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Nursing Research

Nurses use research to provide evidence-based care that promotes quality health outcomes for individuals, families, communities and health care systems. Nurses also use research to shape health policy in direct care, within an organization, and at the local, state and federal levels. Nurses conduct research, use research in practice, and teach about research. ANA supports nursing research with a variety of resources such as the Research Toolkit.

An ANA Research Agenda has been developed to guide the association in its research related efforts. It can assist researchers in understanding priority areas for ANA when submitting a proposal for NDNQI Data Use consideration.

Debra J. Barksdale


Associate Professor

Dr. Debra J. Barksdale is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is certified as both a family and an adult nurse practitioner.

Dr. Debra J. Barksdale is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is certified as both a family and an adult nurse practitioner. She is also a certified nurse educator and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is nationally known for work with on issues affecting nurse practitioner education and practice. Dr. Barksdale is currently President-Elect of the prestigious National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF). In the past as a member of the Board of Directors NONPF, she chaired both the Research and the Capital Development and Marketing Committees. Dr. Barksdale is also currently a member of the National Educational Research Think Tank for the National League for Nursing (NLN). She is also a Department of Health and Human Services Primary Health Care Policy Fellow and a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows 2011 cohort.

In addition to teaching nurse practitioner students at Carolina, she chairs the Master’s Executive Committee, co-chairs the Graduate Faculty Committee and is a member of the Faculty Development Committee, and the Faculty Executive Committee in the SON. She is currently the faculty leader in efforts to establish a Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at UNC-CH. She was coordinator of the FNP Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 4 years from 2002 to July, 2006.

As a researcher, Dr. Barksdale’s focuses on stress, emotions, and cardiovascular disease in Black Americans. Specifically, she explores the relationships among contextual factors, psychological factors, physiological stress responses and blood pressure in Black adults. Her current work explores the underlying hemodynamic determinants of hypertension, particularly sleep blood pressure and sleep total peripheral resistance, as well as the cortisol awakening response. The study also examines whether individual differences in trait emotions and coping mechanisms moderate the influence of chronic psychosocial stressors on physiological systems. She currently has a funded National Institute of Health research grant: Hypertension in Black Americans: Environment, Behavior, and Biology. She also is a member of the Steering Committee for the University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the School of Nursing’s Biobehavioral Laboratory Scientific Advisory Board. She is the only nurse appointed to the Board of Governors for the new Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) which was established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Barksdale has over 20 years of NP experience and has been a NP in urgent care, primary care, home care and care of the underserved. She was the Administrative Director for Medlantic Med+Care a clinic of the Washington Hospital Center Network in Washington D.C. and Co-Director of Imani, a faith based Nurse Manage Clinic in Detroit Michigan. She currently practices as a volunteer at the Robert Nixon Clinic for the homeless in Chapel Hill. She has numerous publications, presentations, and abstracts related to her research, diversity, NP education and practice. Dr. Barksdale is a practitioner, educator, researcher, administrator, and advocate.

Patricia Quigley


Associate Director

Patricia Quigley, PhD, MPH, ARNP, CRRN, FAAN, FAANP, Associate Director, VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, is both a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Nurse Practitioner in Rehabilitation.

Patricia Quigley, PhD, MPH, ARNP, CRRN, FAAN, FAANP, Associate Director, VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, is both a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Nurse Practitioner in Rehabilitation. As Associate Chief of Nursing for Research, she is also a funded researcher with the Research Center of Excellence: Maximizing Rehabilitation Outcomes, jointly funding by HSR&D and RR&D. Her contributions to patient safety, nursing and rehabilitation are evident at a national level – with emphasis on clinical practice innovations designed to promote elders’ independence and safety.

She is nationally known for her program of research in patient safety, particularly in fall prevention. The falls program research agenda continues to drive research efforts across health services and rehabilitation researchers. She has translated her research findings into materials that are used in providing bedside and community care, e.g., the Falls Prevention Toolkit and patient education materials on the use of hip protectors, ensuring seamless transition between her scholarly work and its application in real world settings. Dissemination of this work has progressed beyond the Veterans Administration (VA) through the media including national and local television and newspapers as well as through publications and conference presentations.

Her contributions significantly impact nursing science. She leads an interdisciplinary clinical team in the development of evidence-based assessment tools and clinical guidelines related to assessing veterans’ risk for falls and fall-related injuries across multiple medical centers. Her leadership resulted in the first organization to achieve CARF Accreditation for 3 Rehabilitation Programs, which expanded to now 11; National Deployment of the Functional Independence Measure / Program Evaluation System throughout VHA rehabilitation programs, and national Evidence-based Fall Prevention Conferences for 11 years consecutively, and first organization to acquire ANCC’s Magnet Designation. Additionally, she provides on-going consultation to the nursing staff, quality management, and patient safety coordinators for management of complex patients at risk for falls.

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