Research and Areas of Expertise

Samuel P. Abraham, DHA, MS, RN - Instructor.  Dr. Abraham teaches Psychiatric Mental Health for the WMU Bronson School of Nursing.  Articles:  Comparison of complications after transfemoral coronary angiography between mechanical and manual closure techniques. Cogent Medicine 2017-08-01 | journal-article DOI: 10.1080/2331205X.2017.1362185.  Patient Falls in the Acute Care Hospital Setting as Perceived by the Frontline Staff LaPrensa Medica Argentina 2017-06-10 | journal-article Part of DOI: 10.4172/lpma.1000251.   A case for evidence based patient education: Differences in short term and long term patient outcomes for total vs. subtotal hysterectomy using a systematic review of literature Cogent Psychology 2017-03-22 | journal-article DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2017.1304017.  A correlational study of spiritual well-being and depression in the adult cancer patient Health Care Manager 2017 | journal-article DOI: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000153.  A Qualitative Study of Health Care Experiences among International Students Health Care Manager 2017 | journal-article DOI: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000138.  Building Cultural Competence: The Lived Experience of Semester Study Abroad Students. 2017 | journal-article DOI: 10.1097/cnj.0000000000000410.  Perceptions of College Student-Athletes Regarding the Long-Term Effects of Concussions Health Care Manager 2017 | journal-article DOI: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000169.  Bridging the Gap with Peer Support: Patricia's Recovery Story (2017). Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. DOI: 10.3928/02793695-20171027-01.  Association between Coffee Consumption and Different Types of Cancers: A Review of Meta-Analysis Cogent Psychology DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2017.139223.  Night Shift Work and Its Health Effects on Nurses. (2017). The Health Care Manager. URL:

 Elissa Allen, PhD, RN - Assistant Professor.  Dr. Allen’s research focuses on “Bladder Health Early in the Lifespan.” She focuses on using a lifespan perspective of bladder health to target issues early in the lifespan and prevent lower urinary tract symptom development. Her most recent work used a qualitative approach to identify barriers and facilitators to adolescent women’s high school bathroom use.  Poster: Allen, E. (2019). How inclusive are the bathrooms at Western Michigan University? Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services Diversity and Inclusion Workshop. 

Kelly Ackerson, PhD, RN – Associate Professor, Bronson School of Nursing.  Dr. Ackerson's research focuses on health promotion and health prevention focusing on reproductive and sexual health in underserved women. She has several publications that concentrate on avoidance of the gynecological exam. Dr. Ackerson developed and validated a measurement tool called the Pap Smear Belief Questionnaire, which evaluates women’s attitudes towards cervical cancer screening. Her most recent research has focused on global reproductive and sexual health in South Sudanese refugee women living in Uganda.  Presentations:  Panel presentation – PMS Products for Menstrual Sustainability, March 10, 2020. Panelists: Betsy Drach; Kelly Ackerson; Angelina Degasperis; Tyler Signorella; Tashifa Fayyaz. Sponsored by the WMU School of Social Work.  Zielinski, R., & Ackerson, K. (2020). Adaptation of Home Based Life Savings Skills for use in South Sudanese refugee camps using the ADAPT-ITT method. 65th American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) Annual Meeting. May 29, 2020. Poster Presentation.  Publications:  Ackerson, K., & Zielinski, R. (in press). Adapting and expanding Home Based Life Saving Skills to include family planning to promote maternal health in South Sudanese refugees. Women’s Reproductive Health, 7(4).   

