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School of Nursing > Heather Nelson-Brantley, PhD, RN, CCRN

Heather Nelson-Brantley, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CCRN-K

Program Director, Leadership
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Kansas, School of Nursing
BSN, University of Kansas School of Nursing
BS, Psychology, minor in Business Administration, Kansas State University


  • KU faculty since 2012
  • Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar Alumna
  • Chair, Communications Committee; Member, Research Committee, Association for Leadership Science in Nursing (ALSN) Board of Directors
  • Membership and Elections Chair, KUMC Nursing Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • ALSN Column Editor, Journal of Nursing Administration
  • Peer reviewer for Journal of Nursing Administration, Journal of Nursing Management, International Journal of Nursing Studies, and Journal of Advanced Nursing
  • Member of Association for Leadership Science in Nursing, Midwest Nursing Research Society, Rural Nurse Organization, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International Delta Chapter, American Nurses Association, and National League for Nursing
  • Nursing areas of practice: adult medical critical care and cardiothoracic surgery progressive care

Academic Program Affiliations

  • MS
  • DNP
  • PhD

Current Areas of Teaching

  • NRSG 880/HP&M 840: Organizational Foundations for Leading Change
  • NRSG 883: Complexity Science Approaches to Improve Organizational Effectiveness
  • NRSG 898: Research Project in Nursing
  • NRSG 919: Theoretical Foundations for Leading and Communicating in Organizations
  • NRSG 934: Foundations of Data Science

Research Interests

  • Health systems leadership
  • Nursing practice environment and quality outcomes
  • Implementation science
  • End-of-life and palliative care
  • Mobile health technologies
  • Rural health care
  • Data visualization methods in data science

Select Publications

  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., Buller, C., Befort, C., Ellerbeck, E., Shifter, A., & Ellis, S. (2020). Using implementation science to further the adoption and implementation of advance care planning in rural primary care. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(1), 55-64. doi:
  • Brooks, J.V., Poague, C., Formagini, T., Sinclair, C., & Nelson-Brantley, H.V. (senior author). (2020). The role of a standardized symptom assessment tool in shaping patient-physician communication in palliative care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 59(1), 30-38. doi:
  • Nelson- Brantley, H.V., Jenkins, P., & Chipps, E. (2019). Turning health systems data into actionable information. Journal of Nursing Administration, 49(4), 176-178. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000734
  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., Ford, D.J., Miller, K.L., & Bott, M.J. (2018). Nurse executives leading change to improve critical access hospital outcomes: A literature review with research-informed recommendations. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 18(1), 147-179. doi:
  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., Ford, D.J., Miller, K.L., Stegenga, K.A., Lee, R.H., & Bott, M.J. (2018). Leading change: A case study of the first independent critical access hospital to achieve Magnet® designation. Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(3), 141-148. 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000588
  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., Park, S.H., & Bergquist-Beringer, S. (2018). Characteristics of the nursing practice environment associated with lower unit-level RN turnover. Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(1), 31-37. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000567         
  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., & Ford, D.J. (2017). Leading change: A concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(4), 834-846. doi: 10.1111/jan.13223

Select Presentations

  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., Miller, P., Colleton, M., & Matthes, N. (November 2019). Innovative RN retention strategies: Insight from a national study of nurse managers and direct-care RNs. Podium presentation. 2019 Association for Leadership Science in Nursing International Conference, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Villanueva, S., & Nelson-Brantley, H.V. (October 2019). 100mg of thanks STAT: Leadership strategies using the Quadruple Aim. Poster presentation. 2019 American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet® Conference, Orlando, FL.
  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., He., J., & Dunton, N. (November 2018). The link between nurses' experience of providing care and hospital-acquired conditions: Evidence of the Quadruple Aim. Podium presentation. 2018 International Nursing Administration Research Conference, Atlanta, GA. 
  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., He, J., & Dunton, N. (April 2017). Data mining for nurse manager excellence. Poster presentation. 2017 Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Minneapolis, MN. 
  • Nelson-Brantley, H.V., Ford, D.J., Miller, K.L., & Bott, M.J. (November 2016). Positive deviance: A qualitative, index case study of the first independent critical access hospital to achieve Magnet® designation. Podium presentation. 2016 International Nursing Administration Research Conference, Orlando, FL. 


  • 2019-2024, Co-Investigator. Providing a Bridge to Practice in Complex Healthcare Settings: A Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program. Funded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
  • 2019-2020, Principal Investigator. Using Implementation Science to Close Disparities in Advance Care Planning in Rural Primary Care. Funded by MacArthur Interprofessional Collaboration Award, University of Kansas School of Nursing.
  • 2019-2020, Co-Investigator. Setting the Research Agenda for Nursing Administration and Leadership Science: A Delphi Study. Funded by Association for Leadership Science in Nursing & American Organization of Nurse Leaders.
  • 2018-2019, Co-Investigator. Planning Changing Talk Online (CHATO): A Clinical Trial Testing Effects of CHATO Communication Training on Behavioral Symptoms and Psychological Symptoms of Residents with Dementia. Williams, K. (PI). Funded by NIH NINR R34: NR017793-01. ·        
  • 2018-2019, Co-Investigator. Palliative Care in Oncology: Patient Utilization and Awareness. Brooks, J.V. (PI). Funded by American Cancer Society, Institutional Research Grant.       
  • 2017-2019, Principal Investigator. Team Learning and Safety Culture in Perioperative Hospital Units: Understanding the Nursing Unit Leader Perspective. Funded by Association for Leadership Science in Nursing. ·        
  • 2016-2019, Co-Investigator. Teen Connections for Support from Multidisciplinary Professionals & Peers. Smith, C. (PI). Funded by NIH NINR RO1: NR015743-03.
  • 2016-Present, Co-Investigator. National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI). Dunton, N. (Co-PI), Cramer, E. (Co-PI). Funded by Press Ganey Associates, Inc.         
  • 2016-2018, Co-Investigator. Development, Implementation, and Maintenance of Quality Measures for the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). McNealy, K. (PI). Funded by Econometrica, Inc. 

Awards & Honors

  • Association for Leadership Science in Nursing International Conference Best Poster Award, 2019
  • KUMC Early Career Achievement in Nursing Alumna Award, 2016
  • CGEAN International Nursing Administration Research Conference Best Poster Award, 2016
  • DAISY Faculty Award, 2016
  • Taunton Scholar Award, 2016
  • Roma Lee Taunton Research Medal, 2016
  • Sigma Theta Tau Research Endowment Award, 2016
  • The Ron Bruch & Caryl Goodyear-Bruch Scholarship, 2016
  • P.E.O. Scholarship, 2015
  • Jonas Nurse Leader PhD Scholar, 2014-2016
  • KU Jayhawker Lecturer Award, 2014
  • Dr. Nancy Mosbaek Doctorate in Nursing Scholarship, 2013
Last modified: Jun 25, 2021


Heather Nelson-Brantley, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CCRN-K
Program Director, Leadership
Assistant Professor

P: (913) 588-1696