Geertje Boschma, PhD

Professor and Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs

Dr. Boschma studies nursing and health care history, with special emphasis on mental health and the transition to community mental health in the latter half of the 20th century. She explores the ways nurses, clients and families have experienced changes in mental health care and contributed to them. Her research includes oral history approaches to capture people’s health experience and to examine the social context and complexity of nursing work and knowledge.


View on PubMed

View on Google Scholar

Selected Publications not Indexed in PubMed

Vandenberg, H. & Boschma, G. (2020/21). "The evolution of early hospitals in British Columbia", 1855 – 1918, in: BC Studies, no. 208 (Winter issue): 73-118. [45 pages] DOI: and

Boschma, G. (2021). Book review of Kylie Smith, Talking therapy: Knowledge and power in American psychiatric nursing (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2020). Social History of Medicine, hkab030,

Vandenberg, H; Harrisson, S; Galiana-Sanchez, M. E.; Sironi, C; Wytenbroek, L; La Torre, A; Boschma, G. (2021) “Teaching nursing history through photographs: between realities, cultural constructions and social idealisations,” presented at the 2021 Congress of the International Council of Nurses, Geneve, Nov 2 2021. Video Recording. An educational resource for teaching nursing history. UBC Library, Open Collection: link: , available 2022-03-31. DOI 10.14288/1.0407454

Boschma, Geertje (2020) "“You Had To Just Kind Of Rub Her Cheek”: Memories and Emotions of Mental Deficiency Nurses in Alberta, Canada, 1945 - 1975," Quality Advancement in Nursing Education - Avancées en formation infirmière: Vol. 6: Iss. 2, Article 5. DOI:

Duncan, Susan M.; Scaia, Margaret R.; and Boschma, Geertje (2020) "“100 Years of University Nursing Education”: The Significance of a Baccalaureate Nursing Degree and Its Public Health Origins for Nursing Now," Quality Advancement in Nursing Education - Avancées en formation infirmière: Vol. 6: Iss. 2, Article 8. DOI:

Moody, E., Phinney, A., Boschma, G. & Baumbausch, J. (2020). The Contribution of Documentation Systems to How Nurses Understand Older People’s Cognitive Function in Hospital. Advances in Nursing Science, 43(3), 278-289. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000315

Boschma, G. (2020). Commentary - Educational Resource. “Views and visions on the future of nursing theory” – With several nursing scholars, including from the UBC School of Nursing. Developer: Suzanne Campbell, as part of NURS 511. Video recorded posting on Nursology Blog, by Peggy Chinn, Jan.24, 2020

Boschma, G. & Devane, C. (2019). The art of peer support: Work, health, consumer participation and new forms of citizenship in late twentieth century mental health care in British Columbia (BC), in: BC Studies, no. 202 (Summer issue): 65-98.

Mullally, S., Boschma, G., Davies, M. J. & Phinney, A. (2019). Introduction to the Guest Edited volume “Arts, Crafts and Healing: Understanding Social Citizenship in BC,” BC Studies, 202 (Summer issue), 9-20.

Boschma, G. (2019). Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and nursing practice in the Netherlands, 1940 – 2010. European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics, 1, 17-39. doi: 10.25974/enhe2019-7en

Boschma, G. (2019). Negotiating Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in Dutch psychiatry: Cultural and intraprofessional tension over biological psychiatry, 1950-2010. In: Pierre Pfütsch (Ed.). Marketplace, Power, Prestige: The Healthcare Professions’ Struggle for Recognition, pp. 98 – 136. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

Boschma, G. & Groening, M. (2019). Psychiatric Nursing:  Past to Present. Chapter 1. In: Austin, W., Kunyk, D., Peternelj-Taylor, C. A. & Boyd, M.A. (Eds.)  Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian Practice, 4th edition, revised, pp. 2-17. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Devane, C. & Boschma, G. (2018). Care and Caregiving Reconsidered – A Review Essay. Nursing History Review, 26, 205-213.

“Democracy is a very radical [mental health] idea” - Exhibit at Gallery Gachet, Vancouver BC, as part of the Mad City exhibit (January 12 - February 25 2018). Created by Megan Davies, Marina Morrow, Geertje Boschma, Mary-Ellen Kelm and Susan Heximer.

Boschma, G. (2017). New contexts of care: Work relationships among nurses, patients and volunteers in community-based psychiatry in western Canada, 1970-1990. In: Sylvelyn Hähner-Rombach and Karen Nolte (Eds.). Patients and Social Practice of Psychiatric Nursing in the 19th and 20th Century, pp. 53-70. MedGG-Beiheft 66. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

Smith, K. & Boschma, G. (2017). Towards community-based practice: The changing role of the registered nurse in psychiatry and mental health. In: Lewenson, S, McAllister, A. & Smith, K. (Eds.), Nursing History for Contemporary Role Development, pp. 93-120. New York: Springer Publishing.

