College of Nursing

Faculty & Staff

Rusla Anne Springer
PhD (NURS) (U of C) MN (Thesis) (U of C) BScN (UVic), RN (SRNA) CNS
Assistant Professor

Office:E4230 Health Sciences, Saskatoon
Phone:(306) 966-4631(306) 966-4631
Fax: (306) 966-6621
Skype: rusla.anne.springer


  • Research Interests
    • The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Industry Presence and Influence in Healthcare Research and Practice
    • Nursing's Relationship with the Pharmaceutical Industry
    • The influence of Pharmaceutical Industry promotion on professional practice
    • The Social Construction of Knowledge
    • Subjectivation and the Organization of Nursing Work
    • Informed Clinician and Patient Decision Making
  • Methodology
    • Qualitative
    • Philosophical Analysis
    • Foucauldian Discourse Analysis

Anne Springer joined the College of Nursing at the rank of Assistant Professor in January 2010. Her registered nursing career has spanned more than two decades and includes experience in general and advanced nursing practice. She has served in a variety of nursing leadership, management, consultancy and advisory roles. Dr. Springer’s clinical background includes maternal/child; long-term care and rehabilitation; general medicine/surgery; orthopedics; urology; gynecology; emergent/urgent/trauma/intensive care; and most recently, interprofessional clinical leadership. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist who spent more than a decade leading and practicing with an interprofessional team of healthcare providers in the care of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and their families in the Northern Interior of British Columbia.

Dr. Springer received her registered nurse diploma from the College of New Caledonia, Prince George, BC (1988). She earned a BScN (1996) from the University of Victoria, a MN (2004) and a PhD (2009) from the University of Calgary. She studied relational ethics through the John Dossetor Health Ethics Center at the University of Alberta (1999), and served as a graduate student member of the Conjoint Research Ethics Board for the Calgary Health Region (2002-03). Dr. Springer’s Master’s and Doctoral research arose directly from her clinical practice experiences working with MS patients and their families. Her master’s thesis entitled "Exploring Decisional Conflict around Disease Modifying Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis" explored the relationships between decisional conflict and patients’ treatment expectations, their perceptions of self-determinism, control, and satisfaction in contexts of treatment decision making. Her doctoral dissertation entitled "Pharmaceutical Industry Discursives and the Subjectivities of Physicians, Nurses and Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Foucauldian Dispositive Analysis" focused on the ethics of pharmaceutical industry incursion into the practice of medicine and nursing in the Neurology sub-specialty of Multiple Sclerosis. That work revealed the discursive effects of pharmaceutical industry (PI) discourse on the subjectivities of physicians, nurses and patients. 

Dr. Springer is the recipient of a number of awards, scholarships, and distinctions, some of which include: a major Studentship Award from the MS Society of Canada (2002); the Dean’s Entrance Scholarship, PhD program at the University of Calgary (2004); the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship (2006, 2007, and 2008); the Alberta Graduate Student Scholarship (2004); the Province of Alberta Doctoral Fellowship (2006); an International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN) (2006) Fellowship; the Calgary Chapter Nomination for the International P.E.O. Scholar Award (2006); and a nomination for the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (IIQM) Doctoral Dissertation Award (2009). She teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Nursing in the areas of nursing issues, ethics, policy, politics, professionalism, communication and leadership. Dr. Springer is a member of the Global Interprofessional Health Group and has been involved in facilitating student learning in interprofessional practice through her involvement with the “Longitudinal Elderly Person Shadowing Project” (LEPS)(2010-2012). She has also been involved in interprofessional curriculum development through her service as a member of the College of Health Science Deans (CHSD) interprofessional Curriculum Committee (2010-2012). Dr. Springer serves as the Vice-Chair of the University of Saskatchewan’s Biomedical Research Ethics Board, and is a member of the St. Paul’s Hospital Ethics Committee. She is a member of the Canadian Bioethics Society and the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards. She conducts peer reviews for the Journal of Medical Ethics, Nursing Philosophy, Qualitative Health Research and Critical Studies in Education, and is a grant reviewer for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. She is also an active member of the International Philosophy of Nursing Society. Dr. Springer’s educational, experiential, and research background, positions her to conduct health care research using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies; however her preferred methodological approach is the application of Foucauldian concepts, principles, and theories to the conduct of discourse analysis.

