faculty profile

Sally Miller   PhD, RN

Assistant Professor
Vanderbilt Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence


Dr. Sally Miller joined VUSN in 2006, bringing a nursing background of gerontology, critical care, home care, administration, staff development and academic nursing education. Drawing from her varied experience, Dr. Miller has taught theory, skills and clinical to a wide nursing audience. At VUSN she was the director of the simulation lab from 2006-2018 and was instrumental in the design of the newly constructed simulation lab. From 2018-2021 Dr. Miller led simulation research and scholarship activities at VUSN and is currently an innovation team member with the Frist Nursing Informatics Center. 

Dr. Miller is a founding member of VUSN's Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence and has presented geriatric and simulation content at local, regional, national and international conferences. In 2019 Dr. Miller completed a Simulation Research Fellowship with the International Nurses Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) and was funded by the Vanderbilt Center for Effective Health Communication to provide a workshop utilizing Standardized Patients to teach healthcare workers frailty focused communication. 

Dr. Miller's dissertation researched the association between Tai Chi exercise and automobile driving among older adults and she continues to pursue her passion for supporting functional status in her population of interest through research, scholarship, and teaching.


  • PhD, The University of Arizona College of Nursing
  • Master of Science, University of California, San Francisco
  • BSN, Statewide Nursing Program, California
  • Associate Degree in Nursing, Cabrillo College
  • Associate in Science, Gerontology, Cabrillo College


Principle Investigator, Vanderbilt University Center for Effective Health Communication. Maxwell, C.A. (Co-I). A Multi-modal Educational Workshop to Teach Effective Frailty-Focused Healthcare Communication, 2018-2019

Lange Doctoral Dissertation Award, College of Nursing, University of Arizona. Tai Chi for Driving Health: Cognitive and Physical Function Related to Safe Driving Performance among Older Tai Chi Practitioners, 2015

Representative Publications


Miller, S.M. & Taylor-Piliae, R.E. (2021). Perceptions of the Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi Exercise among Older Adults. The Journal of the International Society of Chinese Health Practices, 2(1), 1-9. 

Lee, D.A, Maxwell, C.A., & Miller, S.M. (2021). “This is Me!” Perceptions of Older Adult Simulated Participants in an Aging and Injury Simulation Experience. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 28(1), 10-20. 

Miller, S.M. & Miller, M.A. (2021). Mind the Gap! A Strategy to Bridge the Time Between Simulation and Debriefing. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 51(C), 10-13.

Miller, S.M., Hui-Lio, C., & Taylor-Piliae, R.E. (2020). Health Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise: A Guide for Nurses. Nursing Clinics of North America, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Part 1: Therapies. 55(4), 581-600.

Stewart, L., Hawkins Stringer, T., Miller, S.M., Alexander, E. VanRegenmorter, J., & Phillippi, J. (2019). Interprofessional Simulation for Nursing and Divinity Students: Learning Beyond Checklists. Clinical Simulation in Nursing. 35, 10-16.

Parish, A., Kim, J., Lewallen, K.A., Miller, S.M., Myers, J., Panepinto, R. & Maxwell, C.A. (2018). Knowledge and perceptions about aging and frailty: An integrative review of the literature. Geriatric Nursing. June 14, 2018.

Miller, S.M., Taylor-Piliae, R.E. (2017). The Association between Tai Chi Exercise and Safe Driving Performance among Older Adults: An Observational Study. Journal of Sport and Health Science. Available online January 2017.

Miller, S.M., Taylor-Piliae, R.E., & Insel, K.C. (2016). The Association of Physical activity, Cognitive Processes and Automobile Driving Ability in Older Adults: A Review of the Literature. Geriatric Nursing. 37(4), 313-320.

Miller, S.M. (2016). Connecting East and West by a Developmental Theory for Older Adults: Application of Baltes' Selection, Optimization, and Compensation Model. Applied Nursing Research. 29, 113-115.

Miller, S.M. & Overstreet, M. (2015). Geriatric Simulation: Practicing Management and Leadership in Care of the Older Adult. Nursing Clinics of North America, 50(2), 367-377.

