faculty profile

Ruth Kleinpell   PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP, FCCM

Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing Education
Assistant Dean for Clinical Scholarship, Professor of Nursing


Dr. Kleinpell has conducted research related to patient outcomes in hospitalized older adults and postdischarge follow-up interventions using telehealth for vulnerable populations including elderly patients at high risk for hospital readmission. She has also conducted research focusing on outcomes after ICU treatment and role development of acute care nurse practitioners, among other funded studies. She recently served as principal investigator on an AHRQ-funded dissemination and research implementation grant aimed at disseminating patient-centered outcomes research to members of a health professional association. She is currently serving as PI on a PCORI funded 2-year initiative to promote patient-centered outcomes research in ICU settings, using a national collaborative with 63 hospital ICU teams to implement patient and family centered initiatives. As the Assistant Dean for Clinical Scholarship, she serves as a mentor to junior faculty for clinical scholarship and research initiatives, collaborates on Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) clinical projects, and provide consultation to the VUMC advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) for various scholarship initiatives. She also serves as PI for a national collaborative through the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of Advanced Practice for a national Choosing Wisely- APRN initiative https://ww2.mc.vanderbilt.edu/nursingoap/49500


  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification, American Nurses Credentialing Center 
  • CCRN Certification, American Association of Critical Care Nurses 
  • ACLS, American Heart Association

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Roles and scope of practice of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in acute care settings
  • Outcomes of advanced practice nursing care
  • Promoting dissemination of patient centered outcomes research
  • Outcomes after critical illness for elderly and middle aged patients after an intensive care unit stay
  • The use of telehealth in critical care; the use of telehealth as an advanced practice nursing intervention to address post discharge care


Improving Care for Critically Ill Patients & Families Through Research Dissemination & Implementation. Funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Role: PI) 2016-2018

Demonstrating the Outcomes of Nurse Practitioner Care Using a National Collaborative. Funded by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Fellows (Role: PI) 6/2017-2018

Disseminating Patient Centered Outcomes Research to Healthcare Professionals. Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality R18. (Role: PI) 4/2013-2016

Assessing the Impact of Telemedicine on ICU Nursing Care. Funded by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, First Impact Grant. (Role: PI) 2011-2013

Discharge Planning and Home Telehealth for Post CABG Elders. Funded by the Agency for Health Care Quality & Research & National Institute of Aging RO1. (Role: PI) 2006-2010

Exploring Outcomes After Critical Illness in the Elderly. Funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research R29. (Role: PI)

Longitudinal Study of Acute Care Nurse Practitioners. Funded by the American Nurses Foundation. (Role: PI)

Representative Publications


Kleinpell R, Kapu A. Quality Measures for NP Practice Evaluation. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2017;29:446-45.

Kleinpell R, Kapu A, Witherspoon B, et al. APRNs and the Choosing Wisely campaign. American Nurse 2017;12:14-17.

Kleinpell R, Buchman T, Harmon L, Nielsen M. Promoting Patient- and Family-Centered Care in the Intensive Care Unit: A Dissemination Project. AACN Advanced Critical Care. 2017; 28:155-159.

Rhodes A, Evans L, Alhazzani W...,Kleinpell R, et al. Surviving Sepsis Campaign: International Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock: 2016. Critical Care Medicine 2017;45:1-67.

Kleinpell R. Promoting early identification of sepsis in hospitalized patients with nurse-led protocols.2017; Critical Care 21(1);10.DOI: 10.1186/s13054-016-1590-0

Kleinpell R, Vasilevskis E, Fogg L, Ely W. Exploring the Association of Hospice Care on Patient Experience and Outcomes of Care. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. 2016 DOI: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2015-001001

Moss M, Good VS, Gozal D, Kleinpell R, Sessler CN. An Official Critical Care Societies Collaborative Statement: Burnout Syndrome in Critical Care Healthcare Professionals: A Call for Action. Critical Care Medicine 2016;44:1414-1421

Kleinpell RM, Schorr CA, Balk RA. The New Sepsis Definitions: Implications for Critical Care Practitioners. American Journal of Critical Care 2016;25:457-464.

