PhD in Nursing Science Program

2018 - 2019 Cohort

Rosalind de Lisser

Research Interests: Nurse well-being, resilience, burnout and workplace policy

Rosalind de Lisser

Rosalind de Lisser graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with her BSN and received an MSN from the University of Virginia. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and has spent her career focused on increasing access to mental health services through her leadership in design and implementation of integrated primary and mental health care. Her current clinical practice is in Women’s HIV Primary Care, providing trauma informed mental health and substance use care. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco, where she received the faculty nominated 2019 Overall Excellence in Teaching Award. She designs, implements, and evaluates competency-based curricula for psychiatric nurse practitioners and is committed to structural humility and competency in her teaching. Rosalind’s experience with clinical teaching inspired her research interest in exploring nurse’s experience with burnout and the individual and environmental factors associated with occupational function. She hopes to influence educational and workplace policy to promote nurse well-being. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sheila Ridner


Kathryn Hansen

Research interests: Health systems delivery of mind-body interventions for chronic disease and pain

Kathryn Hansen

Kathryn Hansen is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she completed an MSN with a focus on Adult Health and Palliative Care. She has worked at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt for the past 10 years and serves as their Medical Director, overseeing an interdisciplinary team that supports patients with complex chronic pain. She has additional training in mindfulness facilitation and health coaching and is passionate about finding innovative ways to provide care to patients that do not have reliable access to healthcare. Kathryn’s research focus is in health systems delivery of mind-body interventions for patients with chronic disease and pain. She has piloted and launched the telehealth services at the Osher Center and has ongoing research interest in this area. Kathryn is a member of the Executive Committee for the Bravenet Collaborative, a group of academic integrative health centers working collaboratively on research to improve integrative clinical research and delivery of integrative care. Kathryn lectures on integrative chronic pain management, trauma informed care, social and environmental determinants of health, telehealth, and interdisciplinary models of care. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sheila Ridner


Christa Hartch

Research interests: Medication adherence and mobile health interventions

Christa Hartch

Christa Hartch graduated from the University of Virginia School of Nursing in 1997. She received her MSN from the Yale University School of Nursing in 2002 and became a Family Nurse Practitioner. She was named a Vanderbilt University Graduate Fellow and Russell G. Hamilton Scholar in the PhD in Nursing Science program at Vanderbilt. Christa recently served as the President of the University of Virginia School of Nursing Alumni Association and was a member of the UVA School of Nursing Advisory Board. She is currently the Yale University School of Nursing Alumni Association President and member of Sigma Theta Tau. Her research interests include how the use of a medication adherence smartphone mobile application influences medication adherence self-efficacy and medication adherence in medically underserved patients with chronic illness. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Deonni Stolldorf


Christine Kimpel

Research interests: Environmental determinants of advance care planning among low-income elders

Christine Kimpel

Christine Kimpel is a Registered Nurse from Canton, Ohio currently employed as a project manager for Dr. Leanne Boehm of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Her previous work with palliative care spurred her interest to explore determinants of Advance Care Planning engagement. She earned her BSN (cum laude) and MA degrees from Kent State University. She will start the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship in July 2021 and is a member of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. Her research interests include the association of perceived environment with advance care planning among low-income elders. She hopes to develop this program of research around the use of community-based participatory research approaches to reduce advance care planning inequities. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Cathy Maxwell


Hannah Nolte

Research interests: Use of mind-body interventions to improve mental and physical health for women with a history of trauma

Hannah Nolte

Hannah Nolte graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Psychology. She was inspired to become a nurse after serving as a volunteer EMT and went on to graduate in 2017 with an MSN from Vanderbilt University where she received the Julia Hereford Society Scholar Award. As a master’s student, she conducted a community-based participatory intervention to enhance self-care behaviors among women with substance use disorders and presented her findings at a state conference. After graduating, she worked as a board certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The need she saw to address the wide-reaching health impacts of trauma and passion for mind-body practices motivated her to return to Vanderbilt as a doctoral student. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Alabama Alliance for Nurse Practitioners, and Society for Psychophysiology Research. She serves as a board member for the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. Hannah is a lifelong yoga practitioner, has an active meditation practice, and has completed a mindfulness-based stress reduction course. As a doctoral student, she is investigating the initial psychological and physiological changes among women with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder who engage in a mind-body intervention. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Melanie Lutenbacher


Piera M. Cote Robson

Research interests: Rescue of adult oncology patients following complications in radiology

Piera Robson

Piera M. Cote Robson graduated from Lafayette College in 1991 with a BA in Biology and 1995 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing accelerated BSN program. She achieved her Adult Nurse Practitioner degree from Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, Hunter College, City University of New York in 2011. She became licensed as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in New York in 2013. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society, Sigma Theta Tau, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and the Eastern Nursing Research Society. She served on the board of the Association of Radiologic and Imaging Nursing from 2014 to 2017. Piera presents nationally on topics related to clinical care of the oncology patient. Her research focuses on the clinical outcomes of oncology patients undergoing radiology studies, including quality of life following interventional radiology (IR) procedures, bleeding risk following percutaneous needle biopsies, and hypersensitivity reactions following contrast administration. She has first author publications in peer-reviewed journals that filled gaps in the literature on palliative interventions in IR. She is the recipient of the Samuel and May Rudin Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice and Hunter College Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. Piera is the 2019-2020 Vanderbilt University Russell G. Hamilton Scholar and a 2020-2021 Oncology Nursing Foundation Doctoral Scholarship recipient. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Terrah Foster Akard


Bethany Sanders

Research interests: Disparate cesarean section rates in African American women

Bethany Sanders

Bethany Sanders graduated cum laude from Xavier University in 2004, receiving a BA in French. She then entered the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing through the pre-specialty master’s program with an interest in nurse-midwifery. During her time at Vanderbilt, Bethany was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau and received the Outstanding Student Award for the nurse-midwifery program. She graduated in 2006 with an MSN and began working in full scope midwifery. It was during her clinical practice that Bethany developed an interest in interventions to reduce cesarean section rates. As a member of the VUSN faculty midwifery practice, she had the opportunity to participate in nursing research, present at national conferences, and learn scholarly writing through publication. Her research interests include disparate cesarean section rates in African American women. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jeremy L. Neal