Kristi Block, MSN, BSN, RN – Faculty Specialist II.  Kristi Block has been with Bronson School of Nursing (BSON) since fall 2015. Her areas of expertise are in psychiatric nursing and obstetrical nursing. Currently, she is serving at the Psychiatric Clinical Coordinator. She has taught/co-taught in the following courses at WMU: Therapeutics 1 and 2, Psychiatric Nursing clinical, Obstetrical Nursing clinical and Healthcare Ethics and Health Assessment Throughout the Lifespan (RN-BSN program since spring 2019).  Ms. Block has been the Chair of Student Affairs Committee since fall 2018.  She has assisted with the Holistic Admissions Review process to bring more diversity to the Bronson School of Nursing.  Ms. Block has had the pleasure of working with Lee Honors College students to complete their Thesis Projects.  She enjoys helping with Student Immersion Days at BSON and loves talking with potential students about nursing.   

Joanne DeWit, MSN, BSN, RN – Faculty Specialist II.  Joanne DeWit is a nurse educator at Bronson School of Nursing (BSON) teaching “Wellness Care of the Elderly”.  Currently, she is a faculty mentor for the Empower Success Program a HIRSA granted program.  In the past, she has been a clinical faculty for the Community-based nursing course. She is passionate about student learning and increasing diversity in nursing. Joanne serves on the Interprofessional Education Committee at the College of Health and Human Services, as well as the Scholarship and Inquiry Committee at BSON. Additionally, Joanne is participating in the development of the Ishler Wellness Lab scheduled to open in fall 2019, is a member of a Faculty Learning Community, and serves as the secretary of the local Sigma Upsilon Epsilon chapter board. Joanne’s education ranges from her original LPN degree to a recent MSN. She has worked in neurology/neurosurgery and thoracic ICU prior to becoming a nurse educator.  Presentation:  Interprofessional Education Expo (2019): Diabetes Mellitus Type II and Obesity. College of Health and Human Services faculty.  Grant: Faculty Community of Practice Faculty Grant 2019-2020. 

Yvonne Ford, PhD, RN – Associate Professor, Bronson School of Nursing.  Dr. Ford’s research focuses on student transition to the professional role, perioperative nursing, patient safety and nurses’ handoffs.  Dr. Ford has presented at national and regional conferences, and has published articles on the nurse self-concept of nursing students and on patient perceptions of bedside handoffs.  

Susan Houtrouw, MNSc, BSN, RN – Faculty Specialist II.  Susan Houtrouw is a Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in children’s health. She is currently serving as a pediatric clinical faculty member and also teaches upper level medical-surgical skills. She is very passionate about Holistic Nursing and recently received Board Certification as an Advanced Holistic Nurse. With over 30 years of experience she has worked in a variety of settings, but has a big heart for pediatric home care and maintains her practice in this area while actively teaching. She also maintains her certification as an American Heart CPR Instructor. Recently she collaborated with other faculty members on research dealing with immunization compliance.  Local NewsHowtrouw, S. (2019). News piece related to her work with virtual reality and nursing. West Michigan News Channel.  PresentationHowtrouw, S. (2019). Keynote Speaker for 2019 Sigma: Epsilon Upsilon Chapter Induction ceremony.

Wendy Kershner, MSN, BSN, RN – Master Faculty Specialist.  Wendy Kershner has maintained her Lactation certification and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certification since 2000. She has worked in the Obstetrical and Pediatric units in the hospital setting for over 29 years. She worked in Bronson Hospital Breastfeeding Center for 13 years. She is certified in Holistic Nursing. She serves as a Board member on the Kalamazoo Safe Kids Coalition, the Southwest Michigan Lactation Coalition and also currently works as a Lactation Consultant for Twenty Hands, a maternal infant health program.  Faculty Certification:  The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) currently endorses 12 nursing schools within the United States that provide Holistic Nursing programs that facilitate their graduates in achieving the Holistic Nursing certification process. Beginnings: American Holistic Nurses Association (2018) published that Western Michigan University (WMU) Bronson School of Nursing (BSON) was re-endorsed in 2017 for the BSN program and the RN-BSN program. Wendy Kershner has achieved Holistic Nursing certification and was instrumental in re-endorsing  certification for WMU BSON.  