Jetha, F., Boschma, G., & Clauson, M. (2016). Professional development needs of novice nursing clinical teachers: A rapid evidence assessment. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 13(1), -1-10p. doi:10.1515/ijnes-2015-0031

“The Mental Patient Association (MPA) - An Utopian Experiment” - After the Asylum Virtual Exhibit: How MPA Reformed Community Mental Health: A Series of Biographical Portraits (August 2016). Created by Megan Davies, Geertje Boschma and Marina Morrow with the MPA Founders Association. On line exhibit as part of History of Madness Productions (History of Madness in Canada website) - available:

Vandenberg, H., Boschma, G., McBain, L., Meijer Drees, L., McCulloch, M. & Gallagher-Cohoon, E. (2016). Guide to Archival Resources for Outpost Nursing and Remote Hospital History in Northwestern Canada, 1880 - 1960. Saskatoon: College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan.

Dyck, E., Davies, M., Baker, L., Beckman, L., Boschma, G., Dooley, C., Kendall, K., LeBlanc, E., Menzies, R., Morrow, M., Purvey, D., St-Amand, N., Thifault, M. C., Whyte, J. &  Willis, V. (2016). After the Asylum in Canada: Surviving De-institutionalisation and Revising History. In: Despo Kritsotaki, Vicky Long and Matthew Smith. (Eds.) Post-War Psychiatry in the Western World. Deinstitutionalisation and After, pp. 75-96. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan

Boschma, G. Roberts, E., Dhari, R., Mahabir, G., Walter; S., & Haney, C. (2015). ‘Nobody ever asked me about my career’: Public health nurses’ oral histories preserved. The Bulletin of the United Kingdom Association for the History of Nursing, 4, 43-51.

Boschma, G. (2015). Beyond the Cuckoo's Nest: Nurses, Electro-Convulsive Therapy and Dutch general hospital psychiatry. In: G. Fealy, C. Hallett & S. Malchau Dietz (eds), Histories of Nursing Practice, pp. 100-122. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Boschma, G. (2015). Conducting oral history research in community mental health nursing. In: M. de Chesnay, Series Editor. Nursing Research Using Historical Methods: Qualitative Research Designs and Methods in Nursing. NY: Springer Publishing, pp. 85-104.

Boschma, G. (2014). International Nursing History: The International Council of Nursing History Collective and Beyond. Nursing History Review [Special section in honor of Joan Lynaugh (Festschrifft)], 22, 114-118

Boschma, G., Davies, M., & Morrow, M. (2014). "Those people known as mental patients..." Professional and patient engagement in community mental health in Vancouver BC in the 1970s, Oral History Forum, 34 (2014). Link:

Liva, S. J., Boschma, G. and Hall, W. (2013). Labour support and high-touch care: A lost art in perinatal nursing? The Bulletin of the United Kingdom Association for the History of Nursing, 2, 23-37.

"The inmates are running the asylum: Stories from the MPA [Mental Patient Association]” - A documentary about the group that transformed Canada's psychiatric landscape. DVD, 36-minutes. Created by the MPA founders’ collective. Producer: Megan Davies, Co-Producer: Marina Morrow, Associate Co-Producer: Geertje Boschma. © History of Madness Productions 2013.

Boschma, G. (2013). Community mental health post-1950: Reconsidering nurses’ and consumers’ identities. In: D’Antonio, P., Fairman, J. & Whelan, J. (Eds.). Routledge Handbook on the Global History of Nursing, pp. 237 -258. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Boschma, G. (2013). A family point of view: Negotiating asylum care in Alberta, 1905-1930. Reprint from the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History with permission (editorial note, p. 251). In: Petermann, L., Lucyk, K., Stahnisch, F. W., and contributors. The proceedings of the 19th annual History of Medicine Days Conference 2010, The University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, Alberta, Canada, pp. 253-278. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Boschma, G. (2013). Geintegreerd of apart? Ervaringen van psychiatrisch verpleegkundigen in de Nederlandse ziekenhuispsychiatrie [Integrated or set apart? The experiences of psychiatric nurses in Dutch general hospital psychiatry]. In: C. aan de Stegge & C. van Tilburg (Eds.) ‘Helpen en niet schaden’.Uit de geschiedenis van verpleegkunde en medische zorg [To help and not to harm: From the history of nursing and medicine], pp. 99 - 122, Cahiers Geschiedenis der Geneeskunde en Gezondheidszorg, nr. 1. (History of Medicine and Health Care Series, no. 1.) Antwerp: Uitgeverij (publisher) Garant.

Choi, R., and G. Boschma. (2011). The emergence of survivor groups in BC: A historical perspective, Vancouver Acute & Community Mental Health Services Newsletter, 1(7), 3-4.

Boschma, G., Haney, C., & Gorrie, M. (2012). Gender, Work, and Identity: Consumer Perspectives on Rehabilitation and Recovery in Mental Health Care, The Bulletin of the UK Association for the History of Nursing, 1(1): 9-20.

