Dr Sylvane Filice blond hair , blue eyes, glasses, wearing a red jacket

Dr. Sylvane Filice

Associate Professor

Phone Number: 
+1 (807) 343-8733
Office Location: 
SN 1041
Office Hours: 
By appointment please email 
Academic Qualifications: 

PhD ( Public Health Specialization ), Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2014)

MPH ( Nursing Specialization), Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario (2005)

HBScN , Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario (1982)

Date joined Lakehead: 
August 2008
Previous Teaching/Work: 

Who am I 

I am a proud Franco Ontarian from Northern Ontario. I grew up in a small northern and remote community with a strong sense of community involvement and engagement. In that same northern community, I learned at an early age that social determinants of health and social injustices had a major impact on people's lives and health. This brought me to my educational and career trajectory in nursing and public health. I was educated in Thunder Bay for my undergrad and master’s degrees and in Minneapolis for my doctoral degree. I spent 25 years in practice before joining as a Faculty in the School of Nursing at Lakehead University. The majority of my practice was in public health in which I held a variety of roles working as a public health nurse with home visiting new mothers and babies, senior’s health, school programs, injury prevention, healthy living, immunization, communicable disease prevention and program evaluation.

Teaching Philosophy

In every course I teach I have two overarching goals. The first goal is to help students develop an appreciation for community and population health nursing. By integrating and emphasizing evidence-based practice, the population health approach and entry to practice competencies I strive to help students develop a solid foundation in community and population health nursing. For example, the content in my courses are strongly based on standards and competencies with a focus on theories and knowledge based on science. Students’ complete assignments, which not only encourage them to integrate evidence-based practice, but also help them focus on the development of competencies for entry to practice.

My second goal is to support students to be critical thinkers and consumers of knowledge. This approach to teaching is congruent with Lakehead University's  School of Nursing philosophy. I regularly engage students in in-class discussions about “hot topics” ( COVID 19, role of nurses during pandemics) relevant to the course. The student exams and assignments are also structured to encourage critical thinking of course concepts. It is my expectation that knowledge of community and population health nursing and critical thinking will be a foundation for students to become more aware of their roles and responsibilities in society as a whole.

Past and Current Teaching Experience

Prior to joining Lakehead University in 2008, I was able to hone my teaching skills and adapt them to a variety of audiences, my teaching experience in public health spanned every age group and a diversity of topics on health promotion, disease and injury prevention. As a public health nurse, I was invited to deliver presentations related to sexual education for students in the elementary and secondary school levels. I facilitated workshops for elementary schools teachers on allergies and anaphylaxis. I was also invited as guest lecturer at the University and College for discussing sexually transmitted illnesses and prevention. To professionals’ groups I assisted in the development of a curriculum on injury prevention and control and facilitated workshops for police officers, firefighters and other professionals working in injury prevention. I facilitated prenatal classes for  expectant parents to assist them in gaining more knowledge and confidence. For the community at large I would often facilitate presentations on a variety of topics including injury prevention, sexual health and anaphylaxis. 

Since joining Lakehead University, I have taught courses such as nursing research, nursing scholarship, community health nursing, nursing law and ethics and instructed many students in community health nursing clinical practice.

Currently at Lakehead University School of Nursing, I am teaching the following courses:

NURS 2212 Health and Wellness Concepts 1- Focuses on developing student’s understanding across the lifespan as well as the nursing application of this knowledge across the continuum of care. Concepts of primary health care of the individual and family, diversity, health promotion, health protection, and risk reduction, supportive, and palliative care are integrated.

NURS 3036 Community & Population Health Nursing -Expands on knowledge and understanding of primary health care concepts and their application to community health nursing and population health as the nurse works as part of a multidisciplinary/inter-professional team. The emphasis is on the role of the nurse in the community using the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice and the population health promotion framework. Concepts of healthy public policy, social justice, determinants of health, community assessment and development, program planning and evaluation, epidemiology, health education and empowerment are fundamental concepts.

