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Jillian Halladay, Alumni Profile

 Jillian Halladay

More than 4,000 students have graduated from McMaster's nursing programs. Here we meet Jillian Halladay. 


McMaster Degrees:


BScN 2014, MSc 2018, PhD (current) 

Current Position:

I am currently completing my PhD in Health Research Methodology at McMaster focusing on Psychiatric Clinical Epidemiology. My research involves mental health and substance use among youth. I also work on the Child and Youth Inpatient Mental Health Unit and in the Psychiatric Emergency Department at McMaster Children’s Hospital. In addition, I am a part-time instructor in the School of Nursing at McMaster.

What I love about my work:

As a nurse, I work with youth who are in an acute crisis. Through my research, I feel I can help us improve our ability to identify youth who may be struggling, connect them to the care they need, and provide them with effective treatment to prevent crises.

How I got here:

The pivotal moment that jump-started my passion for mental health came during my clinical assignment on an acute psychiatry ward during my undergrad at McMaster. During this assignment, I sought out and interviewed other nurses in various positions within the field of mental health for my learning plan. One of the mental health nurses I had interviewed approached me later and offered me a position as a mental health research assistant to herself and a psychiatrist.

After graduating from the BScN program, I applied to a Master’s in McMaster’s Health Research Methodology program part-time. For the next 3 years, I wore many hats. I worked part time as a mental health nurse at McMaster Children’s hospital. I worked on an intervention research project where I acted as both a nurse and a research assistant for the project. I also started teaching. During this time I also completed my MSc. My MSc gave me the chance to learn and apply quantitative methodological and statistical techniques to research related to youth mental health and substance use using large population data sets.

I recently started the PhD in Health Research Methodology to enhance both my knowledge in the field of youth mental health and addictions and my methodological and analytical skills. I also continue to teach, hoping to instil passion for the pursuit of research and knowledge in the next generation of McMaster nurses. 

Why I chose McMaster BScN:

I picked McMaster for my BScN based on the feel of the campus and departmental environment. When I came to visit McMaster in grade 12, I felt a sense of community. I continue to choose McMaster for my Master’s and PhD due to this sense of community among both the students and professors in addition to McMaster’s strong foundation in evidence-based practice and inquiry.

How my experience at McMaster helped me

McMaster has provided me with countless experiences and opportunities to connect with great people. The people and the sense of community make all the difference!

If you are a graduate of the School of Nursing, we'd love to hear from you and learn about your experiences. Please email spenceg@mcmaster.ca.

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