Sonya Grypma, PhD, RN joined Trinity Western University in 2007. She has served as Dean and Professor of Nursing at TWU since 2013.
Both a nurse and historian, Sonya started teaching nursing in 1988 and has been a research fellow at the Universities of British Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Her program of research focuses on transnational nursing history, particularly the intersection of Canadian, American and Chinese nursing networks developed through philanthropic, missionary and nursing organizations prior to 1948. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, Sonya has published two scholarly books on missionary history: Healing Henan: Canadian Nurses at the North China Mission, 1888-1947 (also published in Chinese) and China Interrupted: Japanese Internment and the Reshaping of a Canadian Missionary Community (currently in translation) as well as a co-edited book entitled Transnational and Historical Perspectives on Global Health, Welfare and Humanitarianism. Dr. Grypma has been an invited keynote speaker on four continents – for example, to the 100th anniversary of Peking Union Medical Hospital in Beijing in 2017.
In addition to teaching responsibilities, Sonya has served on thesis committees of 25 graduate students, including 3 PhD candidates. She has served on numerous committees, including on TWU Senate for 6 years (including as Chair) and on the TWU Faculty Workplace Environment Committee. She has also been involved in nursing education leadership provincially, as Chair of the Nursing Education Council of BC, and nationally.
She is currently President for Canadian Association for Schools of Nursing--Association canadienne des écoles de sciences infirmières.
Research & Scholarship
Dr. Sonya Grypma’s research interests include transnational nursing history, particularly the intersection of Canadian, American and Chinese nursing networks developed through philanthropic, missionary and nursing organizations prior to the 1948 development of the World Health Organization.
- Bachelor of Nursing, (University of Calgary)
- Master of Nursing, (University of Calgary)
- PhD (Nursing), (University of Alberta)
- Also completed a 2 year SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (Nursing history) at UBC in 2007.
Awards & Honors
2009 Lillian Sholtis Brunner Fellow University of Pennsylvania
2006 Barbara Brodie Fellow University of Virginia
2005-07 SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow University of British Columbia
2005 Christie Dissertation Award American Ass’n History Nursing
2003-05 Izaak Walton Killam Scholar University of Alberta
Grypma, S. [Chinese transl. by Xinzhong Zhang & Yuan Wang; proofread by Xiaogang Weng & Na Wu] (2015). Healing Henan: Canadian Nurses at the North China Mission, 1888-1947. (Henan, PR China: Henan People’s Publish House)(加）盖艾帕玛 （Grypma, S.）著； 张新中，王玉安译；翁孝刚，吴娜审校. 《行医河南： 华北使团加拿大护士在1888-1947》【M】. 郑州：河南人民出版社， 2015.
Fleischmann, E., Grypma, S, & Marten, M. Okkenhaug, I., (Eds). (2013) Transnational and Historical Perspectives on Global Health, Welfare and Humanitarianism. (Norway: Portal Folag) 250 pages
Grypma, S. (2012). China Interrupted: Japanese Internment and the Reshaping of a Missionary Community (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press). 305 pages
Grypma, S. (2008). Healing Henan: Canadian Nurses at the North China Mission, 1888-1947 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press). 292 pages
Recent Book Chapters
Grypma, S. (2019). Chapter 3: The development of nursing in Canada. In P. Potter, A. Perry, B. Astle, & W. Duggleby (Eds.) Canadian Fundamentals of Nursing Practice (6th ed.). (Toronto: Mosby). 35-47
Grypma, S., Zhen, C. & Jiang, Y. [Chinese transl] (2017). The development of modern nursing in China. In Mary Bullock, Bridie Andrews & Lincoln Chen (Eds.), Medical Transitions in 20th Century China. (Beijing: Commercial Press).
Grypma, S. & Zhen, C. (2014). The development of modern nursing in China. In Mary Bullock & Bridie Andrews (Eds.), Medical Transitions in 20th Century China. (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press). 297-317
Fleischmann, E., Grypma, S., & Marten, M. & Okkenhaug (2013). Introduction. In Okkenhaug, I., Fleischmann, E., Grypma, S., & Martens, M. (Eds). Transnational and Historical Perspectives on Global Health, Welfare and Humanitarianism. (Norway: Portal Folag).
Grypma, S. (2013). Pushing boundaries: Transnational approaches to global health history. In Okkenhaug, I., Fleischmann, E., Grypma, S., & Martens, M. (Eds). Transnational and Historical Perspectives on Global Health, Welfare and Humanitarianism. (Norway: Portal Folag).
