Dr. Tammy O'Rourke

Assistant Professor

Tammy O'Rourke



  • Nursing Diploma: Sir Sandford Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario (1991)
  • BS/MS: State University of New York (SUNY) @ Buffalo, Buffalo, New York (2000)
  • PhD: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario


  • Primary care
  • Nursing team leadership
  • Nurse Practitioner roles and Practice elements

Clinical Background

Dr. O’Rourke has an extensive background in the development and evaluation of interprofessional primary care/primary health care teams in multiple provinces. She is well known for her leadership and involvement in the development of one of the initial Nurse Practitioner Led Clinics in Ontario. As the Chief Nurse Practitioner at the Belleville Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic she lobbied for funds, leveraged community partnerships and led the implementation of an innovative model of team based primary health care delivery in the province. More recently Dr. O'Rourke co-led the development of a successfully funded academic faculty practice clinic in partnership with Sage here at the University of Alberta. This new clinic is specifically focused on providing primary care in co-location with established seniors social services to a growing population. Dr. O’Rourke has received several invitations to speak nationally and internationally about the leadership role for Nurse Practitioners in team-based health care delivery models.


Dr. O’Rourke’s research focuses understanding and influencing nursing's professional positioning and capacity in community based primary care/primary health care teams. Her work is crucial to the transformation of a sustainable Canadian Health System. Through her research, she aims to have an impact on practice, education, research priorities and community.

Practice: Influence the patient and provider experience through process and structural improvements.

Education: Contribute to eminence in the development and utilization of nursing knowledge and innovative teaching strategies to support nursing students in achieving excellent outcomes.

Research Priorities: Provide leadership in setting the agenda for nursing research in community based primary care/primary health care teams.

Community: Increase citizens' and health professional's understanding of the nursing roles and the capacity the profession has to influence health outcomes as members of primary care/primary health care teams.

Approach to Teaching

Dr. O'Rourke believes that her as a teacher is to facilitate learning that supports students in achieving their vision for a nursing career. Facilitation involves encouraging students to become their best professional self. As a component of this facilitation, her role is to inspire students to new heights. Heights at which they feel confident and comfortable in leading teams and enacting change that will improve patient care. She believes that it is her responsibility to not only educate students on the theoretical and scientific knowledge of nursing, but also to model professional conduct, a caring attitude and team based behaviors that will inform their future work life actions.

Abstracts in Refereed Conference Proceedings

  • Maguire, D., O’Rourke, T., Summach, A. (2019). The Wheels on the Bus: An Innovative Transportation Approach for Seniors. Canadian Geriatric Nurses Association Biennial Conference. Calgary, AB.
  • O’Rourke, T., Summach, A., & MacDonald, K. (2019). Collaborative Community Care for Seniors: Health Services @ Sage. Canadian Geriatric Nurses Association Biennial Conference. Calgary, AB.
  • Stanley, R., O’Rourke, T., & Dahlke, S. (2019). Putting Voice and Value to Senior’s Experiences in Primary Health Care. Canadian Geriatric Nurses Association Biennial Conference. Calgary, AB.
  • Duff, E., O’Rourke, T., & Golonkoff, R. (2019). [Poster] Nurse Practitioner Professional Practice Pattern Surveys: Using Data to Inform Curricular Revisions. NONPF. Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • O’Rourke, T., Summach, A., & MacDonald, K. (2019). An Innovative NP Faculty Academic Practice Clinic: Leveraging Community Partnerships with Social Services and Seniors. NONPF Annual Meeting. Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • Allen, M. & O’Rourke, T. (2019). Comparative Value of HFS and SP in Graduate NP Curriculum Design. WNRCASN Annual Conference, Edmonton, AB.
  • O’Rourke, T. (2019). Quality Community Clinical Placements for Nursing Students: Preparing for the Silver Tsunami. WNRCASN Annual Conference. Edmonton, AB.
  • Stanley, R., O’Rourke, T., & Dalkhe, S. (2018). [Poster]. The Use of Human Centred Design in Putting Voice and Value to Senior’s Experiences in Primary Health Care. Margaret Scott Wright Day. Edmonton, AB.