NURS 4503 Relational Practice 10- Assists students to continue to develop knowledge and skills related to some or all of the following client systems: individuals, families, populations and communities. Students integrate and synthesize previously acquired and new nursing and related knowledge, attitudes and skills in carrying out safe and effective nursing practice within the community health care team. This clinical course as moved to online format for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021, expectations of critical thinking, scrutiny and analysis of case studies, synthesis of the research literature, and integration and application of knowledge as it pertains to simulation in community health nursing is expected.

Research Interests: 

Research Program

My research program is situated strongly in two different lenses. One is historical nursing research in Northern Ontario, with lines of inquiry around nursing education, challenges and opportunities for practice in the north and rural areas, the experiences and role of Francophone nurses in Northern Ontario and passing nursing knowledge and traditions on.

Within this research lens I was successful in securing in 2017 two research grants. The first one was the Senate Research Committee Research Development Fund (SRC-RDF) and from the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing (CAHN). This assisted me in conducting two studies the first Nursing Lives of Francophone Nurses in Northern Ontario SRC-RDF funded and the second entitled Nursing Lives of Francophone Community Health Nurses in Rural and Remote Northern Ontario.

Recently in July 2020, I was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight development grant to continue in my historical nursing program for a study entitled Regard en arrière, regard vers l’avenir: une approche herméneutique pour examiner le vécu des infirmiers/ères francophones dans le Nord de l’Ontario.

The second lens of my research came about because of my experience in community health and working with the community health nurses educators’ group at Community Health Nurses of Canada (CHNC) and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) nurse educator interest group is evaluation of teaching methods in a community and /or population health education to meet the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) public health nursing entry to practice competencies.

With CASN community health nurses interest group I participated as a co-investigator in two national studies entitled Awareness and Use of CASN Tools for CHN-PHN Content in Undergraduate Nursing Programs and Public Health Nursing Practitioner Perspectives on Undergraduate Nursing Graduate Readiness for PHN Practice. The results of these studies were presented at two National conferences with CASN and CHNC in 2019 and a manuscript is presently in review.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Filice, S., Spadoni, M., Sevean, P., and Dampier, S. (2020). Historically Informed Nursing in the Time of Reconciliation, Quality Advancement in Nursing Education - Avancées en formation infirmière. 6 (2), Article 2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17483/2368-6669.1196

Ellingson, R. & Filice, S. (2019). A nursing student’s reflections in the office of the coroner. Reflective Practice. doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2019.1651710

Filice, S. & Dampier, S. (2018).Experiential community assessment through PechaKucha. Journal of Nursing Education, 57(9). 566-569.


Association canadienne des écoles de sciences infirmières [ACESI]. Community Health Educators Interest Group. (2020). Lignes directrices de formation infirmière de premier cycle sur les maladies à transmission vectorielle liée à la variabilité climatique. ACESI.

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing [CASN]. Community Health Educators Interest Group. (2020). Guidelines for Undergraduate Nursing Education on Climate-Driven Vector Borne Diseases. CASN.

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN). - Community Health Education Interest Group. (2018). Curricular Guideline for Integrating Community Health in Baccalaureate Programs of Nursing. CASN Online publication.


Current Projects 

Northern Ontario Research Projects 

  • Regard en arrière, regard vers l'avenir: une approche herméneutique pour examiner le vécus des infirmières/ers francophones dans le Nord de l'Ontario - Principal Investigator 
  • Nursing lives of Francophone community health nurses in rural and remote Northern Ontario-Principal Investigator 

National Research Projects

  • Multi site Evaluation of Sentinel City ® Virtual Simulation - Co -Investigator 

International Research Projects 

  • Creating foundations for improving the health of populations with diabetes related wounds : A strategic partnership between Lakehead University and University of Sao Paulo Brazil - Co -Investigator