Reimer-Kirkham, S., Sharma, S., Grypma, S., Pesut, B., Sawatzky, R., Wolfs, D. (2017). The elephant on the table: Religious and ethnic diversity in home health services. Journal of Religion & Health. DOI: 10.1007/s10943-017-0489-7 (20 pages)
Lu, J., Cao, Y., Bu, L., Shen, L., & Grypma, S. (2017). The emergence of nursing in Shandong, China. Chinese Journal of Medical Ethics. 《齐鲁现代护理探源及几点思考》
Lu, J., Grypma, S, Cao, Y., Bu, L., Shen, L., & Davidson, P. (2017). Historical-informed nursing: A transnational case study in China. Nursing Inquiry. Doi: 10.1111/nin.12205
Grypma, S. (2017) Historically-informed nursing: The untapped potential of history in nursing education. Quality Advancement in Nursing Education| Avancees en formation infirmiere, 3(1) Article 5 http://qane-afi.casn.ca/journal/vol3/iss1/2/
Grypma, S. (2017). Book review: Sujani Reddy: Nursing and Empire: Gendered Labor and Migration from India to the United States. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. DOI 10.1093/jhmas/jrw054
Grypma, S. (2017). Book review: Sister Soldiers of the Great War: The Nurses of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Pacific Historical Review, 86(2), 326-328
Harder, M., Astle, B., Grypma, S., & Voyageur, E. (2016). Discerning Success of Indigenous Health Students in Community-based Programs. Quality Advancement in Nursing Education, 2(2),
Pijl-Zieber, E., Grypma, S., & Barton, S. (2014). Baccalaureate nursing education: has it delivered? A retrospective critique and a call to action. Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership (2), 27-34
Suzuki, M. & Grypma, S. (2014). In Retrospect: Change a life – One child at a time. Journal of Christian Nursing, 31(2), 58
Jablonski, L., & Grypma, S. (2013). In Retrospect: Nursing at altitude: Propelling the profession forward. Journal of Christian Nursing, 30(4), 250
Wolfs, D., & Grypma, S. (2013). In Retrospect: Selflessness in nursing: A win-win-win situation. Journal of Christian Nursing, 30(3), 184
Vandenberg, H. & Grypma, S. (2013). In Retrospect: Being Countercultural: Lessons from History. Journal of Christian Nursing, 30(2), 119
Reimer-Kirkham, S., Grypma, S., & Terblanche, L. (2013). Religion and ethics in pluralistic healthcare contexts. (invited) Journal of Christian Nursing Online Extra E1-E6.
Wytenbroek, L. & Grypma, S. (2013). In Retrospect: The challenge of international nursing, then & now. JCN, 30(1), 56
Grypma, S., Wolfs, D. & Reimer-Kirkham, S. (2012). Returning home: Historical influences on home health care in Canada. Home Healthcare Nurse, 30(8), 453-460
Grypma, S. & Wu, N. (2012). China confidential: Methodological and ethical challenges in global nursing historiography. Nursing History Review, 20. 162-183
Recent Keynote & Plenary Presentations
Grypma, S. (February 2018). Calgary, AB: Nursing Education in Canada: Past as Prologue: A (Scandalously Brief) History of Nursing Education’s Future. Invited Keynote Speaker. Western Northern Region of the Canadian Association for Schools of Nursing.
Grypma, S., Li, L. (November, 2017). Richmond, BC: Nursing in China: Past, Present & Future. Nurse Networking Café, TWU Richmond (with Chinese nurse guests from Henan People’s Provincial Hospital).
Grypma, S. (September 2017). Beijing, China: Early PUMC Nursing Education: Transnational Influences and Impact: Invited Keynote speaker. 2017 Peking Union Medical College School of Nursing International Nursing Education Symposium
Grypma, S. (September 2017). Jinan, China: Qilu and Canadian Missionary Nurses, 1927-1945. Invited speaker. Qilu Hospital, Shandong University School of Nursing and School of Medicine.
Reimer-Kirkham, S., Musto, L., Schutt, K., & Grypma, S. (November 2016). Langley, BC. Panel: Medical Assistance in Dying: Opening the Dialogue. TWU Nurse Networking Café.
Grypma, S. (September, 2016). Beijing, China: Early development of nursing in China, 1884-1949. 2016 Peking Union Medical College International Nursing Academic Forum (Keynote) [in English w/ translation in Chinese]
Grypma, S. (September, 2016). Zhengzhou, China: Nursing Education in Canada and China. Henan Provincial Hospital – Trinity Western University Nursing Exchange.
Grypma, S. (September, 2014). Los Negrales, Madrid, Spain: Where have we come from? Why history of nursing matters. Nurses Christian Fellowship International Ninth European Regional Quadrennial Conference (Plenary)
Grypma, S. (January, 2014). San Bernardino, CA: Preaching to patients? Critical and historical perspectives on medical missionaries. The Ethics of Witness in Health Care. 6th Annual Faith, Health and Wholeness Conference. Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness, Loma Linda University (Plenary)
Grypma, S. (November, 2013). Vancouver, BC: China interrupted: Japanese internment and the reshaping of a Canadian missionary community. Nursing History Symposium: New Contributions to the History of Nursing and Health Care. UBC Consortium for Historical Inquiry in Nursing and Health Care (Plenary)
Grypma, S. (October, 2013). Chilliwack, BC: Nursing, history and historical amnesia: A case for crossing disciplinary boundaries. University of the Fraser Valley Faculty of Health Speaker Series (Keynote)
Dr. Grypma is a nurse historian whose scholarly interests relate especially to transnational nursing history in Canada, China and the USA. She has spoken and written extensively about nursing in international and intercultural settings and the intersection of faith and nursing.