faculty profile

Melanie Hall Morris   PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, CCE

Assistant Professor


Dr. Melanie Morris, a board-certified women's health nurse practitioner, joined the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty in 2008. Her clinical practice background comprises medical-surgical nursing, women's health, and obstetrics including all phases of the childbearing cycle. Her research focuses on facilitating the health of women and their newborns during the early postpartum period through an innovative use of nurse-navigated, patient-centered, interactive texting. Additionally, a passion includes encouraging well-being in nurses and students by advocating for intentional self-care as one strategy to foster compassionate caring for oneself and others.


  • PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Nursing) 
  • Graduate Certificate, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Nursing Education)
  • MSN, Vanderbilt University (Family Nurse Clinician)
  • BSN, Vanderbilt University


  • Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Childbirth Educator

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Use of Text Messaging Technology to Offer Professional Nurse Support to Women Following Childbirth
  • Women's Postpartum Symptom Experiences
  • Journaling as a Self-Care Strategy
  • Promotion of Self-Care within Nursing

Academic Interests

  • Obstetrical Nursing
  • Evidence-Based Professional Nursing Practice


  • Investigating the Relationship between Nurse-Navigated Mobile Messaging Support and Primiparous Women's Postpartum Symptom Experience Following Unplanned Cesarean Birth, Role - PI
    Sigma Theta Tau International, Iota Chapter, 2018
    The Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) (VR51943), 2017
    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Graduate School, 2017
    Tennessee Nurses Foundation, 2017
    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Nursing Office of Research Administration, 2016
  • Investigating the Effect of Nurse-Navigated Mobile Messaging Support, Role - PI
    Vanderbilt Institute of Digital Learning (VIDL) Microgrant, 2016

Representative Publications


Morris, M. H., Barton, M., Zane, M., Hutson, S. P., Raman, R., & Heidel, R. E. (2021). A Nurse-Navigated, Postpartum Support Text Messaging Intervention: Satisfaction Among Primiparous Women. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 35(4), 330-339. https://doi.org/10.1097/jpn.0000000000000596

Morris, M. H. (2020). Write it out! CPR for the soul. Nursing Clinics of North America, 55(4), 475?488. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnur.2020.06.014

Powers, S. C., Morris, M. H., Flynn, H., & Perry, J. (2019). Faculty-led role-play simulation: Going live to teach patient-centered care to nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 58(11), 665-668. doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20191021-10

Bingham, D., Suplee, P., Morris, M. H., & McBride, M. (2018). Healthcare strategies for reducing pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality in the postpartum period. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 32(3), 241-249. doi.org/10.1097/jpn.0000000000000344

Webb, J., Morris, M. H., Thomas, S. P., & Combs-Orme, T. (2015). Parenting perceptions of low-income mothers. MCN, The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 40(2), 116-121. doi:10.1097/NMC.0000000000000110

Representative Presentations

Beebe, K. R., Morris, M. H., Gay, C. L., & Lee, K. A. (2021, April 14-16). Symptom prevalence during postpartum recovery: What does age have to do with it? [Online Presentation]. Western Institute of Nursing's Better Together: Integration of Nursing Research, Practice, and Education Virtual Conference

Morris, M. H. & Hutson, S. P. (2019) A Randomized Controlled Trial of Nurse-Navigated Texting Support for Primiparous Women Following an Unplanned Cesarean Birth. Poster presentation at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Annual Convention, 50th Anniversary Celebration, Atlanta, GA

Morris, M. (2018) Got TEXT...support? Facilitating Postpartum Health following Cesarean Birth. 3MT - 3 Minute Thesis Competition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.

Morris, M. H. & Hutson, S. P. (2018). Investigating the Use of Nurse-Navigated Mobile Messaging Support for First-time Mothers' Following Cesarean Birth. Podium Presentation, International Rural Nursing Conference, Nashville, TN.

Morris, M., Robbins, H., Alexander, E., Stewart, L., Williams, D., & Barton, M. (2015).
OB Blitz: A strategy for teaching essential skills prior to clinical engagement. Podium presentation, Sigma Theta Tau - Gamma Chi Chapter & Student Nurses Association 2015 Research Day, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.

Robbins, H. M., Stewart, L. S., Morris, M. H., Alexander, E. H., Williams, D. J., & Barton, M. P. (2014). OB Blitz: A Strategy for Teaching Essential Skills Prior to Clinical Engagement. Poster presented at the 2014 Baccalaureate Education Conference, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Baltimore, MD.

Webb, J., Morris, M., Thomas, S., & Combs-Orme, T. (2014). Perceptions of low income mothers about good parenting. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Nursing Research Society, San Antonio, TX.

Clinical Practice

  • Obstetrical Nursing
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Women's Health - Hope Clinic for Women

Professional Organizations

  • American Nurses Association/Tennessee Nurses Association
  • Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Tennessee Section Chair
  • National League for Nursing                  
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing 
  • Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC)


  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Iota Chapter Scholarly Activity Award, 2019
  • University of Tennessee College of Nursing Sandra P. Thomas PhD Research Award, 2016
  • Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association Promise of Nursing Faculty Fellowship, 2016 
  • MCN, The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing Research Paper of the Year Award, "Parenting Perceptions of Low-income Mothers" with co-authors J. Webb, S.P. Thomas, & T. Combs-Orme, 2015 
  • Tennessee Nurses Foundation Scholarly Writing Contest Winner - Manuscript: "Soul Fuel: A Self-Care Essential for Nurse Leaders", 2015 
  • Don Bell Memorial Graduate Poster Award - First Place Winner, Perceptions of low income mothers about good parenting, 2014