Recent Presentations

  • O’Rourke, T. (2019). Canadian Nurse Practitioners Workforce Data: Developing a Standardized Tool for Data Collection. CASN online webinar.
  • O’Rourke, T. (2019). Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in Alberta. Stollery NP Community of Practice. Stollery Hospital. Edmonton, AB.
  • O’Rourke, T. & Summach, A. (2019). Collaborative Community Care (C3) for Seniors: Health Services @ Sage. Glenrose Hospital Rounds. Edmonton, AB.
  • O’Rourke, T., MacLennan, S., Prendergast, S. & Hunter, K. (2018). Emerging Trends in NP Practice (Panel Discussion). Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta Annual Conference, Edmonton, Alberta.
  • O’Rourke, T. (October 2017). Nurse Practitioner Practice Patterns in Alberta. Alberta Health Services.
  • O’Rourke, T. (September 2017). Nurse Practitioner Practice Patterns in Alberta. Provincial Nurse Practitioner Advisory Committee.
  • O’Rourke, T. (2016). Leading the Way to the Centre of Care: NP-led Innovations. Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) Annual Conference, Alice Springs, Australia. (Keynote)
  • O’Rourke, T. (2016). Shaping, Sharing and Protecting a Vision for Nurse Practitioners in Australia. ACNP Annual Conference, Alice Springs, Australia. (Closing Speaker)


Book Contributions

  • O’Rourke, T. (2016). Leadership competency by the nurse practitioner. In E. Staples, S. Ray & R. Hannon (Eds). Canadian Perspectives on Advanced practice nursing: Clinical Practice, Research, Leadership, Consultation and Collaboration. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholar’s Press.
  • Armstrong, T. (2010). Case Study 7.2: PHC Service Delivery Reforms in Ontario: NP-led clinics expand access to primary care. Primary Health Care: Chapter 7. Community Health Nursing: A Canadian Perspective (3rd. ed.).

Papers in Refereed Journals

  • Stanley, R., O’Rourke, T., & Dahlke, S. (2019) (under review). Using Design Thinking to Inform Primary Care Services for Older People. The Journal of Gerontological Nursing.
  • Marceau, R., O’Rourke, T., Hunter, K. (2019) (under review). Sustaining Primary Health Care Programs and Services: Nurse Practitioners in Canada. Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice.
  • O’Rourke, T., Kirk, J., Golonkoff, R., & Duff, E. (2019). (in press). A Survey of Nurse Practitioner Controlled Drugs and Substances Prescribing in Three Western Provinces. Journal of Clinical Nursing.
  • Rothe, D., Schick-Makaroff, K., Clark, A., Cox-Kennett, N., O’Rourke, T., Pituskin, E. (2019) (under review). “Just seeing the progress has made me feel better”: Patient Perceptions of Cardiac Rehabilitation Following Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. The Patient: Patient-Centred Outcomes Research.
  • Ritchie, V., O’Rourke, T., & Stahlke, S. (2018). Nurse Practitioners’ Experiences of Moral Distress in the Continuing Care Setting. The Journal of Nurse Practitioners, 14(10), 745-752.
  • O’Rourke, T., Summach, A., & McDonald, K. (2018). Reshaping Primary Care for Older Adults. Alberta RN, 74(2), 30.
  • Thananowan, N., Kaesornsamut, P., O’Rourke, T., & Hegadoren, K. (2018). How Thai Women Manage Living in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
  • O’Rourke, T. (2017). Oral contraceptives do not appear to present long-term cancer harms and may event provide protection against some cancers. (Invited commentary). Evidence-Based Nursing, 21:21.

Technical Reports

  • O’Rourke, T. (2018). Practice Analysis: Nurse Practitioners in Alberta. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Duff, E., O’Rourke, T., Verville, F., & Bruce, J. (2018). Practice Analysis: Nurse Practitioners in Saskatchewan. SaskPolytechnic, Regina, Saskatchewan.
  • Alberta Health. (2016). 2016 Backgrounder: Comprehensive Jurisdictional Review of NP Practice, Compensation Programs and Innovation. Edmonton, Alberta: Alberta Health.
  • Alberta Health. (2016). Alberta Health Nurse Practitioner Strategy: A Plan for Sustainable Integration. Edmonton, Alberta: Alberta Health.
  • RNAO. (2013). Primary Solutions for Primary Care. Maximizing and Expanding the Role of the Primary Care Nurse in Ontario. Toronto, Ont:Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.
  • Cragg, B., Armstrong, T., Bawden, M., Hunt, C., Krog, K., Lankshear, S. (2005). RNAO Educator’s Resource. Integration of Best Practice Guidelines. Toronto, Ont: Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.