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Nursing Research

College of Nursing

Faculty Research Specialities

Faculty Research Specialties


sharon loury picture

Sharon Loury,


Assistant Professor
PhD in Nursing, University of Virginia

Dr. Loury engages in community-based research in partnership with members of the Hispanic community.  Dr. Loury has completed a pilot project on promoting migrant families' connections with loved ones in Mexico.  Funded by an Ignition grant from Wake Forest, she is currently conducting a study on the Health Needs of Hispanics in East Tennessee.  In addition, she is working on two smaller studies related to Hispanic quality of life and post partum depression risk factors with Hispanic females, in rural east Tennessee.  She previously received a grant from East Carolina University to study patterns of alcohol use among young Hispanic men, and published her results in Family and Community Nursing and the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.  She has recently expanded her research to include The Promotora Model stress, social support and social isolation among Hispanic immigrants in rural settings.  She has also published in Nurse Educator and Journal of Public Health and Management Practice and has presented nationally and regionally.  Dr. Loury teaches theory, concepts and bioethics in the PhD program, interprofessional rural health, and population based health in the undergraduate program.  Along with her research program of Hispanic Health, she is also collaborating with Dr. Florence Weierbach on a sudy funded by and ETSU Millennium grant that focuses on oral histories of nurses educated prior to 1960.

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Jo-Ann Marrs,


Professor & Clinical Coordinator RODP
EdD in Health Education, University of Tennessee

Dr. Marrs engages in scholarship around ethical issues, and has published on linking nursing theory to practice.  She has also published articles on background checks and moral turpitude.  Her publications have appeared in JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation; Nursing Science Quarterly; and book chapters.  She teaches pediatric courses, scholarly synthesis, and advanced role preparation in the Tennessee Board of Regents On-Line MSN Degree Program and has taught concepts and dissertation seminar in the PhD program.  Dr. Marrs practices as a family nurse practitioner seeing children at the Johnson City Downtown Clinic, and is turning her research toward the area of childhood obesity.

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Judy McCook,


Associate Professor
PhD in Nursing, University of Michigan

Dr. McCook was funded as co-principal investigator on an ETSU Research Development Committee grant to study perceptions of infertility stigma. She has previously studied the relationship of polycystic ovarian syndrome on various aspects of women’s lives and functioning and published her findings in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. She has presented nationally and internationally. Dr. McCook teaches obstetrics and community health in the undergraduate nursing program.

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Wendy Nehring,


PhD in Nursing Science, University of Illinois-Chicago

Dr. Nehring is internationally known as an expert in the field of intellectual disabilities, and studies many aspects of the health and well-being of this unique population.  A second research trajectory is in the area of effective use of simulation in nursing education.  Her work has been funded by sources such as NIH (NINR), DHHS (HRSA), Sigma Theta Tau, Down Syndrome Research Fund and many more sources.  She has published her findings on both topics widely in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Professional Nursing, Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Nurse Educator and many more.  Dr. Nehring has also authored more than 30 book chapters and authored and edited eight books and monographs.  Her most recent books are High-Fidelity Patient Simulation in Nursing Education (Jones and Bartlett Publishing) and Nursing Care for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Paul H. Brookes Publishing).  Dr. Nehring is recognized as a national leader in nursing education, with special emphasis on integrating the use of simulation into nursing curriculum and on nursing education at the doctoral level.  She is a Fellow in both the prestigious American Academy of Nursing and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

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Patricia Vanhook,


Assist. Prof. & Assoc. Dean Practice & Co-Coordinator NP Program
PhD in Nursing, East Tennessee State University

Dr. Vanhook studies the impact of stroke on the lives of survivors.  Her dissertation study empirically explored and validated the concept of "comeback" from the theory of chronic illness trajectory in female Appalachian stroke survivors.  She was funded as principal investigator on an ETSU Research Development Committee grant in which she replicated the study with a male stroke survivor population.  Her second area of research interest is in the nursing effectiveness and evidence-based care and outcomes of care in acute and primary care delivery settings, including prevention of falls in the elderly.  She has published her findings in journals such as Journal of Neuroscience in Nursing, On-Line Journal of Nursing Synthesis, Nursing Management, and others.  She presents nationally and internationally.  Dr. Vanhook teaches research in the undergraduate nursing program.  In the PhD program, she teaches measurement of clinical outcomes.  Dr. Vanhook maintains an active practice at Mountain City Extended Hours Health Center and is responsible for grant writing, grant monitoring, and grant reporting for the College of Nursing Practice Network.  The focus of her work is to enhance the NPs ability to provide services to the under-served including homeless, indigent, and rural citizens. 

Peer Reviewed Articles
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Commentary/Review/Letters to the Editor
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