Kathleen A. Schell



Associate Professor

Office Location:
355 McDowell Hal

Dr. Schell is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, earning her Ph.D. from Widener University, MS in Cardiopulmonary Nursing from the University of Delaware and BSN from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her primary area of research focuses on the accuracy of blood pressure measurement. She has worked with intra- and interdisciplinary teams to compare forearm and upper arm BP, ankle and upper arm BP, and to explore anatomical predictors of forearm and upper arm BP differences in hospitalized individuals. Her most recent work is investigating the relationship of orthostatic hypotension and falls, nurses’ knowledge of orthostatic vital signs, and evidence to support the assessment of orthostatic vital signs in hospitalized patients. Dr. Schell has clinical expertise in medical-surgical and critical care nursing.

With over 20 years in academia, Dr. Schell also participates in scholarship addressing innovative teaching in higher education. She was Director of the UD School of Nursing between 2010 and 2015, and interim Senior Associate Dean of Nursing during 2019-2020. She has led curriculum change and accreditation processes. She has been involved in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, staff nurses, and advanced practice nurses in evidence-based practice and research.


  • Ph.D., Nursing Education, Widener University, 2001
  • MS in Nursing, Cardiopulmonary Track, University of Delaware, 1987
  • BSN Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1981


  • University of Delaware Nursing Alumni Star, 2020
  • Honorable Mention, Top Nurse, Academic Nursing Education, Delaware Today May 2019 
  • University of Delaware’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising Nominated 2016
  • University of Delaware's Excellence in Teaching Award Nominated 2017, 2018
  • University of Delaware College of Health Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award Nominated 2018


  • Beta Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International – Nightingale Award for Exceptional Service May 2017, 2018

University of Delaware: Undergraduate

  • Instructor- NURS 460 Transition to Professional Nursing Practice I
  • NURS 883 Evidence-based Practice I (On Line –MSN/DNP students) Summer 2017-2019
  • Instructor - NURS 264, Health Assessment Lab
  • Instructor - NURS 375, Nursing Care of Adults II
  • Instructor – NURS 480 Transition to Professional Nursing Practice II
  • PhD in Nursing Science, Advisor and Dissertation Committee Member
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP Project Committee Member
  • Schell, K., Lyons, D., & Bodt, B. (2021 Jan). Orthostatic hypotension and falls in hospitalized older adults. Clinical Nursing Research, epub ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1177/1054773820986682

    DiFusco, L., Saylor, J., & Schell, K. (2020). Maternal experiences of caring for a child with a ventricular assist device. Pediatric Transplantation, 24 (1), e13620.  https://doi.org/10.1111/petr.13620  

  • Saylor, J., Schell, K., Mendell, M., & Graber, J., (2015). Developing a clinical competency checklist for care of patients experiencing delirium or substance withdrawal delirium: Use of a Delphi technique and expert panel. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 53 (6), 29-36. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20150526-01(CE featured activity)
  • DiFusco, L., Schell, K., Saylor, J. (2019). Risk-taking behaviors in adolescents with chronic cardiac disease: A scoping review. J. of Pediatric Nursing, 48, 98-105.


  • Schell, K. SAMHSA/APNA Prac-Ed: Integrating Substance Use Disorder Screening and Assessment into Treatment (FOA No. FG-19-001), [Graber, J. Project Director] $5000 April 2020
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. New Careers in Nursing, 2013.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. New Careers in Nursing, 2012.
  • Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarships. Endowment for Accelerated Nursing Program, 2012.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. New Careers In Nursing, 2014