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Shelley Canning

Shelley Canning, RN, MSN, BSc, PhD (c)

Associate Professor, Nursing (BSN) Program

Faculty of Health Sciences

, CEP A2433

Phone: 604-792-0025 Ext. 2503

email Shelley


I am an Associate Professor in Nursing at the University of the Fraser Valley and a member of UFV’s Centre for Education and Research on Ageing. I am also a doctoral candidate in the School of Nursing at UBC where my dissertation research explores issues of engagement, meaning, and quality of life for older adults with advanced dementia. My BSN (hons) and MSN were also obtained from UBC and prior to this, I completed a BSc and secondary school teaching certificate at the University of Victoria. My nursing practice background includes palliative oncology and community health. I have been a faculty member at UFV for the past ten years primarily teaching gerontology content. Additionally,I have been involved in a variety of departmental and institutional committees including membership on Senate and the Senate Research Committee. My teaching philosophy is geared towards developing professionalism and supporting best practice with a focus on care of older persons, as well as integrating an understanding of the importance of research in driving evidence informed practice.


BSc - Microbiology & Biochemistry, University of Victoria
PDP - Secondary Teaching Certificate, University of Victoria
BSN - (hons), University of British Columbia
MSN - University of British Columbia
PhD - Candidate Nursing, University of British Columbia


College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
Canadian Gerontological Nurses Association
British Columbia Gerontological Nurses Association
Canadian Association of Gerontology
Gerontological Association of America
BC History of Nursing Society
Sigma Theta Tau – Xi Eta Chapter

Teaching Philosophy

I believe the foundational concepts and content in nursing are well suited to discussion-based lectures. I use discussion-based lecture to introduce theoretical and empirical knowledge, and story-telling to engage students and provide clinical context. Once the foundation and context is established, case scenarios allow students to apply the content and concepts through engaging in discussion, sharing their own narratives, and exploring perspectives and understandings. Creating teacher/learner relationships based on trust,respect, and a context of safety is critical for engaging students, supporting their learning and success.

Teaching Interests

  • Person-centred care
  • Ageing and dementia
  • Nursing professionalism

Research Interests

  • Ageing & ageism
  • Dementia & personhood
  • Visual data gathering and management
  • Qualitative methods

Research Grants

  • CIHR Travel Award 
  • UFV Faculty of Health Sciences Research Grant 
  • UBC Hampton Endowment Research Fund 
  • SSHRC Aid for Small Universities Grant 
  • UFV Faculty of Professional Studies Research Initiative Fund


Canning, S. (2016). Understanding the social and emotional engagement of older adults with advanced dementia living in long-term care through their participation in an inter-generational dance programme. Life with Dementia, Norrkoping, Sweden, October.

Canning, S., & Nelmes, J. (2016). Directed study: an old course offering new opportunities. CASN Canadian Nursing Education Conference, Toronto, May.

Phinney, A., Canning, S., & Hung. L. (2015). Making art for making place: support for persons with dementia living in a transitional care setting. Claiming Full Citizenship Conference, Vancouver, Oct. (poster presentation)

Jessiman, L., & Canning, S. (2015). Ageing, & Dementia: Curbing negative attitudes to increase meaningful connections. British Society of Gerontology, Newcastle, July.

Canning, S., & Jessiman, L. (2015). Dementia and difference: challenging conversations and connections. University of the Fraser Valley Social Work Conference, Abbotsford, April.

Phinney, A., Canning, S., Hung, L., Wilson, M., & McKenzie, L. (2015). In-between places: exploring the role of visual art for older people in transitional care. Canadian Association of Ageing, Calgary, October.

Phinney, A., & Canning, S. (2013). Embodied experience in dementia: a review of emerging research methods. Canadian Association of Gerontology, Halifax, October. (poster presentation)

Canning, S., Gaetz, M., Blakeborough, D., & Kwidzinski, L. (2013). The impact of participating in an intergenerational dance therapy program on elders in residential care and school children participants. Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Research Conference, Vancouver, June.

Canning, S., Gaetz, M., & Sim, A. (2012) The effects of strength and balance training on cognitive and physical functioning in elderly residential care patients. Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Research Conference, Toronto, May. (poster presentation)

Community Engagement

  • "Imagine" inter-generational dance programme
  • UFV Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA)
  • UBC Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia (CRPD)
  • Abbotsford "Age Friendly" committee

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