UArizona College of Nursing Celebrates People and Programs ‘On The Move’

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona College of Nursing has announced key new appointments, promotions, honors, awards and other notable items in recent weeks, including:

Dr. Wilson to Head Master’s Entry to the Profession of Nursing Program

Kelley Wilson, DNP, MSN, CMSRN (Photo: Noelle Haro-Gomez/University of Arizona Health Sciences)After a national search, the UArizona College of Nursing has named Kelley Wilson, DNP, MSN, CMSRN, as the new program director of the College’s Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) program. Dr. Wilson joins the college from Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies, where she had been serving as program director for the school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She assumed her new role on July 13.

“Dr. Wilson brings a wealth of experience in teaching and developing courses and academic programs,” said Connie Miller, DNP, RNC-OB, CNE, clinical associate professor and chair, General Nursing and Health Education Division. “She has solid experience in mentoring and leading teams, in addition to proven track record of service and scholarship. We look forward to welcoming her to our MEPN team.”

On faculty in nursing higher education since 2009, Dr. Wilson earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marymount University in Arlington, Va., and completed her doctorate from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in nursing administration. Learn more.

Perinatal Mother-Infant Health Focus of New Faculty Member, Dr. Bell

Aleeca Bell, PhD, RN, CNM, joined the College of Nursing in mid-July. Dr. Bell most recently was an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), College of Nursing, Department of Women Children and Family Health Science. At UIC, she also earned her master’s degree in nursing in midwifery in 1998, practiced as a certified nurse midwife, and earned a doctorate in nursing in 2009. In addition, she was a postdoctoral fellow there from 2009-11. 

Aleeca Bell, PhD, RN, CNM

Dr. Bell’s research in translational, multidisciplinary and biobehavioral clinical studies focuses on the intersection of perinatal mother-infant health outcomes and the underlying oxytocin system. Oxytocin is a hormone that acts on organs in women’s bodies and as a chemical messenger in the brain, controlling key aspects of the reproductive system, including childbirth, lactation and some behavior. This includes women’s childbirth experience, intrapartum medical interventions, the endogenous oxytocin system (hormonal, genetic and epigenetic), maternal postnatal mood/anxiety and caregiving attitudes, newborn behaviors and mother-infant interaction. Learn more.

UArizona Nursing’s Inclusive Excellence Highlighted in National Journal 

Graduates of UArizona Nursing’s ANIE Program. (Photo: University of Arizona College of Nursing)Long a passionate proponent of nursing workforce diversity, the College of Nursing was spotlighted for its Arizona Nursing Inclusive Excellence (ANIE) program in a paper in the Journal of Professional Nursing, “Nursing workforce diversity: Promising educational practices.” In 2018, enabled by a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the college launched its landmark ANIE program, which offers assistance to full-time American Indian/Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian, Hispanic/Latino, first-generation college and/or graduate students and students raised in rural areas or along the Mexican-American border. ANIE’s funding supports 49 students annually, assisting 100% of them in transitioning from the 2-year Voyager Scholars (pre-nursing) through the Vanguard Scholars (BSN/MSN) and Pinnacle Scholars (DNP/PhD) programs. The journal paper highlights the impressive progress the college has made in promoting a more diverse nursing workforce. Learn more.

Dr. Crane Collaborates with French Colleagues on Telephone-Based Cancer Intervention

Tracy E. Crane, PhD, a College of Nursing assistant professor, has focused much of her career on cancer survivorship. She is co-director of the Behavioral Measurements and Interventions Shared Resource at the UArizona Cancer Center and a member of the UArizona Data Science Institute. She’s also co-chair of the cancer prevention and control behavioral science working group for NRG Oncology, a research non-profit led by faculty at Columbia University, NYU Langone Health, the University of Michigan and UArizona.

Tracy Crane, PhD, with colleagues at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Center Campus in Paris.With a research focus on improving adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviors in cancer survivors and their informal caregivers, Dr. Crane has developed interventions geared toward extending lifespans of post-treatment ovarian cancer survivors and telephone counseling to improve diet and physical activity in Latina cancer patients. In early 2020, Dr. Crane extended her expertise across the Atlantic when she helped researchers at Gustave Roussy, Europe’s largest cancer center, fine-tune a new cancer study, Motivating to Exercise and Diet, and Educating to Healthy Behaviors After Breast Cancer (MEDEA).

In keeping with Dr. Crane’s previous research, MEDEA aims to compare the effect of a personalized telephone-based health education weight-loss program based on motivational coaching, exercise and diet, compared with a standard health educational program control on fatigue of overweight or obese breast cancer patients. Learn more.

Tai Chi Improves Lives of Those with Heart Disease, Nursing Research Finds 

According to new research from College of Nursing Associate Professor Ruth Taylor-Piliae, PhD, RN, FAHA, tai chi can be beneficial to the psychological well-being for adults suffering from cardiovascular disease. Published in June in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, Dr. Taylor-Piliae’s review and meta-analysis of more than a dozen studies on the topic found that the exercise eased stress, anxiety, depression and psychological distress for those who practiced the mind-body exercise that emphasizes concentration on posture, relaxation and breathing, using a soothing series of set movements. Go to the UArizona Health Sciences Connect website for a video on her research. Learn more.


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About the University of Arizona College of Nursing
Established in 1957, the University of Arizona College of Nursing has been transforming nursing education, research and practice to help people build better futures for more than 60 years. Consistently ranked among the best programs in the nation, the college is strengthening health care’s largest workforce and the public’s most trusted profession through its undergraduate and graduate programs, offered online and on-campus in Tucson and Phoenix. Headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., where integrative health has been pioneered, the UA College of Nursing is home to the world’s only Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship. With key focal strengths in integrative health, cancer prevention and survivorship, and nursing informatics, the college has more than 7,000 alumni worldwide promoting health and wellness in their workplaces and communities. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).