Centre of excellence in family nursing

CESIFFrançais | English

Information for professionals
Information for families 


The Center of Excellence in Family Nursing (CEFN), within the Faculty of Nursing, University of Montreal, is a unique center in North America. It supports education and research activities in family nursing while providing counseling to families experiencing health problems. This Center is based on a partnership between the Faculty of Nursing and four health organizations in the Montreal community: the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal (CHUM) link, the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Ste-Justine (CHU-Ste-Justine) link, the Institute of Cardiology of Montreal (ICM) link and l’Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur in Montreal, link. This partnership strengthens the indispensable bridge between the University and its associated health institutions for research, theory and clinical practice. The CEFN is also in the process of establishing a link with the new,University of Montreal Laval Campus. This university clinic, will offer education for psychosocial assessment and intervention for individuals and families. To promote an interprofessional perspective, the new clinic will offer the opportunity to develop clinical practice skills for undergraduate and graduate students from programs such as: nursing, psychology, neuro-psychology, psycho-education, social services, kinesiology. The CEFN will be part of this clinic and provide a practicum milieu for nursing graduate students specializing in family systems nursing care within an inter-professional clinic The CEFN calls on families, professors, researchers, clinicians, and students interested in contributing to knowledge development in family systems nursing (FSN) and in promoting the utilization of this practice knowledge.

Informations for professionals


The CEFN's mission is to advance the practice knowledge, research, and teaching of family systems nursing (FSN). It aims at promoting the reciprocity between research, teachings and practice in the nursing care of families experiencing health problems. This Center enables Faculty of Nursing professors and designated advanced practice nurses (APN) from the partner hospitals to collaborate in research and teaching activities that promote FSN practice knowledge utilization. Each partner hospital has accepted to delegate 2 APN one day per week, to participate in the CEFN activities. These nurses need to possess:

  1. Master’s Degree in Nursing
  2. specialization in FSN


The CEFN offers an environment for applied research to improve family nursing care through the development and the evaluation of family interventions and their application in clinical settings. Based on a methodological participatory approach, the following research projects are in process:

  • Development of strategies to facilitate FSN practice.
  • Development and evaluation of FSN interventions.
  • Families' experience of living with teenagers having chronic health problems.
  • Development of virtual interventions for teenagers experiencing cancer.
  • Implementation of a bereavement guideline to help nurses care for the bereaved.


Development of Clinical Practice Skills at CEFN

The Center of Excellence in Family Nursing offers an exceptional educational environment for nursing students. Consultations rooms equipped with two-way mirrors, audio-visual equipment enable the observation, supervision and recording of nursing students' consultations with families. This type of direct supervision of students is offered at the Faculty of Nursing and in the partner hospitals by the delegated APN.

Development of Clinical Practice Skills in Partner Hospitals

The delegated APN is a "mentor" who promotes the practice of FSN in their clinical settings. APN's participation fosters the creation of a group of "specialized" nurses to guide and enhance the care of families.

Furthermore, the CEFN offers an annual one week FSN Externship each year at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Montreal. It is offered during the first week in May with the goal of initiating health professionals to a family systems approach when caring for families with health problems.

In the near future, a second level Externship will be offered to allow participants to practice family interviewing skills with supervision by faculty members. For more information: secretariat@scinf.umontreal.ca


The CEFN education and research activities include family interviews to assist families living with illness, loss, and/or disability. During these family consultations, the nursing students help to soften family members’ anxiety, suffering and enhance their competence/autonomy

Information for families

Since illness is a family affair, nurses play a key role in the improvement of the quality of life and the moral and ethical obligation of healing patients and their families. Questions and answers for families interested in receiving care at the Center of Excellence in family nursing.

What kind of nursing care will the family receive at the Center?

The Center offers consultation sessions to families who experience physical or mental illness with one of its members. During these family consultations, nurses help to soften suffering
and anxiety of family members and enhance their competence/autonomy in coping with their health problems. Families who have participated in consultations have expressed satisfaction for the care they have received:

  • "These consultations allowed me to wean my dependence on my anti-depressants and better manage my depression. My recovery had already started, but to come here with my girlfriend and be able to express myself without feeling judged helped me recover faster."
  • "These meetings helped me to understand my husband's illness and how to assist him better."
  • "At the house we do not talk about real problems like at the clinic. Here, you take the time to listen and to reassure us that we can solve our problems."

What kinds of problems or challenges will the Center provide to families?

  • Physical problems such as cancer, diabetes heart problems and or mental health problems such a depression and anxiety
  • Communication difficulties between family members regarding the care of a loved one
  • Problems regarding the behavior of children such as: school problems, aggressiveness and discipline
  • Adjustment problems in family life such as: a new born, childhood, adolescence, retirement, transitioning to a facility for the elderly, separation, divorce, immigration, bereavement, loss of a job

Who will family members meet at the CEFN to assist with their concerns?

Registered nurses who are Master's degree in Nursing students and are supervised by nurses who are specialized in family nursing and/or family therapy.

How long is a consultations and how frequent?

The schedule and the frequency of meetings is determined by the family's needs. On average 4 to 5 meetings may be required lasting approximately 90 minutes per seance.

What are the days and time the Center opens?

The clinic is open Mondays and Tuesdays 12-6PM from January to May. The hours may be subject to change.

How much do the consultations cost?

There is no fee for the consultations. However, donations are welcome to support the Center's research and educational activities.

Where are the meetings held?

Faculté des Sciences infirmières
2375, chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine
Montréal (Quebec) H3C 3J7, room 1043


Fabie Duhamel, inf., Ph.D., Professeure titulaire
Telephone : 514 343-2179
Email : fabie.duhamel@umontreal.ca
Member of the research team in healthcare Cité de la Sante de Laval, and Group research inter universitaire en interventions en sciences infirmières de Québec (GRIISIQ)


France Dupuis, inf. Ph.D., Professeure adjointe
Telephone : 514 343-6111, ext. 5558
Email: France.dupuis@umontreal.ca
Chercheur régulier, Centre de recherche du CHU-Ste Justine, Axe Avancement et devenir sante.

Faculté des sciences infirmières
Université de Montréal
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C3J7
Fax : 514 343-2306