Donna Wilson is an RN. Although she has worked in other provinces and other countries, Alberta is her home. She is proud of the hard-working decent people of Alberta and what they have achieved. She is a very typical Albertan.
Donna chose to be a nurse to help people. She graduated with honors from the Royal Alexandra Hospital School of Nursing, was in the top 4% of students in her Masters in Nursing program, and an honors student in her PhD program. These programs were taken to advance her ability to help people, with her studies focused on management and on aging as it was obvious long ago that our population is aging and good managers are needed for proactive and effective leadership.
Donna was born at the Royal Alex Hospital in Edmonton as a kindly farmer drove her parents in there after rescuing them from a roadside snowdrift in the middle of the night. Before buying a farm near Ponoka to raise four children there, her Dad was an oil rig tool push. She learned to drive a tractor at the age of eight.
Donna has worked for 25 years at the University of Alberta, and through years of hard exacting work, been promoted to Full Professor, the top rank there. She has over 200 published articles and many books and book chapters to her credit. Until recently, she also worked part-time as a nurse at the University Hospital to keep current and to fulfil her aim to help people. While having the honor of teaching Alberta’s young people, she has done many research studies. Her studies have shown how dangerous health care privatization is and how people of all ages need timely, accessible, high quality health care. She has been politically active since 1993 when the Alberta Government’s funding cutbacks permanently closed 50% of the hospital beds in the province and they started many costly failed experiments such as regionalization and having people with no background in health care running the health care system. Her research has exposed many myths and pointed out what changes are needed.
Over the years, Donna has held many leadership and management positions. She has managed hospitals and nursing homes. She has sat on many committees and community service boards. She was president of the U of A’s Academic Staff Association when the Government of Alberta unexpectedly cut 7% from their grant to Universities, Colleges, and Technical Schools. She does not think it right that the children of Albertans are left behind as nurses, doctors, and others are imported over investing in our own young people. As a typical fed-up Albertan, she would like to lead in the fight against bad government policy.