Scholary Interests:

  • Nursing Philosophy
  • Biomedical, Nursing & Healthcare Ethics
  • Nursing History
  • Interprofessional Education and Practice


Springer, R. A., & Clinton, M.E. (2015). Doing Foucault: Inquiring into Nursing Knowledge using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis. Nursing Philosophy, 16(2), 87-97. doi: 10.1111/nup.12079

Springer, R. A. (2014). Rebirth of the Clinic: Places and Agents in Contemporary Health Care. [Review of the book Rebirth of the Clinic: Places and Agents in Contemporary Health Care., by C. Paton. (Ed.) ]. Nursing Philosophy 15 (2), 152 – 153.doi: 10.1111/nup.12043.

Springer, R. A., Kent-Wilkinson, A., Ewashen, C., & Ali, R. (2013). Making time for reflexive dialogue in philosophical group discussion: Extending the debate on the militarization of nursing. Advances in Nursing Science, 36(1), 18-25. doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e3182807780.

Racine, L., Springer, R. A. & Udod, S. (2013). Distributed Learning and Rapid Technological Change: An Exploration of Faculty Development Needs.  The International Journal of University Teaching and Professional Development 3(3), 1 – 15.

Springer, R.A. & Clinton, M.E. (2013).  'Technologies of the Self' as Instrumentality: Becoming Instruments of the Pharmaceutical Industry through Normative Practice. APORIA 5(1), 23 – 32.

Springer, R. A., Kent-Wilkinson, A., Ewashen, C. & Ali, R. (2013).  Making Time for Reflexive Dialogue in Philosophical Group Discussion: Extending the Debate on the Militarization of Nursing.  Advances in Nursing Science, 36(1), 1 – 8.

Springer, R. A. (2012). Michel Foucault (1926 – 1984): A man of a thousand paths, a thousand faces, and a thousand emerging relevancies – continuing his analyses in pursuit of our present for the sake of our future. APORIA, 4(1), 51 – 56.

Springer, R. A. (2012). Suppressing the ideals of ‘The University’: A troubling realization for a new academic.  VOX, January, 4 -5.

Springer, R.A. (2011). A troubling association. Canadian Nurse, 107(8), p.6.

Springer, R.A. (2011). Pharmaceutical industry discursives and the marketization of nursing practice: A case example. Nursing Philosophy, 12(3), 214–228.


Springer, R. A. (2014-2015). University of Saskatchewan Proposal Development Assistance (PDA) Grant ($1000)

Springer, R. A. (September 1, 2012- August 31, 2017).  University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association (USFA)Research Grant. $7,000.

Anonson, J. (Co-principal Investigator); Tran, T. (Co principal Investigator); Tran, T. D. (Co-principal Investigator); Buhler, L. (Co-investigator); Kent-Wilkinson, A. (Co-investigator); Springer, R. (Co-investigator); & Walker, M. E. (Co-investigator). (2011). Phase I Funding. Scaling up practice of non- pharmaceutical approaches in improving Quality of life, along with the prevention and care of common mental health disorders in Vietnam. Grand Challenges Canada. Total: $25,000. [2011-10 to 2012-03].
Comment: Awarded in December, 2011. Phase 1 Funding for Flight & Accommodation for PI Meeting in Tanzania in March 2012.

Springer, R. A. (2011). Alberta Provincial Health Ethics Network (PHEN). Bursary, $500.00.

Springer, R. A. (PI) (2011). Understanding the Heterodiscursive Effects of the Clinical Trial Setting on the Recruitment of Patients and the Organization of Nursing Work: An Exploratory Descriptive Study. $9,000 University of Saskatchewan New Faculty Start –up Funding.

Racine, L. (PI), Sawatzky, J., Springer, R. A., Spence, C. Shutko, C.., Udod, S., & Wall, P. (C0-Inv). (2010). CON faculty needs assessment related to the new curriculum. $6,235 (May 1-August 31, 2010) USTEP Board of Governors.

Suveges, L.G., D'Eon, M. Proctor, P., Dobson, R., Walker, D., O'Connoll, M., Springer, R. A. (2010). Developing a Curriculum for Interprofessional Education at the U of S: Research and Analysis of Current Health Professional Curricula. $10,000. Interprofessional Health Collaborative of Saskatchewan (IHCS).