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Valerie Cotter, DrNP, MSN, RN

Associate Professor
Valerie Cotter
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Specialties and Expertise

  • Aging
  • Dementia
  • Gerontological / Geriatric
  • Gerontology
  • Interprofessional
  • Palliative Care


Valerie Cotter worked with the Alzheimer’s Association of the Delaware Valley in 2005 to start the first specialized support group for people with early-stage dementia. “I am really interested in the psycho-social implications to having the diagnosis in the first place and how, as nurses, we can help each person and each family adjust to that diagnosis,” she says. Cotter adds that because dementia can be caused by or associated with so many other diseases and conditions, and because people generally live with dementia for many years, it is essential to treat each person individually.

Additional Resources

Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.

  • Publications/Research

    Cotter, V.T., Gonzalez, E.W., Fisher, K., Richards, K.C. (2018). "Influence of hope, social support, and self-esteem in early stage dementia." Dementia (London), 17(2), 214-224. doi: 10.1177/1471301217741744. Epub 2017 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 291649064.

    Cotter, V.T., Spriggs, M., & Razzak, R. (2018). "Advance care planning in early stage dementia." The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 14(3), 142-147. Epub 2017 Oct. doi:

    Bradway, C., Cotter, V.T., Darrah, N.J., Gibbs, V.D., Hadley, D., LaMarra, D., Packel, L., & Westcott, A.M. (In press). "An interprofessional education simulation workshop: Health professions learning palliative care communication." Journal of Nursing Education.

    Cotter, V.T. (In press). "Early integration of palliative care in dementia." The Clinical Advisor.

    Cotter, V. T. & Foxwell, A. M. (2016). "The meaning of hope in the dying. In B. Ferrell (Ed.), Spiritual, religious, and cultural aspects of care." (Volume 5). (91-114). NY: Oxford University Press and Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

  • Awards/Honors

    2017 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
    2014 One of 15 Top Adult Gerontology Professors, Nurse Practitioner School
    2011 Appreciation Award, Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter’s Early Stage Initiatives
    2004 Fellow, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
    1997 Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania