Picture of  Phil  Woods

Phil Woods PhD, RPN, RMN Professor

E4206 Health Sciences, Saskatoon


Hi welcome to the College of Nursing. My name is Phil Woods. I am Professor in the College. I have just started a five year term as the Associate Dean Research, Innovation and Global Initiatives where I have responsibilities to provide leadership for research and innovation at the College level, thus ensuring a research intensive environment. My professional background is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. I would like to give you a little background on myself.

I have been a nurse most of my working life. My first experience was as a young 18 year old starting as a nursing assistant (care aide) in a very large mental health hospital in England, UK. There my interest began leading me to where I am today. Once registered as a Mental Health Nurse I spent a short period of time at the same mental health hospital before my interest was sparked towards forensic psychiatry. I moved to work at a large forensic mental health hospital, where as nurses we engaged in the whole care spectrum with individuals who had varying degrees of complex mental health problems and offending histories. I found the work very challenging but rewarding and there I stayed as a staff nurse for over ten years. These initial experiences sparked the way my research developed over the years. Whilst working at this forensic hospital I completed a Diploma in Health Care Research, which to my surprise I enjoyed and not before too long I found myself in my MPhil/Phd program focussing my attention on a very large study involved in developing a risk assessment instrument. I soon found myself in higher education as a researcher and here my academic career had begun. I have never lost my keen interest in ensuring my research is clearly anchored within the clinical practice arena. In 2000 I completed my PhD work entitled "The Behavioural Status Index: Descriptive Studies in a Forensic Context".

In 2005 I moved to Canada to pursue further opportunities. This of course was a time of mixed emotions.

My research and scholarly program over the years has focussed clearly on forensic mental health nursing. My main interests are violence prediction, risk assessment and management, instrument development, and developing practice within forensic mental health nursing specifically but also mental health nursing more generally. I also spent three years as a member of a virtual institute for the study of personality disorders. My career has seen me involved in a number of research projects, mostly using quantitative methodology. Most notably to date I was a co-principal investigator in a large multi-country study funded through the European Fifth Framework Programme.

Currently I am just completing a Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation funded study examining how risk assessment and management in applied within Saskatchewan forensic and mental health units. This has involved interviews and focus groups with nurse managers and nurses throughout the province. Some interesting research questions are emerging which should inform my program of research for some years to come.

My work with students in Canada has been both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I have mainly taught on mental health related aspects within these. I am currently directly supervising one PhD student and involved as a committee member on a number of committees with the Department of Psychology based on my expertise in risk assessment and forensic research

I am always looking for new opportunities so I invite you contact me personally if you think I could collaborate with you in any way in the future. I also invite you to contact me in my Associate Dean role if you need to discuss collaborations at the College level. Thank you for taking the time to visit with me.

Research Interests

  • Forensic mental health care
  • Psychiatric and mental health nursing
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Violence prediction


  • Quantitative
  • Systematic reviews