Shela Hirani, RN, PhD, MScN, BScN, IBCLC

Associate Professor

Office: Research and Innovation Centre, Room 508
E-mail: shela.hirani@uregina.ca
Phone: 306-337-8544

Dr. Shela Hirani is a neonatal and child health nursing professional, academician, researcher, volunteer and an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. She has completed her PhD in Nursing from the University of Alberta, Canada. Dr. Hirani is the recipient of Canada's most prestigious scholarship awards, including the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Award, Honorary Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Award, and Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prize. She is also the recipient of several other national, international, and university-based awards based on her outstanding academic performance, leadership potentials and research outputs. She is actively involved in curriculum development, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, and execution of community-based research work. Her professional goal is to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children and marginalized women through her research work, leadership, and community services.

Program of Research:

Dr. Hirani’s program of research is pertinent to breastfeeding advocacy in diverse care settings and health promotion of the vulnerable and marginalized population, specifically women and young children affected by the disaster and displacement. She has sound experience of undertaking scoping reviews, retrospective reviews, concept analysis, instrument development and validation studies, qualitative studies (critical ethnography and descriptive design) and quantitative research (cross-sectional, cohort, randomized control trials). She has mentored and supervised undergraduate, advanced diploma level and masters students for their clinical and community based small scale studies. Dr. Hirani is actively involved in serving as a peer reviewer for several international refereed journals.

Publications in Refereed Journals (2010 to date):

  • Hirani, S. A., & Richter, S. (2019). Maternal and child health during forced displacement. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 51(3), 252-261. [Impact factor: 2.662]
  • Hirani, S. A., Richter, S., Salami, B., & Vallianatos, H. (2019). Breastfeeding in disaster relief camps: An integrative review of literature. Advances in Nursing Science, 42(2), E1-E12. [Impact factor: 1.311].
  • Hirani, S. A., Richter, S., & Salami, B. (2018). Realism and relativism in the development of nursing as a discipline. Advances in Nursing Science, 41(2), 137-144. [Impact factor: 1.311].
  • Hirani, S.A., & Richter, S. (2017). The capability approach: A guiding framework to improve population health and attaining the Sustainable Developmental Goals. WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 23 (1), 46-50. [Impact factor: 0.663].
  • Salami, B., Hirani, S.A., Meherali, S., Amodu, O., & Chambers, T. (2017). Parenting practices of African immigrants in destination countries: A qualitative research synthesis. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 36, 20-30. [Impact factor: 1.56].
  • Hirani, S. A., & Olson, J. (2016). Concept analysis of maternal autonomy in the context of breastfeeding. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48 (3), 276-284. [Impact factor: 2.662].
  • Khowaja, Y., Karmaliani, R., Hirani, S. A, Khowaja. A.R., Rafique, G., & McFarlane, J. (2016). A pilot study of a 6-week parenting program for mothers of pre-school children attending family health centers in Karachi, Pakistan. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 5 (2), 91-97.