Boschma, G., Santiago, L. M, Choy, C., & Ronquillo, C. (2012). Health Worker Migration in Canada: Histories, Geographies, and Ethics. Working Paper (Policy Brief) – WP# 12- 02. Metropolis BC.

Tung, S. M. W., Boschma, G., Phinney, A. (2011). Residential elder care in British Columbia: Policy development and culture change, 1950-2005. Perspectives: The Journal of the Gerontological Nursing Association of Ontario, 34(4), 5-26.

Boschma, G. & Grypma, S. (2010). Guest Editorial. New Scholarship in Nursing History. Canadian Bulletin for Medical History, 27 (1), 61-64

Kanji, Z., Craig, B. J., Boschma, G., Imai, P., Sunell, S. (2010). Dental hygiene baccalaureate degree education in Canada: Motivating influences and experiences. Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene, 44(4), 147-55.

Boschma, G. (2010). Developing Nursing Scholarship and Research: The Innovative Leadership of Margaret Scott Wright, 1946 – 1985, História da Enfermagem: Revista Eletrônica (HERE) [History of Nursing: Electronic Journal (HERE)], 1(1)-article 10 [p.163-181]. Available electronically:

Boschma, G., Groening, M, & Boyd, M. A. (2010). Psychiatric Nursing from Past to Present. Chapter 1. In: Austin, W. & Boyd, M.A. (Eds.)  Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian Practice, 2nd edition, revised, pp.3-18. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens.

Kanji, Z., Craig, B. J., Boschma, G., Imai, P., Sunell, S. (2010). Dental hygiene baccalaureate degree education in Canada: Motivating influences and experiences. Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene, 44(4), 147-55.

Boschma G, Scaia, M., Bonifacio, N., and Roberts, E. (2008). Oral history research. In Sandra B. Lewenson & Eleanor Krohn Herrmann (Eds.), Capturing nursing history: A guide to historical methods in research (pp. 79-98). New York: Springer.

Boschma, G., Grypma, S., & Melchior, F. (2008). Reflections on researcher subjectivity and identity in nursing history. In S.B. Lewenson & E. Krohn-Herrmann (Eds.), Capturing nursing history: A guide to historical methods in research (pp. 99-121). New York: Springer.

Boschma, G., Groening, M. & Boyd, M.A. (2007). Psychiatric Nursing from past to present. Chapter 1. In Austin, W. & Boyd, M.A (Eds.), Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian Practice. (pp. 3-17). Philiadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Boschma, G., Brush, B. & Stuart, M. (2006). The International Council of Nurses. In McIntyre, M.R., Thomlinson, E. & McDonald, C (Eds.), Realities of Canadian Nursing: Professional, Practice & Power Issues. Second Edition. (pp. 117-132). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Boschma G. (2005). Faculty of Nursing on the Move: Nursing at the University of Calgary, 1969-2004. Calgary: University of Calgary.

Boschma, G. (2003). The rise of mental health nursing: A history of psychiatric care in Dutch Asylums. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Boschma, G., Mychajlunow, L. & Yonge, O. (1999). Guide to Archival Resources for Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing History in Alberta. Edmonton: Interpret Design.

Brush, B. L., Lynaugh, J. E., Boschma, G., Rafferty, A. M., Stuart, M. & Tomes, N. J. (1999) Nurses of All Nations: A History of the International Council of Nurses, 1899-1999. Philadelphia: Lippincott/Raven. Peer-reviewed by external experts.

Boschma, G., Mychajlunow, L & Yonge, O. (1999). Searching for Historical Evidence: The History of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing," Partners  in Psychiatric Health Care Journal 2(1), 29-34.

Boschma, G. (1997) “Ambivalence about Nursing’s Expertise: The Role of a Gendered, Holistic Ideology in Nursing, 1890-1990.” Book chapter. In AnneMarie Rafferty, Jane Robinson, and Ruth Elkan (eds.), Nursing History and the Politics of Welfare, p.164-176. London: Routledge.

Boschma, G. (1997).  “Naar een professionele psychiatrie, 1884-1918” [Towards a professional psychiatry]. Book chapter. In Joost Vijselaar (ed.). Gesticht in de Duinen: De geschiedenis van de provinciale psychiatrische ziekenhuizen in Noordholland, 1849-1994, p. 91-121. Hilversum: Verloren.

Boschma, G. (1990) “Ontwikkeling van verpleegkundige theorie” [The development of nursing theory]. Book chapter. In Rob van der Peet, (ed.), Inleiding in de verpleegkunde, p. 302-327, Lochum: De Tijdstroom.

Boschma, G. (1989). Tegenstrijdigheden in Integrerende Verpleegkunde [Contradictions in ‘Integrated Nursing’]. Verpleegkunde 4(1), 4-16.


Supervisor eligibility: 

  • MHLP
  • MN
  • MSN – thesis
  • MSN – non-thesis
  • PhD