Nates JL, Nunally M, Kleinpell R, et al. ICU Admission, Discharge, and Triage Guidelines: A Framework to Enhance Clinical Operations, Development of Institutional Policies, and Further Research. Critical Care Medicine 2016; 44(8):1553-1602 .

Myburgh J, Abillaman F, Chiumella J, Dobb G, Jacobe S, Kleinpell R, et al. End-of-life care in the intensive care unit: Report from the Task Force of World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine. Journal of Critical Care 2016;34:125-130.

Kleinpell R, Barden C, Rincon T, McCarthy M, Zapatochny Rufo RJ Assessing the Impact of Telemedicine on Nursing Care in Intensive Care Units. American Journal of Critical Care 2016;25(12): doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2016808

Kleinpell R, Crawford L. Dressing techniques for wounds in the critically ill. In Oxford Textbook of Critical Care. 2016: ISBN: 9780199600830

Kleinpell RM, Avitall B, Catrambone C, Johnson T, Fogg L, Moore S, Thompson NT. Randomized Trial of a Discharge Planning and Telehealth Intervention for Patients Aged 65 and older after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. International Journal of. Clinical Cardiology 2015, 2:4 ISSN: 2378-2951

Kleinpell, R. Ward N, Kelso L, Mollenkopf F, Houghton D. Patient to Provider Ratios for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in the ICU: Results from a National Survey. American Journal of Critical Care 2015; 24:e16-e21; doi:10.4037/ajcc2015274

Kleinpell RM, Faut-Callahan M, Carlson E, Llewellyn J, Dreher M Evolving the Practitioner-Teacher Role to Enhance Practice-Academic Partnerships. Journal of Clinical Nursing 2015 doi: 10.1111/jocn.13017

Kleinpell, R. Expanding Advanced Practice Nurse Opportunities: Results of a Survey of 1350 Nurse Practitioners. DOI: 10.5176/2315-4330_WNC15.75 2015

Williams G, Fulbrook P, Kleinpell R, Schmollgruber S, Alberto L. Critical care nursing organizations and activities: a fourth worldwide review. International Nursing Review 2015;62:453-461.

Sakr Y, Moreira CL. Rhodes A, Ferguson ND, Kleinpell R, et al. The Impact of Hospital and ICU. Organizational Factors on Outcome in Critically Ill Patients: Results from the Extended Prevalence of Infection in Intensive Care Study. Critical Care Medicine 2015;43(3):519-26.

Killeen KM, Ruby D, Delaney KR, Kleinpell R, Hinch B, Barginere C. Academic/service integration advances APRN practice. Nurse Leader 2015;57-62.

Kleinpell R, Scanlon A, Hibbert D, Ganz F, East L, Fraser D, Wong F, Beauchesne M. Addressing Issues Impacting Advanced Nursing Practice Worldwide. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 2014; Vol. 19, No. 2, Manuscript 5.


Kleinpell R. Outcome Assessment in Advanced Practice Nursing. 4th Edition. NY: Springer Publishing, 2017 [3rd edition published in 2013; 2nd edition in 2009, 1st edition in 2001]

Representative Presentations

Invited Plenary "Promoting Collaborations for Research & Scholarship to Improve Health," American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Doctoral Conference, Naples Florida, January 16, 2018.

Paper Presentation "Applying Implementation Science: Development of a National Collaborative for Advancing Choosing Wisely to Doing Wisely," American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), Toronto Canada, Oct 29, 2017.

Invited Presentations "Implementing the ABCDEF Bundle in the ICU: Strategies for Team Based Improvements," "The Future of ICUs" and "Influencing Healthcare for Patients and Providers" at the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa Congress, Sun City South Africa, October 19-21, 2017.

Invited Presentations "Telehealth for ICU," "Team Based Care in the ICU," and "Updates in Sepsis Management: Current Issues & Controversies" at the 42nd Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society/Australian College of Critical Care Nursing Annual Scientific Meeting on Intensive Care, Gold Coast Australia, Oct 11-13, 2017.

Invited Presentations "Clinical Trials and New Developments in Intensive Care," "Keeping the Patient at the Center of Everything We Do," and "Adapting the Workforce to Demand Future Proofing" at the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine Congress, Vienna Austria, September 24-27, 2017.