Mary D. Lagerwey, PhD, RN - Professor and Director, Bronson School of Nursing.   Director of Bronson School of Nursing and Professor at the Western Michigan University.  Her most recent publication is first-person accounts of missionary nurses, and on a textual analysis of historical nursing documents on eugenics in the United States. Recent publications have grown out of her international work with WMU students and PhD candidates in the Netherlands. These include two with Pieterbas Lalleman on dispositions of nurse middle managers in the Netherlands and the United States, and two with Geroen Dikken on development of an international scale measuring nurses’ knowledge and attitudes about aging. She is a frequent book reviewer for Choice. Dr. Lagerwey’s research interest are health care ethics in historical contexts; holocaust, women and community health, and qualitative methodology.  Publications: Lagerwey, M. Eugenics and Healthy Families: Interdependence and Legitimation. Accepted for publication April 2019 by the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics.  Zielinski, R. & Lagerwey, M.  (2019). Living and working at Oasis Hospital: Recollections of Missionary Nurses.  International Bulletin of Mission Research. 4(2).  Zielinski,R. & Lagerwey, M. (2018). Living and working at Oasis Hospital: Recollections of missionary nurses. International Bulletin of Mission Research. 1(11), 1-1. Radi, J.K., Fogarty, K.J., Lagerwey, M.D. (2018). How is the role of the Physician Assistant (PA) changing in the use of Buprenorphine in the treatment of patients with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)? JAAPA (Accepted for publication on April 22, 2018).  Strong, K., Lagerwey, M. and Shadden, B. (2018). More than a story: My life came back to life.  American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 27. 464-476.  Dikken, J., Hoogerduijn, J.,  Lagerwey, M. D., Shortridge-Bagget, L., Sharon Klaasen, S., & Schuurmans, M. J.. (2017). Measurement of Nurses' Attitudes and Knowledge Regarding Acute Care Older Patients: Psychometrics of the OPACS-US Combined with the KOP-Q. Geriatric Nursing, XX, 1-5.  Dikken, J., Hoogerduijn, J., Klaasen, S.,  Lagerwey, M. D., Shortridge-Bagget, L. & Schuurmans, M. J. (2017). The Knowledge about older patients – quiz (kop-q): Cross-cultural validation between the Netherlands and United States of America. 2017 Nurse Education Today Doi:10.1016/j.nedt. 2017.05.003.

Susan Nelson, MSN, BSN, RN – Master Faculty SpecialistMs. Nelson’s expertise is safety issues and psychomotor skills with sophomore nursing students. She currently teaches Therapeutics I, previously has taught: Health and Wellness, Obstetrics, Well Elder and Ethics. She is involved with the community as a Family Nurse Practitioner enabling her to stay current in evidence based practice and research.

Kelley H. Pattison, PhD, RN – Assistant Professor Bronson School of NursingHer research focuses on examining aspects of care of people with heart failure and also the historical events that have helped to shape nursing.  Presentations: “Portrayal of nurses in the music of World War I” presented at the 35th Annual American Association of the History of nursing and Healthcare History Conference, San Diego, CA, September 14. 2018.  “Caring for the community, Cuban Nursing after the 1959 Revolution.” presented at the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, June, 15, 2018 .  Publications:  Pattison, K.H. (2020). Doctor, are you listening? Circulation, (in press).  Behnke, L. and Pattison, K. H. (2020). Long term exercise and women with heart disease. Circulation, (in press).  Pattison, K.H. (2020). An historical view of nursing and polio. Journal of Issues in Nursing (in press).  Pattison, K. H. (2019). Medications for the management of heart failure: What nurses need to know. American Nurse Today 14(2), p. 20-23.  Pattison, K. H. (2018). The family doctor and nurse: The dynamic duo of Cuban healthcare. International Journal of Studies in Nursing 3(1), 106-109.  Bergman-Schieman, K., Pattison, K. H., Early, C. (2017). Caring for the trauma patient with pre-existing heart failure. Journal of Trauma Nursing24(5), 312-31.  Pattison, K. H., Heyman, A., Barrow, K., & Barlow, J. (2016) Patients perception of sitting versus standing for nurse leader rounding. Journal of Nursing Care Quality 32(1), p.1-5.  