Miller, S.M. & Taylor-Piliae, R.E. (2014). Effects of Tai Chi on Cognitive Function in Community-dwelling Older Adults: A Review. Geriatric Nursing, 35(1),9-19.

Miller, S.M. (2011). Pain Assessment and Management in Nonverbal Older Adults with Advanced DementiaJournal for Nurse Practitioners, 7(9),781-782.

Miller, S.M. (2011). Journal Writing: A Teaching Strategy for Gerontology Nursing Courses. Journal of Gerontological Nursing 37(7),52-56.

Miller, S.M. (2010). Test Your Knowledge: All things cardiovascular crossword puzzle. Journal for Nurse Practitioners,6(10),816.

Miller, S.M. (2009). How do I care for a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis? Nursing 39(5),59.

Representative Presentations

Podium Keynote Presentation (invited). Perceptions of the Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi Exercise. International Taijiquan and Health Science Conference. Beijing, China, 11/2019

Poster Presentation: A Multi-modal Workshop to Teach Frailty-focused Communication. Vanderbilt Health Professions Education Research Day. (Miller, Maxwell). Awarded Blue Ribbon, 10/2019

Poster Presentation: The Human Connection: Interprofessional Learning for Nursing and Divinity Students. NLN Education Summit, Chicago, IL (Stewart, Hawkins Stringer, VanRegenmorter, Miller, Alexander, Phillippi), 9/2018.

Poster Presentation: Interprofessional Simulation Between Nursing and Divinity Students: Qualitative Findings. International Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning, Toronto, Canada (Miller, Stewart, Hawkins Stringer, VanRegenmorter, Alexander, Phillippi), 6/2018.

Symposium Presentation: East Meets West: Expanding Possibilities through the Art of Tai Chi Chuan. Gerontological Association of America Annual Scientific Session, New Orleans, LA (Komelski, Taylor-Piliae, Wei, Kong, Miller, Du)

Poster Presentation: Tai Chi Exercise and Safe Driving Performance in Older Adults: An Observational Study. International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health. Henderson, NV (Miller, Taylor-Piliae)

Podium Presentation: Interprofessional Team Building: Bringing Nursing and Divinity Students Together through Simulation. Tennessee Simulation Alliance Conference, Nashville, TN (VanRegenmorter, Stewart, Hawkins, Miller, Alexander)

Poster Presentation: Collaborative, High-Volume, Repetitive Simulations: Strategies for Success. Tennessee Simulation Alliance, Nashville, TN (Miller, Kelley, Curtis)

Poster Presentation: Journal Writing: A Teaching Strategy for Academic and Service Educators.  Vanderbilt-Reynolds Geriatrics Education Center Quality in Geriatric and Long-Term Care Medicine, Nashville, TN, September 2010

Podium presentation: Geriatric Simulations in Second Life: Virtual Reality for Interdisciplinary Collaboration. 2010 Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing NICHE Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD, April, 2010

Podium Presentation:  Revising an Academic Simulation for Hospital Education: A Story of Successful Sharing.  2009 Tennessee Center for Nursing Simulation Conference, Nashville, TN, November, 2009

Podium Presentation: Teaching Geriatric Nursing Concepts Using a Simulated Medical-Surgical Setting. Connecting the Dots:  Geriatric Nursing, Education and Clinical Simulation International Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, April 2009

Podium Presentation: Simulation Debriefing Using the GRASP Strategy, 2nd Annual Clinical Simulation Conference, California Institute for Nursing & Health Care, Los Angeles, CA, March 2009 (Miller, Miller, Lucero)

Podium Presentation: Using a Simulated ACE Unit to Increase Nursing Staff Knowledge of Older Adult Care, Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing NICHE Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, April, 2009 (Miller, Overstreet)

Poster presentation:  Getting Past the Plastic: Nursing Students Performing Caring-Based Interventions During High Fidelity Simulation 7th Annual International Nursing Simulation/Learning Resource Centers Conference, San Jose, CA. June, 2008 (Miller, Overstreet)

Professional Organizations

  • Gerontological Society of America
  • International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning
  • Sigma Theta Tau International
  • Society for Simulation in Healthcare


  • 2015 The Lange Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, University of Arizona, College of Nursing
  • 2012 VUSN Dean's Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Informatics Endeavors