school of nursing research

Our faculty are recognized experts in their areas of interdisciplinary research. The faculty have external funding from a variety of sources, including NIH, Veterans Administration, and various foundations.

Our Focus Areas

The School of Nursing aligns with the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and its identified research lenses: Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health, Population and Community Health, Prevention and Health Promotion, and Systems and Models of Care. Collectively, these areas of focus leverage the strengths of nursing research while promoting cross-disciplinary and -sectoral collaboration and community engagement. The University of Delaware School of Nursing is well positioned to address these areas with the support of our expert faculty, whose expertise include biological, behavioral, social and public health sciences. 

Sophie Luckman, UD Nursing student, and Mary McArtor, biology major and Spanish for healthcare minor, work with Lisa Evans, school nurse at Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School. 

Academia has partnered with the HEALTH for All Program through the Partnership for Healthy Communities.

Prevention and Health Promotion

Research through the prevention and health promotion lens aims to prevent disease and promote health through the continuum of prevention – from primordial to tertiary.

Faculty Researcher: 

Christine Hoch, PHD, RN, ACNS-BC – Assistant Professor

Heart Failure symptoms significantly impact patients’ quality of life, often hindering their ability to perform daily tasks and maintain social relationships. Understanding the underlying mechanisms can lead to better management strategies and interventions, ultimately improving patient outcomes and reducing health burden. Dr. Hoch is focusing her research on the symptom of fatigue with a specific interest in cellular bioenergetics.

Health Equity

Studies aimed at producing evidence needed to reduce and ultimately eliminate the systemic and structural inequities that place some population groups at a disadvantage in attaining their full health potential.

Faculty Researcher:

Lauren Covington, PhD, MS, RN Assistant Professor

Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is a conduit by which to address health inequities. CBPR involves communities directly in the research process so that interventions are tailored to the community’s specific needs and are contextually and culturally relevant. As such, Dr. Covington and team are engaging with Delaware school nurses to address statewide pediatric health inequities. Through hosting annual statewide professional development days to address school nurse knowledge gaps, meeting monthly with a team of pediatric researchers and school nurses/nurse leaders from different districts and applying for a variety of funding mechanisms, we are collaboratively moving forward to address top priorities and barriers to pediatric health equity in the state.

Social Determinants of Health

Research examining the conditions in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, and age — identifying effective approaches to address social factors and social needs to improve health outcomes.

Nursing students take part in a maternity simulation as part of a winter session Women’s Health course. 

The class is led by Nicole Donahue, Women's Health Simulation Coordinator, with simulation assistance from BJ Janney and healthcare theatre.

Population and Community Health

Studies that address critical health challenges at a macro level by focusing on interventions that affect groups of people with shared characteristics or those who live within a shared area.

Faculty researcher:

Xiaopeng Ji, PhD, MSN, MA, RN – Associate Professor

Poor sleep and circadian health impair daytime function as well as neurocognitive, mental and cardiometabolic health among adolescents and young adults. Implementing evidence-based sleep interventions, scalable from clinical to population venues, is essential to ameliorate chronic health conditions and promote well-being. Dr. Ji's program of research integrates artificial intelligence technologies with a community-based participatory approach to develop personalized and interactive sleep interventions, thus enhancing the quality and speed of the research translational process.

The Graduate School of Nursing's assistant professor Beatrice Gaynor led an interprofessional simulation including UD Nurse Practitioner students and Bayhealth Pharmacy residents to determine the best course of care for patients facing chronic diseases. After the simulation, UD Nurse Practitioner students attended a suture workshop with Christiana Care Health Systems retired radiologist John McCormack.

Systems and Models of Care

Research that addresses clinical, organizational, and policy challenges through the development, dissemination, and implementation of new systems and models of care.

Luke Stuchlik, senior nursing honors student, runs through a simulation with VR oculus run by Kathy Schell, associate professor of nursing, and BJ Janney, Simulation Operations Specialist.

Nursing Education

Research is faculty and student centered, that focuses on the science of learning and the science of teaching. The desired outcome is related to how well the educational approaches and assessments resulted in nurses providing excellent patient care. Examples include didactic, experiential, and simulation learning experiences.