Maria Roche-Dean, PhD, RN - Assistant Professor, Bronson School of Nursing.  Dr. Maria Roche-Dean’s research focuses on how the healthcare systems supports multilingual older adults with dementia and their caregivers. Publications:  Roche-Dean, M. V., & Magilvy, J. K. K. (2020). Recruiting Participants for Research in an Anti-Immigrant Climate: Caregivers of Older Multilingual Adults with Dementia. SAGE Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health.  Presentations:  Roche-Dean, M. (November, 2018). The Challenges of Caring for the Multilingual Older Adult with Dementia. Poster Presentation for the Annual Gerontological Society of America conference. Boston, Massachusetts.  Roche-Dean, M. (November, 2018). Caring for the Multilingual Population an Update.  New York State Adult Day Services Association. TarryTown, New York.  Roche-Dean, M & Reed, F. (October 26, 2018). Cultural Sensitivity Beyond the Classroom – An Innovative Interdisciplinary Education Project. Saratoga, New York.  Roche-Dean, M. (October, 2017). Dementia in the Multilingual Population.  New York State Adult Day Services Association. Albany, New York.

Jaime Rohr, MSN, RN-BC, Faculty Specialist II.  Jaime Rohr has been with the Bronson School of Nursing since 2015 as a nurse educator. Areas of expertise are Medical-Surgical adult nursing.  She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Medical-Surgical Nurse.  She teaches in the clinical setting and is also a clinical coordinator for MedSurg I and II. She has a passion for addiction medicine and works as a nurse in that area. Jaime enjoys learning and is working towards becoming a certified academic clinical nurse educator. 

Karen Schieman, PhD, RN – Associate Professor, Bronson School of NursingConcussion Symptom Management- Working collaboratively with faculty in the College of Business, we have developed a mobile application for symptom management of concussion.  This mobile application allows users to track their symptoms, view their scores on a graph, and see suggestions for management of their symptoms.  This helps in their day to day management of symptoms. If they choose, they can share this information with their healthcare provider to improve their overall management of concussion.  Publications:  Bergman-Schieman K. Pattison, K., Early C. (2017). Caring for trauma patients with co-existing heart disease. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 24 (5), 312-316.  Bergman, K., Louis, S. (2016). Discharge instructions for concussion: Are we meeting the patient’s needs? Journal of Trauma Nursing, 23 (6), 327-333.  Johnston, D., Franklin, K., Rigby, P., Bergman, K., Davidson, S. (2016). Sedation and analgesia in transportation of acutely and critically ill patients. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 28, 137-54.  Bergman, K., Beekmans, V., Stromswold, J. (2015). Considerations for neuroprotection in the traumatic brain injury population. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 27, 225-233.  Bergman, K. (2015). The complex nature of trauma. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 27, 9-12.

