Mandy Archibald

Top 40 Under 40 2016

Photography Curtis Comeau

Age: 35

Job Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Artist

Why She’s Top 40: She’s a proponent of using art in the health education, particularly for patients managing chronic illnesses.

Guilty Pleasure: “I have a lot – and I don’t feel bad about any of them! But riding my bike on the sidewalk. And dark chocolate, red wine and kung fu films.”


Mandy Archibald began her professional life as a full-time artist, but realized early that struggling financially hindered her work. She decided to pursue a second profession in tandem and chose nursing. “Ever since nursing was conceptualized, it’s been seen as an artful practice,” she says.

In the years she worked as a pediatric nurse, her art practice flourished. Unfortunately, Archibald grew dissatisfied with her nursing work and decided to return to school – this time to become a nursing practitioner. But graduate school opened her eyes to the ways art and nursing could intersect – especially the use of art in nursing education and research – and Archibald decided to remain in academia. Her PhD dissertation included the creation of ebooks that combined visual art with creative storytelling for families managing a child’s asthma. She explains that, while there’s ample research on the best ways to manage the condition, “there’s a challenge getting that research evidence into the hands of parents.”

Archibald describes herself as an “artist-academic and nurse-clinician scientist” and has won awards for both her academic work and visual art (she still maintains an art practice). After completing her PhD, she sets off for Australia with her husband and daughter to become a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

While professionally ambitious, Archibald is pursuing balance above all: “I think the broader we are, the more we have to draw from and the more interesting and impactful what we’re doing really is.”

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