Department of Population Health Nursing Science
Dedicated to scholarship focused on multilevel determinants of health and translating this research to improve the health of individuals, families, communities, organizations and populations
PHNS overview Heading link
Research and Scholarship
Faculty and students in the department of Population Health Nursing Science, formerly the Department of Health Systems Science, receive funding from the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Resources and Services Administration, and other foundations and agencies that support the conduct of leading-edge research in areas such as:
- Social determinants of obesity in urban populations
- Identity impairments as cognitive vulnerabilities for adolescent risk behavior
- Health disparities among sexual-minority individuals
- Smoking cessation in LGBT populations
- Symptoms and health behaviors in cancer survivors
- Multilevel determinants of children’s chronic conditions, such as asthma, in ethnic minority and immigrant populations
- Developing and testing new models of care delivery
- Technology interventions to improve and measure care coordination and clinical efficiency
- Evidence-based practice in public health nursing
- Competency and image of the public health nursing workforce
- Social media as a health promotion and disease prevention strategy
- Data mining and statistical analysis of EHR data to generate new nursing knowledge
- Transforming evidence-based nursing knowledge into clinical decision support tools for use at the point of care
- Interprofessional education, simulation and technology to enhance chronic care population management
Our department advances research and scholarship on multilevel determinants of health—psychosocial, behavioral, environmental, systems—and translates this work into practice, care delivery, and policy to improve the health of individuals, families, communities, organizations and populations.
Graduates of our doctoral nurse practitioner programs become authoritative family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. In the case of our DNP degrees in advanced population health and health systems leadership and informatics, our graduates go on to roles as health systems leaders. Our PhD candidates graduate, prepared to expand the universe of nursing research and to educate the next generation of nurses and nurse scientists.
The department also offers the School Nurse Certificate Program to prepare bachelor’s prepared registered nurses to become school nurse leaders.
Our department is home to these academic programs: Heading link
Meet the interim department head Heading link
PhD, MS ’96, FNP-BC
Kathleen Sparbel is dedicated to promoting the professional goals of Quad Cities-area nurses across advanced practice specialties. She teaches core courses and FNP management courses to DNP students across all UIC Nursing campuses.
Sparbel’s research interests are broad. Her research related to education examines development of technology, simulation experiences and interprofessional education to enhance management of chronic disease.
Her research also includes investigation of genomics, including decision-making regarding genetic testing, the impact of genetic information on individuals and families, and the application of genetic technologies in the primary care setting. As a PhD student in 2003, Sparbel took part in the National Institute of Nursing Research Summer Genetics Institute in 2003.
In response to her work, Sparbel has received the 2013 Founder’s Award for Service from International Society of Nurses in Genetics; the 2014 Daisy Faculty Award from The Daisy Foundation; and the CARE (Community, Achievements, Respect, Excellence) Award for Distinguished Service from the Quad Cities Area Advanced Practice Nurse and Physician Alliance.