Lisa Singleterry, PhD, RN - Assistant Professor, Bronson School of Nursing.  Her research focus is on the science of nursing education. She is on two research teams at WMU.  Dr. Singleterry is a member of the WMed/WMU professionals accelerating clinical education and redesign (PACER) team. This team of faculty is being trained to develop interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional practice opportunities for students in the health sciences. She is also a facilitator of the writing assessment group (WAG) which has shared a process of quality improvement for writing assignments with faculty in the CHHS, at the 2016 and 2017 Lilly Conference, and with faculty at the 2016 and 2018 International Writing Across the Curriculum (IWAC) conference. Her publications include strategies in the practice of teaching for both face-to-face and online courses.  PublicationsVliem, S. & Singleterry, L. (2020, March). Faculty STEP to improve thinking [Conference suspended due to COVID]. Nursing Education Research Conference (NERC). Washington D.C.  Caulfield, S. & Singleterry, L. (2019, October). Crossing the border from clinician to educator: Pedagogical preparation and identity. International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). Atlanta, GA.  Singleterry, L. & Caulfield, S. (2019, July). Intentional Assignment Design II. Office of Faculty Development Cool Tools for Teaching Workshop Western Michigan University. Kalamazoo, MI.  Singleterry, L. & Caulfield, S. (accepted for publication). Writing assignments: A process for faculty development. Nursing Education Perspectives.  Singleterry, L., Vliem, S., Gibson, K., & Gaynor, S. (2019). Interprofessional improvement of interprofessional teaching practices. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 14, 43-46.  Singleterry, L. (2019). Intentional Application of Nursing Theory in Simulated Practice. Nursing Education Perspectives, Publish Ahead of Print., L. R. (2018). Managing Online Groups With a Slice of Pie. Journal of Nursing Education, 57(2), 127–127.  Vliem, S., Singleterry, L., Gibson, K., & Gaynor, S. (2018, September). An eating disorder IPE simulation [Featured presentation]. Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education, and Research Center (MiPERC) conference. Grand Rapids, MI.  Singleterry, L., Caulfield, & Andrasi, P. (2018, September). WAG shares the DOPE: Interprofessional team-developed tools for effective writing of course assignments. [Presentation]. National League for Nursing Education Summit. Chicago, IL.  Caulfield, S, Andrasi, P., & Singleterry L. (2018, June). WAG shares the DOPE: Tools for effective writing of course assignments. [Workshop]. International Writing Across the Curriculum (IWAC) Conference. Auburn, AL  https:// docs/proceedings/iwac2018/program.pdf. Awards:  Winner of the Community simulations design-The MIPERC Interprofessional Simulation Design Competition. 

Dawn Smith, MSN, RN - Faculty Specialist II.  Dawn Smith is a Faculty and Clinical Specialist specializing in community and public health nursing. She is currently teaching the pre-licensure and RN-BSN courses in “Community Based and Population Based Nursing”. Dawn has 18 years’ experience in local public health service, specializing in immunizations and vaccine preventable disease. She is passionate about the environment and health and is currently participating in an Ecology Fellowship 2020, a statewide program focused on educating healthcare providers about environmental health issues. Social justice and health equity remain at the center of her teaching. She strives to impassion her students to feel connected to their community and be a voice of advocacy for their future patients.  Activities:  College of Health and Human Services Committees: CHHS-Workforce Education and Teaching, Bronson School of Nursing: Scholarship and Inquiry Committee and BSN Curriculum Committee.  Community Committees: Kalamazoo County Resource Round Table Planning Committee, Calhoun County Lead Taskforce.  Professional Organizations: Sigma Theta Tau Upsilon Epsilon (2016-present), Michigan Public Health Association, and American Holistic Nurses Association.  Interdisciplinary Teaching Education Program 2016.  Community Education Presentation: Kalamazoo Math and Science Center 2016-2019, Cradle Kalamazoo/Frontline Meeting 2019.

Lori Van Zoeren, MSN, RN - Faculty Specialist II.  Lori Van Zoeren has work as a clinical instructor part time since 2012 until joining in a full time capacity in 2019. Her area of expertise is in obstetrical nursing and worked at the bedside for 32 years. She is the coordinator and clinical instructor for the clinical component of the Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family course.  Lori holds active professional memberships in the American Holistic Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses, and the Southwestern Michigan Perinatal Association. Lori is active in professional organizations which provide evidenced based research and continuing education offerings to stay apprised of best practice research to share with colleagues and students. Awards:  Teaching Excellence Award and American Association of Colleges of Nursing Scholarship Recipient.

