Debra Sheets


Adjunct Associate Professor
RN-BC, PhD Sth Calif MSN Calif State CNE


Debra Sheets is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, at the University of Victoria. She received her doctorate in Gerontology and Public Policy from the University of Southern California. She is board certified as a gerontological nurse and as a nurse educator. Debra is an elected fellow of the Gerontological Society of America as well as the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau (nursing honor society) and former President of Sigma Phi Omega (SPO), the gerontological honor society.

Debra's research interests focus on gerontology and geriatric nursing – and in particular, evaluation, healthy ageing and nursing education. Currently she is conducting a national evaluation of 14 family and informal caregiver projects for an $8 million dollar initiative sponsored by the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in Maryland, USA. The purpose of the projects is to increase support for family and informal caregivers who assist older adults living in the community. The evaluation will identify the outcomes or effects of the caregiver support programs including whether activities expanded the capacity of communities to address the needs of caregivers, increased access to information and training, and positively impacted caregivers in the community. She is also involved in a three-year evaluation of the Enhanced Seniors Team, an initiative under the Care Continuum Transformation Project (CCT) that the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has launched to provide more effective care for patients in the most appropriate setting. The EST focuses on improving care for frail, at-risk older adults being seen in the Emergency Department (ED by initiating early, goal-directed care planning and evidence-based interventions to prevent cognitive and functional losses associated with acute illness among hospitalized older patients.

In addition to her research, Debra is co-editor of Enduring Questions in Gerontology (Springer, 2006). She has also been recently published in the Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts, International Journal of the Humanities, International Journal of the Arts in Society and Generations. Currently she serves on the editorial boards of The Gerontologist, Gerontology and Geriatrics in Higher Education, Journal of Gerontological Social Work and Home Health Care Services Quarterly.

Since her appointment in the School of Nursing in 2009, she is teaching undergraduate courses in the BSN program that include Nursing Inquiry, Aging and Health and supervised practica. She also teaches a graduate course on Nursing Pedagogy. She currently supervises and serves on several committees with graduate students in Nursing.