faculty profile

Cristy DeGregory   PHD, MSN, RN

Assistant Professor


Dr. DeGregory joined Vanderbilt School of Nursing in 2017. She has more than ten years of experience in education and simulation, including teaching online and blended courses. 

Her research and teaching involves the field of positive psychology and the study of resilience in supporting caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. She has presented at numerous conferences and workshops about improving the care and overall support of older adult patients, spiritual care, healthy aging, the use of simulation in nursing education and utilizing positive psychology in teaching and practice.

Dr. DeGregory works simultaneously at the local, state and federal levels supporting Alzheimer's disease and dementia care and research. She serves on several committees and task force groups that work to strengthen gerontological nursing practice and the long-term care system.


  • PhD, University of South Carolina
  • Graduate Certificate-Gerontology, University of South Carolina
  • MSN-Nursing Education, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • BSN, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Representative Publications


Polyakova-Norwood, V., Heiney, S., & DeGregory, C. (2018). "Using a continuing multimedia case study to develop critical thinking and empathy." Journal of Nursing Education (in press)

American Nurses Association. (2018). "Gerontological Nursing Scope and Standards". (contributor).

Elk, R., Hall, E., DeGregory, C., Graham, D., & Hughes, B. (2017). The role of nurses in providing spiritual care to patients: an overview. The Journal of Nursing, 9. https://www.asrn.org/journal-nursing/1781-the-role-of-nurses-in-providing-spiritual-care-to-patients...

Health Care Chaplaincy Network and the Spiritual Care Association. (2017). "Spiritual Care and Nursing: A Nurse's Contribution and Practice [white paper]". (contributor). https://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/docs/about/nurses_spiritual_care_white_paper_3_3_2017.pdf

Zager, L.R., Herman, J., & Manning, L.S. (2017). The Eight-step approach for student clinical success (2nd ed.). Duluth, GA: I CAN Publishing. (contributor).

DeGregory, C. and Polyakova-Norwood, V. (2016). Creating authentic multimedia learning experiences for online classes. Distance Teaching & Learning Conference (conference paper), Madison, WI. 

Hand, M.W., Mitchell, S., & DeGregory, C. (2016). Advance directives in the provision of care for incarcerated adults: a scoping review protocol. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports. http://journals.lww.com/jbisrir/Abstract/2016/06000/Advance_directives_in_the_provision_of_care_for....

The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health report from the Long-Term Care Taskforce. (2015). "Creating Direction: A Guide for Improving Long-Term Care in South Carolina" (contributor). http://imph.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMPH_-LTC_Cover.jpg

Representative Presentations

DeGregory, C. (2018). "The many emotions of caregiving". Elders, Boomers & More, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

DeGregory, C. (2017). "Taking care of the caregiver: Discovering and growing your strengths". Alzheimer's Association, South Carolina Chapter, 2017 Family Education Conference, Newberry, SC. (invited)

DeGregory, C. (2017). "Spiritual care: What it means, why it matters & your role on the interdisciplinary team". HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Education Symposium, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. (invited)

DeGregory, C. & Polyakova-Norwood, V. (2017). "Creating authentic multimedia activities to teach caring and critical thinking in large online classes." 2017 Online Learning Consortium Innovate Conference, New Orleans, LA. 

DeGregory, C. & Elk, R. (2017). "Practices in spiritual care: The use of simulation to instruct nurses and nursing students". 2017 Caring for the Human Spirit Conference, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, Chicago, IL. (invited)

DeGregory, C. (2016, November). "Taking care of the caregiver: Discovering and growing your strengths". Alzheimer's Association, South Carolina Chapter, 2016 Caregiver Conference, Columbia, SC. (invited)

DeGregory, C. & Polyakova-Norwood, V. (2016, September). "Creating authentic multimedia learning experiences for online classes". Oktoberfest 2016: A Symposium for Teaching. The Center for Teaching Excellence, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. 

DeGregory, C. & Polyakova-Norwood, V. (2016, August). "Creating authentic multimedia learning experiences for online classes". Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, Madison, WI. 

DeGregory, C. (2016, April 20). "Appreciative inquiry infused teaching: Empowering students using a strengths-based approach". 23rd Annual Nurse Aid Trainers Workshop, SC Dept. of Health and Human Services, Brookland Baptist Convention Center, Columbia, SC. (invited)

Professional Organizations

  • Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honors Society
  • American Nurses Association
  • Member, Vanderbilt Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence


  • South Carolina Palmetto Gold Award for Nursing Excellence 2017 
  • Two Thumbs Up Award, Office for Disability Services, University of South Carolina 2015
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield Nurse Faculty Fellowship 2008 - 2011
  • Clinical Scholar University of Pittsburgh 2002
  • New Graduate Nurse Fellowship University of Pittsburgh 2002