Sally Vliem, PhD, RN – Master Faculty Specialist, Bronson School of NursingDr. Vliem’s passion in nursing is twofold. Pediatrics is her first love in nursing. Any research related to pediatrics and improving the care of children and families will always pique her interest. Sally’s other research focus is related to nursing education specifically as it relates to simulation, student success, and inter-professional education (IPE) and practice (IPP).  Awards:  Winner of the Community simulations design-The MIPERC Interprofessional Simulation Design Competition.  Presentations:  Vliem, S.J., Singleterry, L,R. Gibson,K., & Gaynor, S.T. (2018). An eating disorder. Interprofessional education (IPE) simulation,  Midwest Inter-Professional Practice, Education, and Research Center (MiPERC) Conference.  Publications:  Singleterry, L., Vliem, S., Gibson, K., & Gaynor, S. (2019). Interprofessional improvement of interprofessional teaching practices. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 14, 43-46.

Pamela Wadsworth, PhD, RNA – Assistant Professor, Bronson School of Nursing.  Dr. Wadsworth has worked as a women’s health nurse practitioner for ten years and a labor and delivery nurse for five years. Her research focuses on the ways in which gendered violence (primarily intimate partner violence and sexual assault) impacts the wellbeing of women and the ways in which healthcare providers can facilitate healing of the mind, body, and spirit.  Published Articles: Wadsworth, P., Krahe, E., & Searing, K. (2019).  Healthcare seeking and engagement after sexual assault.  Journal for Nurse Practitioners 15(10), 801-805.  Wadsworth, P., Krahe, E., & Allen, E. (2020).  Occupational well-being in sexual assault victims and survivors.  Journal of Holistic Nursing, 38(2).  doi: 10.1177/0898010119863537.  Wadsworth, P., Degesie, K., Kothari, C., Moe, A. (2018).  Intimate partner violence during the perinatal period.  Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 14(10), 753-759.  Wadsworth, P., Kothari, C., Lubwama, G., Brown, C., & Frank-Benton, J. (2018).  Health and healthcare from the perspective of intimate partner violence adult female victims in shelters: Impact of intimate partner violence, unmet needs, barriers, experiences, and preferences.  Family and Community Health, 41(2), 123-133.  Wadsworth, P.J. & Krahe, E.J.  & Searing, K. (2018).  Ecological model of wellbeing after sexual assault.  Family and Community Health, 41(1), 37-46. Wadsworth, P., Colorafi, K., & Shearer, N. (2017).  Using narratives to enhance nursing practice and leadership: What makes a good nurse?  Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 12(1), 28-31. Wadsworth, P. & Records, K. (2013).  A review of the health effects of sexual assault for African American women and adolescents.  Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 42(3), 249-273. Wadsworth, P. & VanOrder, P. (2012).  Care of the sexually assaulted woman. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 8(6), 433-440. Wadsworth, P. (2007). The benefits of exercise in pregnancy.  The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 3(5), 333-339. Wadsworth, P. (2007). Plan B: Dual label. The Nurse Practitioner’s role in education and provision. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 3(7), 470-474.  Presentations:   Wadsworth, P. March, 2019.  Midwest Nursing Research Society.  Refereed Poster Presentation: Improving nursing program climate, knowledge, and attitudes toward LGBTQ+ health and healthcare.  Kansas City, MO.  PosterWadsworth, P. (2019). Improving nursing program climate, knowledge and attitudes toward LGBTQ+ health and healthcare. Presented at Midwest Nursing Research Society March 2019 meeting. Publications: Wadsworth, P. & Degesie,K. (2018) Intimate partner violence during the perinatal perinatal period. Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 

Michelle Yinger, MSN, RN - Faculty Specialist II.  Ms. Yinger teaches in the classroom, clinical setting, as well as the skills lab, and on-line in various levels in the Bronson School of Nursing (BSON). As the RN to BSN Program Coordinator, she collaborates with faculty, the Director of the BSON, Contract Coordinator, and Outreach and Recruitment Specialist for daily program operations, delivery of quality, on-line education, and program growth.  Endorsed in Eteaching since 2019.