Invited Presentation "Challenges in the Critical Care Management of Sepsis"at the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis Congress, July 7-12, 2017, Berlin Germany.

Paper Presentation "Showcasing Nurse Practitioner Value Through Initiatives Targeting High Value Care," American Association of Nurse Practitioners Conference, Philadelphia PA, June 20-22, 2017.

Paper Presentation "Nursing Year in Review - Updates on the Use of Telemedicine in the ICU," American Thoracic Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, May 21, 2017.

Invited Plenary "The new sepsis definitions: Implications for critical care practitioners" and paper presentations: "Conducting clinical research: strategies for success" and "Best of SCCM Congress" at the Chinese Society of Critical Care Medicine Congress, Xi"an China, May 25-28, 2017.

Invited Plenary: "Burnout in ICU health professions: Strategies for prevention" and paper presentations "The evolving role of advanced practice providers in the ICU" and "Implementing the ABCDEF Bundle in the ICU: strategies for team based improvements" at the Korean Society of Critical Care Medicine, Seoul Korea, April 21-22, 2017.

Invited Paper Presentations "Implementing the ABCDEF bundle in the ICU: Strategies for team-based improvements" and "Burnout in the health professions: strategies for prevention" at the 13th Emirates Critical Care Conference, Dubai UAE, April 6-8, 2017.

Paper Presentation "Disseminating Patient-Centered Outcomes Research to Healthcare Professionals" American Heart Association Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research, Washington DC, April 2, 2017.

Invited Paper Presentation "The future of ICU: Influencing healthcare for patients and providers" at the Japanese Society of Critical Care Medicine, Sapporo Japan, March 8-10, 2017.

Invited Paper Presentation "Patient and family centered care in the ICU" at the European Federation of Critical Care Nursing Associations 7th Congress, Belfast Ireland, February 15-18, 2017.

Paper Presentations "Burnout in the Health Professions: Strategies for Prevention" and "Advanced Practice Provider Outcomes" Society of Critical Care Medicine Annual Congress, Honolulu Hawaii January 22, 2017.


  • National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research: Nursing Study Section Ad hoc reviewer 2006- 2007; Nursing Study Section Member, 2008-2010; Dissemination & Research Implementation in Health Study Section Member, 2010-2013
  • Center for Disease Control, Special Panel Grant Review, Trauma and Critical Care, March, 2009
  • Editorial Board, Critical Care Medicine
  • Editorial Board, Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Editorial Board, American Journal of Critical Care
  • Manuscript Reviewer: JAMA; American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine; Critical Care; Heart and Lung; AACN Clinical Issues: Advanced Practice in Acute and Critical Care; Journal of Medical-Surgical Nursing; Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship; Research in Nursing and Health; Western Journal of Nursing Research

Professional Organizations

  • American Academy of Nursing, Fellow 2002-present; Program Co-Chair 2010-2013; Board Member, 2014-2016
  • Institute of Medicine of Chicago, Fellow 2004-present; Board Member, 2014-2018
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Board Member, 2011-2016
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine, member 1998-present; Fellow 2005-present; Board Member, 2009-current; Program Co-Chair 2011; Secretary, 2013-2015; President-elect 2016; President 2017, Past President 2018
  • International Council of Nursing Advanced Practice Nursing Network, Education Subgroup Chair, 2011-2014
  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, member 1997-current; Program Committee Chair 2008; Board Member 2004-2008
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners, member 2000-present; Fellow 2003-current; Fellows Board Member 2008-2013; Chair, Practice Committee 2013-2014
  • American Board of Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine Board, 2015-2018


  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award, 2012
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Practice Academe Innovation Award, 2011
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses Flame of Excellence Award, 2010
  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties Research Award, 2010
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Clinical Research Award, 2007
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine Norma Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence, 2007
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Excellence in Education Award, 2005
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Leadership for Academic Nursing Program, 2005
  • Fellow, American College of Critical Care Medicine, 2005
  • Fellow, Institute of Medicine of Chicago, 2004
  • Fellow, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 2003
  • Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 2002