Nursing Faculty Research Interests | College of Nursing | Kent State University

Faculty Research Interests

At the Center for Nursing Research, we are dedicated to improving education, practice, and patient outcomes through science.

We work to provide infrastructure support, leadership, and mentoring for faculty and assistance for students pursuing research and scholarly endeavors.

Kent State’s nursing research faculty have a wide variety of research interests, including:

    • Self-management of acute and chronic disease across the lifespan
    • Wellness in health, caregiver, occupational, and vulnerable populations within and across family systems
    • Health-related care systems and outcomes
    • Global and cultural health and wellness
    • Emerging education, translational and research methodologies (including biomarkers, simulation, action research, mixed methods, large data; instrument development)
    • End-of-life/palliative care

Below is a listing of our research faculty.

Barbara Broome, Ph.D., RN, CS, FAAN
Dean, Professor

Barbara Broome, Ph.D., RN, FAANDr. Broome’s research addresses health issues of aging adults, including hypertension, depression, and incontinence. She has developed and widely tested the Broome Pelvic Muscle Self-efficacy Scale (PMSES) and the Broome and Dolan High Blood Pressure Self-efficacy Scale. Dr. Broome has also secured funding to educate advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurses and doctor of nursing practice nurses who are culturally competent. These funded grants also focused on providing quality mental health care to military men, women, and their families.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Email: bbroome1@kent.edu

Mary K. Anthony, Ph.D., RN, CS
Professor, Associate Dean for Research

Mary Anthony, Ph.D., RN, CS - Associate Dean for ResearchDr. Anthony’s research is on two complementary perspectives on health care delivery that share common features of high performing nursing organizations. Her work includes processes of nursing practice models, such as delegation, teams, and interruptions and their effects on outcomes. Dr. Anthony has studied the impact of relational capital, as a strategic resource, to improve nurse and patient outcomes particularly related to discharge readiness. Her current study examines the effects of shift rotations on nurses’ physical activity, health biomarkers, and performance.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Email: manthony@kent.edu

Yea-Jyh Chen, Ph.D., RN
Assistant Professor

Yea-Jyh Chen, Ph.D., RN - Assistant Professor Dr. Chen’s research explores strategies to enhance self-care capacity for patients and their family caregivers, including cancer symptom management for chronically ill patients staying at home, to improve well-being and other healthcare-associated outcomes. She examines effective interventions for family caregivers to improve integrative cancer care and outcomes for patients transitioning from healthcare facilities, allowing them to stay in their homes and communities. Her research has included the detection of risk factors for rehospitalization, effectiveness of healthcare interventions, and survival and prognostic outcome measures among patients with chronic lung disease. Currently, she has extended her research interests by examining teaching effectiveness in relation to improvement of online teaching and learning outcomes.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Email: ychen58@kent.edu

Jo A. Dowell, Ph.D., CRNP, PNP, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor

Jo A. Dowell, Assistant ProfessorDr. Dowell’s research focuses on two perspectives of children’s health: delivery of healthcare services and health outcomes. She has studied parents’ relationships with their children across all ages and has expertise identifying factors that maximize intervention fidelity. Dr. Dowell has experience with various research methodologies such as mixed methods, quantitative, and qualitative approaches. Her current work includes the study of asthma self-management from the child’s perspective, including symptom management, shared decision-making, and communication with healthcare providers, and she is developing an instrument to measure this perspective.

Education: Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC; Postdoctoral Fellowship, Duke University, Durham, NC; Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Email: jdowell1@kent.edu

Dana M. Hansen, Ph.D., APRN, ACHPN
Assistant Professor

Dana M. Hansen, Ph.D., RN - Assistant ProfessorDr. Hansen’s research is focused on understanding the presence and nature of interaction and relationships for persons with life-limiting conditions and their family caregivers. Previous research has examined family relationships in patients with life- limiting illness based on levels of comfort, relatedness states, and life-closure. Her current work incorporates social media to understand these dynamic family relationships. Use of social media provides connections, information, and support. Her goal is to uncover evidence to understand how participating in an illness blog affects the family caregiver and family interaction.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Email: dhansen1@kent.edu

Timothy W. Meyers, Ph.D., RN
Professor

Photo of Timothy MeyersDr. Meyers’ research interest is focused on social determinants of success in higher education, especially related to educational disparities associated with socioeconomic status. His interest in educational outcomes is triangulated with simulation and the social determinant framework. His initial goals include instrument development to assess the simulation experience and outcomes. Using psychometrically sound measures, Dr. Meyers’ research will advance insights into social determinants that affect the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of educational outcomes among different student populations.

Education: Ph.D., Evaluation and Measurement, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Email: tmeyers2@kent.edu

Tracey M. Motter, DNP, RN
Assistant Professor, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs

Photo of Tracey MotterDr. Motter’s research addresses the diversity of the nursing student population and transition-to-practice for new graduates. She developed and served as the primary investigator (PI) for  ve national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing grants focused on increasing diversity in nursing. At the state level, Dr. Motter is involved with the Developing Seamless Transitions in Education and Practice and Developing Strong Leaders and Nurses on Boards task forces. Dr. Motter oversees the RN-BSN and traditional BSN programs, as well as the Accelerated Second Degree BSN program which she developed in response to increased demand for BSN-prepared RNs. Dr. Motter’s success in developing and sustaining academic-clinical partnerships has been foundational to her e orts to enhance nursing education for all students. She serves as the PI for the Linked-in to Practice program, funded through the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Choose Ohio First initiative, at the College of Nursing (Kent and Stark campuses) in partnership with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Aultman Hospital.