  • Hirani, S. A. (2015). Continuing breastfeeding with paid employment: Breastfeeding and support from women’s informal social network. Clinical Lactation, 6 (4), 137-143.
  • Sachwani, S., Karmaliani, R., Hirani, S. A., Khowaja. A. R., & Lalwani, E. (2015). Association between breastfeeding and childhood obesity among school-going children, 5-16 years of age in Karachi, Pakistan. International Journal of Nursing Education, 8 (2), 265-270.
  • Sachwani, S., Karmaliani, R., Hirani, S. A., Khowaja. A. R., & Lalwani, E. (2015). Whether maternal factors are associated with childhood obesity: A matched case-control study. International Journal of Nursing Education, 8 (2), 298-302.
  • Hirani, S. A. (2014). Vulnerability of internally displaced children in disaster relief camps of Pakistan: issues, challenges and way forward. Early Child Development and Care, 184 (9),1499-1506.
  • Hirani, S. A., & Dias, J. (2014). Pediatric baccalaureate nursing curriculum in Pakistan: Strengths, limitations, and recommendations. International Journal of Nursing Education, 6 (1), 54-58.
  • Hirani, S. A., & Karmaliani, R. (2013). The experiences of urban, professional women when combining breastfeeding with paid employment in Karachi, Pakistan: A qualitative study. Women and Birth, 26 (2), 147-151.[Impact factor: 1.696].
  • Hirani, S. A., Karmaliani, R., Christie, T., Parpio, Y., & Rafique, G. (2013). Perceived Breastfeeding Support Assessment Tool (PBSAT): Development and testing of psychometric properties with Pakistani urban working mothers. Midwifery, 29 (6), 599-607. [Impact factor: 1.707].
  • Hirani, S. A., & Karmaliani, R. (2013). Evidence based workplace interventions to promote breastfeeding practices among Pakistani working mothers. Women and Birth, 26 (1), 10-16. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2011.12.005. [Impact factor: 1.696].
  • Asad, N., Karmaliani, R., Somani, R., Hirani, S. A., Pasha, A.,...McFarlane, J. (2013). Preventing abuse and trauma to internally displaced children living in camps due to disasters in Pakistan. Child Care in Practice, 19 (3), 267-274.
  • Hirani, S. A. (2013). Use of play therapy in educating asthmatic and diabetic pediatric patients: A pilot clinical project at a private tertiary setting in Karachi, Pakistan. International Journal of Nursing Care, 1 (1), 83-87.
  • Hirani, S. A., & Rahman, A. (2012). Child with Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis: A case report from Pakistan with multiple ethical and moral issues. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 27 (4), e22-e28. [Impact factor: 1.00].
  • Hirani, S. A., & Karmaliani, R. (2012). Breastfeeding Support for working mothers: Global and Pakistani perspectives. Current Pediatric Reviews. 8 (4), 313-321. Hirani, S. A. (2012). Malnutrition in young Pakistani children. Journal of Ayub Medical College (JAMC), 24 (2), 150-153.
  • Karmaliani, R., Pasha, A., Hirani, S., Somani, R., Hirani, S.A., Asad, N., et al. (2012). Violence against women in Pakistan: Contributing factors and new interventions. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 33 (12), 820-826.
  • Hirani, S. A., & Kenner, C. (2011). International Column: Effects of humanitarian emergencies on newborn and infant’s health in Pakistan. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, 11 (2), 58-60.
  • Karmaliani, R., Shehzad, S., Hirani, S.S., Asad, N., Hirani, S.A., & McFarlane, J. (2011). Meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goals with new interventions for abused women. Nursing Clinics of North America, 46 (4), 485-493.
  • Hirani, S. A., & Rahman, A. (2010). Aluminium phosphide poisoning: A case report. Journal of Ayub Medical College (JAMC), 22 (4), 221-222.

