Dr. Carolyn Byrne began her academic career in the School of Nursing at McMaster in 1981. During her time at McMaster, she taught in the undergraduate and graduate-nursing programs, chaired the Undergraduate Nursing Program, received the Presidents Award for Educational Leadership, and was a nurse consultant in Mental Health Nursing Hamilton Wentworth Public Heath Unit.
In 2002, Dr. Byrne moved to the then new University of Ontario Institute of Technology [UOIT] as Founding Dean of Health Science. While there, she established undergraduate programs in Nursing, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Health Sciences, Kinesiology and a graduate program in Health Sciences. Dr. Byrne is Professor Emeritus at UOIT.
In 2010, Dr. Byrne became the Dean and CEO of the University of Calgary's Nursing branch campus in Doha, Qatar. While there, she established key linkages with health care partners and government in Qatar. She increased enrollment for 60 students to over 300 in two years, and boosted research productivity to over $2,000,000 in the same time.
In 2014 Dr. Byrne returned to McMaster as the Associate Dean and Director of the School of Nursing. She retired from McMaster in 2017.
Dr. Byrne's clinical background is in community mental health both with adults and children.