Education: DNP, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Email: tmotter2@kent.edu

Amy Petrinec, Ph.D., RN
Assistant Professor

Photo of Amy PetrinecDr. Petrinec’s research is focused on understanding post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) in patients and family members who have experienced an intensive care stay. Previous research has examined family member post-traumatic stress symptoms and coping strategies when making decisions for chronically, critically ill patients. Her longitudinal work includes PICS and health- related quality of life for patients and family decision-makers in the ICU and long-term acute care setting. Her goal is to develop interventions aimed at decreasing the negative impact of critical illness on health and quality of life for patients and their families.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Email: apetrine@kent.edu

Denice Sheehan, Ph.D., RN
Associate Professor

Denice Sheehan, Ph.D., RN - Associate ProfessorDr. Sheehan’s research focuses on the end of life, hospice, and coping skills of adolescents experiencing the life-limiting illness of a parent. In NIH-funded work, her team identified processes adolescents use to manage their lives while a parent is in hospice and after the parent’s death. They also found a lack of support from health care professionals for adolescents’ involvement in care provision. Within her research team, Dr. Sheehan has incorporated a layered mentoring program with nursing students across academic programs and clinicians to advance the science and practice of end-of-life care. Dr. Sheehan is currently working with an interdisciplinary team to understand what hospice patients know about their prognosis and how they think about their prognosis.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, University of Akron, Akron, OH
Email: dsheeha1@kent.edu

Yvonne M. Smith, Ph.D., RN, CNS
Assistant Professor

Yvonne M. Smith, Assistant Professor

Dr. Smith’s research focuses on curriculum and instruction in nursing education. Her previous mixed methods research explored nursing faculty perceptions of experiences, strategies, and intensity while teaching in the online environment. She is interested in evaluating how building relationships in nursing education and practice influences both learning and practice- related outcomes, and she has participated in self-studies of teaching practices as a qualitative research methodology. Nurse leadership is another emerging research area for Dr. Smith, and she is developing an instrument to study service by nurse leaders on governing boards.

Education: Ph.D., Education, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Email: ysmith@kent.edu

Pamela L. Stephenson, Ph.D., RN, AOCNS, PMHCNS-BC
Assistant Professor

Pamela L. Stephenson, Ph.D., RN, AOCNS, PMHCNS-BC - Assistant ProfessorDr. Stephenson’s research is on spirituality and spiritual uncertainty at the end of life. She is working to develop, refine, and test the theoretical and empirical basis for a newly identified construct of spiritual uncertainty as it relates to persons who are dying. She is currently developing two instruments for spiritual uncertainty. The State of Spirituality scale (SOS) is a bedside assessment tool for providers working with patients with life-limiting disease and their families, and the Spirituality Uncertainty-Providers (SU-P) is a survey to assess spiritual uncertainty for providers of end-of-life care. Her goal is to provide health professionals with needed language and tools that will ease spiritual conversations with patients nearing the end of life and their families while also building a better understanding of how uncertainties, worries, questions, and doubts about spirituality influence spiritual dialogue and decision making.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Email: pstephe2@kent.edu

Wendy Ann Umberger, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Professor

Wendy Ann Umberger, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BCDr. Umberger’s research focuses on psychological factors related to chronic pain and using integrative therapies to decrease pain and improve function. Over the past 20 years, she has studied the effect of guided imagery on pain and function in persons with chronic pain and undergoing knee arthroplasty. She is also interested in how parental chronic pain impacts the family system and developed several mid-range theories related to this phenomenon.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Email: wlewando@kent.edu

Patricia E. Vermeersch, Ph.D., RN, CNP
Associate Professor, Director of the Ph.D. Program

Patricia E. Vermeersch, Ph.D., CNP - Associate ProfessorDr. Vermeersch’s research focuses on the use of technology in the management of older adults. She is particularly interested in finding creative and effective telemedicine solutions to address the complex health needs of the growing aging population. Recent projects include the use of a telepresence robot for both teaching and clinical practice and exploration of remote sensing devices for monitoring older adults at risk for a variety of geriatric syndromes.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Email: pvermeer@kent.edu

Ya-Fen Wang, Ph.D., RN
Assistant Professor

Ya-Fen Wang, Ph.D., MSN, RN - Assistant ProfessorDr. Wang’s research examines eating styles among children and their families and how they relate to overweight and obese children in order to make appropriate inferences to address health disparities. She is particularly interested in understanding how resourcefulness, which includes self-control skills, is related to stress, depressive symptoms, overeating styles, and activity in underserved populations. Her interest in this area includes parents since they have the greatest influence on a child’s life. Therefore, she is examining the impact of parents’ resourcefulness on framing their children’s coping skills, eating behaviors, and resourcefulness.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Email: ywang95@kent.edu

Andrea Warner Stidham, Ph.D., MSN, RN
Assistant Professor

Photo of Andrea Warner StidhamDr. Stidham’s research interests include children, adolescents, and adults with posttraumatic growth; psychiatric and/or mental health issues; and qualitative research. Her research examines posttraumatic growth in people who have experienced traumatic life events, including sexual violence, spousal deployment, and HIV. Dr. Stidham’s research experience and expertise include participating in mixed methods studies and analyzing qualitative data using multiple approaches.

Education: Ph.D., Nursing, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Email: awarner@kent.edu

Kimberly A. Williams, DNS, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, APHN-BC
Associate Professor

Photo of Kimberly WilliamsDr. Williams’ research stems from her professional experiences as a nurse practitioner and educator and examines non-suicidal self- injury (NSSI) assessment in adolescents and across cultures. She is in the process of developing an assessment screening for risky behaviors and mental health disorders in children/adolescents and is currently a primary investigator for continued data analysis of research data investigating non-suicidal self-injury experiences in the Korean young adult population.

Education: DNS, Nursing, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN
Email: kwill190@kent.edu