
  • Godard, L., Josewski, V., Cory, J., Abi-Jaoude, A., Halinka Malcoe, L. & Smye V. (2017). Disrupting Dominant Discourses: Rethinking services and systems for women with experiences of abuse (pp.413-442). In M. Morrow and L. Halinka Malcoe (Eds.). Critical Inquiries for Social Justice in Mental Health. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.


  • Smye, V., Browne, A., Gross, P., Johnson, R., Littlejohn, D., Mussell, W., Varcoe, C., Josewski, V. & Azak, E. (2016.) A Thousand Words.  Produced by Jeff Topham (filmmaker). Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Role: Principal Investigator, Aboriginal Men’s Health Narratives – Reclaiming our Lives.
  • Smye, V., Browne, A., Gross, P., Johnson, R., Littlejohn, D., Mussell, W., Varcoe, C., Josewski, V. & Azak, E. (2014.) In Their Words (the Dudes Club).  Produced by Lonnie Wright (filmmaker), Three Bridges Films. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Role: Principal Investigator, Aboriginal Men’s Health Narratives – Reclaiming our Lives. Vimeo.
  • Smye, V., Parkes, T., Salmon, A., Lipsky, N., Gloyn, S.& the BCAPOM Board. (2014). We are the Warriors - The Methadone Warriors. Produced by Lonnie Wright, Three Bridges Films. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). DVD for Distribution. Role: Principal Investigator, The Methadone Mess.
  • Smye, V., Browne, A., Dion Stout, M., Varcoe, C., Josewski, V. (2012). From a dark room: Picturing a better world for Aboriginal women experiencing violence. Produced by Lemongrass Media. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). DVD for Distribution. Role: Principal Investigator, Feature Length Snapshots.
  • Smye, V., Mussell, Wm., Adler, T., Hanson, G & White, J. (2010). DVD Supervisor/Consultant, for a Film titled, Glimpses into the Light. Developed for the Cultural Safety Subcommittee, First Nations, Inuit and Métis Advisory Committee, Mental Health Commission of Canada. Produced by Orca Productions. Funded by Interior Health, BC and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.

Research Affiliations

  • ‘iHEAL’, a community-based program designed to meet the needs of women who have left an abusive partner
  • EQUIP, community-based research to examine the impact of the intervention to enhance staff knowledge, attitudes and practices; improve processes of care; shift organizational policies and structures; and improve selected client outcomes
  • Critical Research in Health and Health Inequity (CRiHHI) unit, UBC School of Nursing (Associate)

Teaching Areas

  • Health Policy
  • Critical Cultural Perspectives and Health, Cultural Safety
  • Indigenous Health
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Mental Health
  • Relational Practice


  • Canadian Academy of Nursing (CNA), Fellow (2020)
  • Centenary Medal of Distinction, UBC School of Nursing, Centenary Gala, May 2. “For bringing honour to the School and the Profession of Nursing.” (2019)
  • Nominated, Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), President-Elect. Presented at the Nurses: Driving the Shift to Primary Healthcare, in St. John, NB, at the Biennial CNA conference, June 20-23. (2016)

Professional Activities

  • Board Member, Mood Disorders Society of Canada
  • Board Member, Sal‘i’shan Institute, BC
  • Advisor/Friend, First People’s Wellness Circle, formerly the Native Mental Health Association of Canada
  • Member, Nurses Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI)
  • Chair or Scientific Officer, IAB (Indigenous Peoples’ Health) Peer Review Committee (CIHR)