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Paula Nersesian: Doctoral Nursing Students

Paula Nersesian, MPH, RN

PhD Alumni
Paula Nersesian
Advisor(s): Sarah Szanton, PhD, ANP, FAAN, Associate Professor and PhD Program Director
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Paula Nersesian joined the PhD program with an MPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, a BSN with honors from the University of Michigan, and over 25 years of nursing experience in the U.S., Africa, and Asia. Her research examines the relationship between loneliness and biomarkers of systemic inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease, and the influence of social determinants of health—specifically neighborhood factors and income—on that relationship. She seeks to develop innovative, cost-effective nursing interventions addressing social determinants of health. She is committed to advancing population health and health promotion, and expanding genetics instruction in nursing education. As a lecturer, Nersesian develops graduate nursing student capacity in genetics and epigenetics through live and online teaching methodologies. As a clinical instructor in public health nursing, she guides graduate students in community assessment and proposal development, and pre-licensure students in situated learning with community-dwelling older adults.


Dissertation Focus

Paula is undertaking a secondary analysis of MIDUS data examining the relationship between the psychosocial construct of loneliness in middle-aged people and systemic inflammation, and the influence of social determinants of health on that relationship.

Major Achievement(s)

  • Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholarship awarded by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare (2016)
  • Liesel M. Hiemenz Scholarship awarded by Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. in support of PhD studies emphasizing public health (2016)
  • Pre-doctoral Clinical Research Training Program, NIH-funded TL1 Fellowship awarded by Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (2016-2017)
  • Johns Hopkins University Graduate Teaching Assistantship in genetics for nursing practice (2015-2016)
  • Johns Hopkins University Nursing Educator Certificate (2015)
  • Interdisciplinary Training in Cardiovascular Health Research, NIH-funded T32 Fellowship awarded by Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (2013-2015)
  • Summer Genetics Institute, NIH-funded training program awarded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (2014)
  • Cancer Nurse Training Program, NIH-funded Fellowship awarded by the National Cancer Institute (1987-1988)
  • Inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (1987)