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Faculty Member

Kathryn A. Nichol PhD, MHSc, BScN

Email Address(es)
k.nichol(at), knichol(at)
Office Address
VHA Home HealthCare 30 Soudan Avenue Toronto, ON M4S 1V6
Epidemiology Division
Occupational & Environmental Health Division
Assistant Professor
SGS Status
Associate Member
Appointment Status
Status Only

Research Interests

healthy work environments; occupational health and safety; occupational skin disease, contact dermatitis; infection prevention and control; acute care hospitals; nurses; personal protective equipment; respiratory protection; facial protective equipment; communicable respiratory illness; adherence to safe work behaviours; barriers and facilitators of adherent behaviours; workplace violence prevention; sharps injury prevention; joint health and safety committee functioning and effectiveness; workplace safety culture; interactions between worker health and patient safety in healthcare; home care


2010 PhD Medical Science, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto

1996 MHSc Occupational and Environmental Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

1989 BScN Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto

2020 San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Certificate, Provincial Health Services Authority BC

2018 Beyond Engagement Leadership Training Certificate – Juice Inc., Toronto

2016 Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Certificate – Governance Centre for Excellence, Toronto

2013 Rotman Executive Leadership Certificate, University of Toronto

Other Affiliations

Associate Member, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

Investigator, Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease

Member, Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease Advisory Committee

Chair, The Institute for Education Research Advisory Committee, The Michener Institute of Education at UHN

Member, Ontario Health Toronto Region Pandemic Planning and Preparedness Table

Expert Panel Member, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Care Transitions Best Practice Guideline 2022

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

Instructor – CHL 5904F Perspectives in Health and Safety, MPH Occupational and Environmental Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Professional Summary & Appointments

Vice President Quality, Best Practice, Research and Education and Chief Nursing Executive, VHA Home HealthCare, Toronto

Honours & Awards

2012 GEM Award, Ontario Ministry of Labour

2009 Doctoral Thesis Completion Grant, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

2009 University of Toronto Open Fellowship Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

2008 University of Toronto Open Fellowship Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

2007 University of Toronto, IMS Academic Development Award, Best Poster – Alan Wu Poster Competition

2006 University of Toronto Open Fellowship Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

2005 University of Toronto Open Fellowship Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Current Grants

2021 – 2023      Nichol K, Holness DL, Giosa J, Holubiec I, McKay S, King E. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Research Grants Program $221,500 – New home health care worker safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic (application under review).

2020 – 2021    Nichol K, Holness DL, McKay S, King E, Zagrodney K. Centre for Research in Occupational Disease $20,000 – Factors influencing Facial Protective Equipment use by Home Care Workers during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.

2019 – 2021    Nichol K, Holness DL, Copes R. WSIB Grants Program $123,550 – Occupational Hand Dermatitis in Healthcare – Development and evaluation of an online learning and self-screening program.

2019 – 2021    Shaw J, Anderson G, Baker R, Bhatia S, Bhattachayyar O, Feng P, Gordon D, McKay S, Nichol K, O’Campo P, PItzul K, Pomedli S, Lockert S, Adams J, McGanhan A. CIHR Transitions in Care Evaluation Grant $198,000 – Service Design for Integrated Care: A Developmental Evaluation of the Neighbourhood Care Team Model in Toronto, Ontario.

2019 – 2020    McGilton K, Sidani S, Wodchis W, Puts M, Bronskill S, McKay S, McElhaney J, Robertson M, Kohn M, Lashley K, Burr E, Keatings M, Nichol K, Watts L, Babineau J. CIHR Transitions in Care Best and Wise Practices Grant $96,000 – Transitional Care Programs: Advancing Our Understanding of What Works.

2019 – 2020    McKay S, Nichol K, Younus A, Jaffar N. Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation SPARK Program $48,500 – Staying Connected: Using Technology to Support Healthy Community Living for Persons Living with Dementia.

2018 – 2021    Shaw J, Bhatia RS, Martin D, McKay S, Nichol K, Anderson G, Bhattacharyya O, McGahan A and Baker R. Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network $950,000 – Promoting Innovation in Home and Community Care (PIHCC): A Research Program.

2018 – 2020    Nichol K, Holness DL, Garritano E, Dunn D. Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease $10,000 – Testing the JHSC Assessment eTool in the Construction Sector.

2018 – 2020    Nichol K, McKay SM, Holness DL, Edwards B, Morgan D, Ruco A. Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) Safety Grant – $20,000 – Preventing Workplace Violence in Home Care – Implementing the Spot It, Prevent It Program for Managing Clients with Responsive Behaviours.


McGilton K, Vellani S, Krassikova A, Robertson S, Irwin C, Cumal A, Bethell J, Bronskill S, Burr E, Keatings M, McKay S, Nichol K, Puts M, Singh A, Wodchis W, Sidani S. Understanding transitional care programs for older adults who experience delayed discharge: A Scoping Review. BMC Health Services Research (under review).

Nichol K, Ruco A, Holness DL. Construction Sector Joint Health and Safety Committees: Can their effectiveness be assessed using the JHSC Assessment eTool? Work (under review).

