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The McGill Model of Nursing

The McGill Model of Nursing was developed and refined under the guidance of Dr. Moyra Allen. Dr. Allen envisioned nursing as taking a unique, active and complementary role in providing health care. Within the McGill Model of Nursing, nurses engage the person/family to actively participate in learning about health. Over the years, the McGill Model has been developed, refined, tested and implemented in various practice settings and has gained widespread acceptance in Canada and elsewhere as a useful framework for nursing practice.

Origins of the McGill Model of Nursing

Dr Moyra Allen

In the 1960's, a new approach to health care delivery was implemented in Canada: a universal health insurance plan subsidized through public funding (Lalonde, 1974). This health reform created an increased demand for health care services by the public. Many viewed the reform as an opportunity to expand nursing roles and services. The School of Nursing at McGill University, under the leadership of Dr. Moyra Allen, developed and established the complementary role of the nurse in the 1970's. This innovative role recognized the unique contribution nurses bring to the person and its family. Through a series of field experiments entitled The Workshop - A Health Resource -- L'atelier à votre santé, the model was developed. The McGill Model of Nursing, previously known as the Allen Model, the Developmental Health Model and the Strength Model, is a dynamic model that evolves today with the continued efforts of faculty members and students at McGill University.

Dr. Moyra Allen

Dr. Moyra Allen was born in 1921. She obtained her initial nursing education at the Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She went on to obtain a Bachelor of Nursing from McGill University and a Master's degree at Chicago University. In 1954, Dr. Allen joined the McGill University School of Nursing as assistant professor. In 1958, she became associate professor. She obtained her Ph.D. in education from Stanford University in 1967. She then returned to McGill to devote her career to nursing research and education. She was appointed Acting Director of the School of Nursing in 1983. She retired in 1984. She passed away peacefully in Ottawa on May 2, 1996.

Dr. Allen is best known for her futurist perspective on nursing as she sought to transform the nature and the image of the profession. She viewed the nurse's role within the health care system as complementary to, rather than replacement, of other professionals. According to Dr. Allen, the main goal of nursing is to form a partnership with the person/family to foster health. From that conviction, Dr. Allen, along with contributors from the School of Nursing, developed a model best known today as the McGill Model of Nursing.

As the Director of Nursing Research at McGill University School of Nursing, Dr. Allen became the editor of the first scholarly journal of nursing research published in Canada, Nursing Papers, which promoted the distribution of nursing research knowledge.

In 1976, Dr. Allen created and initiated the Master of Science (Applied) Direct Entry program in nursing at McGill University in addition to the traditional MSc(A) program. Presently, this program is well known across Canada for its unique and dynamique entry to nursing. The Master's Direct Entry Program caters to science and arts graduates with no previous nursing education. Students of the Master's Direct Entry program are immersed in nursing during an intensive 10 month qualifying academic year, followed by a two-year graduate program. Over the years, the McGill University health community has recognized this program as preparing highly qualified nurses for practice, research and education. Dr. Allen was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contribution to nursing in Canada and abroad.


World Health Organization

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Dr. Allen is known worldwide for her work with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec

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She has received many awards for her innovations in nursing education and research including l'Insigne du Mérite from the Ordre des infirmières et infirmier du Québec (OIIQ).

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