Research Grants:

  • 2019-date: Research startup funds from the University of Regina, Canada. Project entitled “Breastfeeding Practices of Immigrant Mothers in Canada: A Critical Review” (Role: Principal Investigator)
  • 2017-2018: International Development Research Centre (IDRC) doctoral research award (CAD$ 20,000). Project entitled “Facilitators and Barriers to Breastfeeding Practices of Internally Displaced Mothers Residing in Disaster Relief Camps in Pakistan: A Critical Ethnography” (Role: Principal Investigator)
  • 2018-2019: Sigma Theta Tau International Small Grant Award (USD$5000). Project entitled “Facilitators and Barriers to Breastfeeding Practices of Internally Displaced Mothers Residing in Disaster Relief Camps in Pakistan: A Critical Ethnography” (Role: Principal Investigator)
  • 2016: Sustainability Scholar Program at the University of Alberta (CAD$5000).Project entitled “Availability of breastfeeding support at University of Alberta: An analysis of physical facilities, policies and environment” (Role: Principal Investigator)

Published Abstracts and Paper Presentations (2010 to date):

  • Hirani, S. A., Richter, S., Salami, B., & Vallianatos, H. (March 21, 2019). Oral presentation on “Breastfeeding in Disaster Relief Camps”. Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference, Chapel Hills, North Carolina, USA.
  • Hirani, S. A., Richter, S., Salami, B., & Vallianatos, H. (November 2, 2018). Oral presentation on “Facilitators and Barriers to Breastfeeding Practices of Internally Displaced Mothers Residing in Disaster Relief Camps of Pakistan: A Critical Ethnography”. 32nd Margaret Scott Wright Research Day, Edmonton, Canada
  • Sommerfeldt, S., & Hirani, S. A. (September 8, 2016). Oral presentation on “Team in healthcare: What do you mean?” at All Together Better Health VIII, Oxford, UK.
  • Hirani, S. A., & Olson, J. (August 17, 2016). Oral presentation on “Maternal autonomy in context of breastfeeding: A concept analysis” at Council of International Neonatal Nurses Conference at Vancouver, Canada
  • Hirani, S. A., & Karmaliani, R. (August 17, 2016). Oral presentation on “Perceived Breastfeeding Support Assessment Tool (PBSAT): An instrument to measure employed mothers’ perceptions about breastfeeding support” at Council of International Neonatal Nurses Conference, Vancouver, Canada
  • Hirani, S. A. (October 23, 2014). Oral presentation on “Effects of humanitarian emergencies and internal displacement on neonates and infants’ health in Pakistan: issues, challenges and way forward” at 4th FMIC conference, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Hirani, S. A. (November 17, 2013). Poster presentation on “Experiences of paediatric health care professionals while dealing with intersex children and their parents: a qualitative study in a paediatric setting of Karachi, Pakistan” at 8th World Congress of DOHaD held at Singapore
  • Hirani, S. A., Karmaliani, R., Christie, T., Parpio, P., & Rafique, G. (July 30, 2012). Oral presentation on “Psychometric Properties of Perceived Breastfeeding Support Assessment Tool (PBSAT): An instrument designed to measure Pakistani urban working mothers’ perceptions about Breastfeeding support” at 23rd International Nursing Research Congress of Sigma Theta Tau International, Brisbane, Australia
  • Hirani, S. A., & Karmaliani, R. (July 30, 2012). Oral presentation on “Evidence-Based workplace interventions for breastfeeding working mothers” at 23rd International Nursing Research Congress of Sigma Theta Tau International, Brisbane, Australia
  • Hirani, S. A., & Karmaliani, K. (November 1, 2011). Oral presentation on “Experiences of lactating working mothers in a private tertiary care setting of Karachi, Pakistan” at 41st Biennial convention of STTI, Grapevine, Texas, USA


Leadership Appointments in International Nursing Organizations:

  • 2007 to date: Pediatric and Neonatal Regional Representative for the Council of International Neonatal Nurses, Inc.
  • 2014 to 2015: President, Rho Delta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International: An Honor Society of Nursing
  • 2014 to 2015: Chair Governance Committee, Rho Delta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2011 to 2013: President Elect, Rho Delta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2005 to 2008: Chapter Secretary, Rho Delta Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International

Honors and Awards:

  • 2019: Nila Cushman Memorial Graduate Scholarship from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2018: Dr. Christine Newburn-Cook International Graduate Award in Nursing from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2018: Andrew Stewart Memorial Graduate Prize from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2017: Janeetta MacPhail Award from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2016: Alice R Thomas & Bryan Compbell-Hope International Graduate Scholarship in Nursing from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2016: Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prize (awarded to top 4 most outstanding Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Recipients) from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2016: President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2016-2019: Vanier Graduate Scholarship Award (CIHR) from the Government of Canada
  • 2016-2018: Honorary Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2016: Helen E Penhale Graduate Research Travel Award from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2015: Isobel Secord Graduate Scholarship Award from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2015: Doctoral Recruitment Scholarship Award from the University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2015: Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Award from Aga Khan Foundation, Geneva
  • 2012: Trudi Szallasi Memorial Scholarship Award from Health-e-learning: Institute of Human Lactation, Canada
  • 2012: Omicron Delta Leadership Education Grant from Sigma Theta Tau International, USA
  • 2011: Edith Anderson Leadership Education Grant from Sigma Theta Tau International, USA
  • 2010: Overall distinction in MScN program and thesis distinctions from Aga Khan University, Pakistan
  • 2007: Neonatal Nurse Distinguished Scholarship Award from Academy of Neonatal Nursing, USA
  • 2007: Outstanding Teacher Award from Aga Khan University, Pakistan
  • 2004: Start Laureate Award and Sir Syed Gold Medal from South Asia Publications, Pakistan
  • 2003: Best Graduate Award, Nursing practice award, distinctions, Humanities and Science Award from Aga Khan University, Pakistan