Faculty Experts - Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor

Area of Expertise:

  • Environmental and Global Health
  • Training Community Health Workers to promote health in vulnerable populations
  • Ethno-Cultural Groups' Experience in Higher Education and Health Care


An expert in international nursing and community health nursing with a global perspective, Dr. McDermott-Levy has worked with an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty members in Waslala, Nicaragua since 2009 to develop a Tele-health program for the region that connects patients in remote areas to healthcare providers. She advises nurses from Oman and has conducted research about their experience in the U.S. McDermott has traveled to Nicaragua and Peru to promote health through education about water-borne illness. She also teaches nursing students in clinical settings that focus on environmental health and Arab-Muslim populations in the Philadelphia region. A member of the Pennsylvania State Nurses' Association Environmental Health Task Force, she can also discuss integrating environmental health into the nursing curriculum.


  • Ph.D.,  Villanova University
  • M.S.N., Villanova University
  • B.S.N., Wilkes University

Selected Publications

  • McDermott-Levy, R., Kaktins, N. & Sattler, B. (2013) “Fracking, the environment, and health: An examination of energy practices and policies that threaten patients,” American Journal of Nursing, 113 (6), 52-57.
  • McDermott-Levy, R. (2013).“Female Arab-Muslim nursing students’ reentry transitions,” International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship.
  • McDermott-Levy, R & Weatherbie, K. (2013). Health promoters’ perceptions of their communities’ health needs, knowledge, and resource needs in rural Nicaragua,” Public Health Nursing, 30 (2), 94-105.
  • McDermott-Levy, R. & Kaktins, N. (2012). “Preserving health in the Marcellus region,” (a CE offering). Pennsylvania Nurse, 67(3), 4-12.
  • McDermott-Levy, R. (2011). “Going Alone: The lived experience of Arab Muslim nurses studying in the U.S.,” Nursing Outlook, 59 (5), 266-277. 

Selected Professional Experience

  • Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE):  Education Working Group and Steering Committee: October 2011-present
  • Pennsylvania State Nurses’ Association (PSNA) Environmental Health Committee: Co-Chair, 2009-2012

Selected Research

  • Omani and American Nursing Student Clinical Dyads. PI: R. McDermott-Levy, co-investigators: M.A. Cantrell, K. Reynolds. (Data collection complete, analyzing data).
  • Arab Community Health Worker Breast Health Education in Philadelphia.  PI: R. McDermott-Levy, co-investigator A. McKeever. (Data collection complete; analyzing data)

About Villanova

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.

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