Ruco A, Nichol K, Morassaei S, Bola R, Di Prospero L. Supporting discovery and inquiry: A Canadian hospital’s approach to building research and innovation capacity in point-of-care health professionals. Quality Management in Health Care (in press).

Plummer C, Smith KA, Chandler J, Ash P, McMillan S, Di Prospero L, Morassaei S, Nichol K. Building capacity in health professionals to conduct quality improvement: Evaluation and insights from a collaborative inter-organizational pilot program.  J Nurs Care Qual. 2020 Oct 19. doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000520. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33079817.

McGilton K, Vellani S, Babineau J, Bethell J, Bronskill S, Keatings M, McElhaney J, McKay S, Nichol K, Omar A, Puts M, Singh A, Wodchis W, Sidani S. Understanding Transitional Care Programs for older adults who experience delayed discharge: A Scoping Review Protocol – BMJ Open 2019; 9:e032149.

Nichol K, Copes R, Kersey K, Eriksson J, Holness DL. Screening for Hand Dermatitis in Healthcare Workers: Comparing Workplace Screening with Dermatologist Photo Screening – Contact Dermatitis 2019 Jan 25.

Nichol K, Kudla I, Young V, Eriksson J, Budd D, Holness DL. Testing the Joint Health and Safety Committee Assessment Tool in the Education Sector – Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health  2019 Apr 16.

Nichol K, McKay SM, Ruco A, Holness DL. Testing the hand dermatitis screening tool in the home healthcare sector – Home Healthcare Management and Practice. First published June 4, 2018.

Ku R, Nichol K, Holness DL. Mild hand dermatitis: Identification and management practices. Journal of the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association, Spring/Summer 2018.

Nichol K, Holness DL, Kudla I, Robson L, Hon C-Y, Eriksson, J. The Development and Testing of a Tool to Assess Joint Health and Safety Committee Functioning and Effectiveness. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2017; 60: 368-376.

Nichol K, Eriksson J, Kersey K, Copes R, Spielmann S and Holness DL. Workplace Screening for Hand Dermatitis: A Pilot Study. Occupational Medicine, 2016; 66: 46–49.

Ruco A, Nichol K. Patient engagement in research and innovation: A new framework. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 2016 Dec; 47(4): 290-293.

Holness L, Hayes L, Nichol K, Kudla I, Nincic V. Joint health and safety committees – what is their impact in the acute care hospital? WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, 2016 Feb 15; 53(4):763-773.

Nichol K, Kersey K, Copes R, Kendall A, Eriksson J, and Holness DL. Dermatitis Screening Practices within Toronto Hospitals. Journal of the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association, 2015 Fall/Winter; 34(2): 3-6.

Chambers A, Mustard C, Holness DL, Nichol K, Breslin C. Barriers to the adoption of safety-engineered needles following a regulatory standard: Lessons learned from three acute care hospitals. Healthcare Policy, 2015 August; 11(1): 90-101.

Rozenbojm MD, Nichol K, Speilmann S, Holness DL. Hospital unit safety climate: Relationship with nurses adherence to recommended use of facial protective equipment. American Journal of Infection Control, 2015 Feb; 43(2): 115-120.

Kuster SP, Coleman BL, Raboud J, McNeil S, De Serres G, Gubbay J, Hatcette T, Katz KC, Loeb M, Low D, Mazzulli T, Simor A, McGeer AJ, Working Adult Influenza Cohort Study Group. Risk factors for influenza among health care workers during 2009 pandemic. Emerg Infect Dis, 2013 Apr; 19(4): 606-15.

Chambers A, Mustard C, Breslin C, Holness DL and Nichol K. Evaluating the implementation of health and safety innovations under a regulatory context: A collective case study of Ontario’s safer needle regulation. Implementation Science, 2013 Jan 22; 8: 9.

Nichol K, Bigelow P, O’Brien-Pallas L, McGeer A, Scott J and Holness DL. BEHIND THE MASK: Determinants of nurse’s adherence to facial protective equipment. Am J Infect Control 2013 Jan; 41(1):8-13.

Kubrak O, Arrandale V, Chenard A, Nichol K. Health and safety in high school shops. Journal of the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association 2013; 32(2):33-9.

Boucher P, Sikorski J and Nichol K. Establishing a culture of safety: Safeguarding employees, clients, and the public. Qmentum Quarterly 2009;1(3):14-18.

Nichol K, Kudla I, Manno M, McCaskell L, Sikorski J and Holness L. Form and function of joint health and safety committees in acute care hospitals. Healthcare Quarterly 2009;12(2):86-93.

Nichol K, Bigelow P, O’Brien-Pallas L, McGeer A, Manno M and Holness DL. The individual, environmental and organizational factors that influence nurses’ use of facial protection to prevent occupational transmission of communicable respiratory illness in acute care hospitals. Am J Infect Control 2008;36(7):481-7.

Nichol K and Holness DL, Occupational health and safety programs in Ontario hospitals, Journal of Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 1998;13(4):229-32.