Faculty Experts - Suzanne Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN

Suzanne Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN

Suzanne Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN
Director of Center for Nursing Research

Area of Expertise:

  • Disabilities and Health Care
  • Nursing Research


An internationally known scholar, researcher, educator and author, Dr. Smeltzer has directed the College of Nursing's Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities Project, funded by a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. Committed to making health promotion practices and services accessible and acceptable for those who are physically challenged, she has done extensive research on and can discuss health issues of people with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities, how to improve the health and wellness of those who are disabled, and how to integrate disability content into the education and training of health care professionals. Dr. Smeltzer is a member of several national task forces devoted to improving the education of health care providers about health care of people with disabilities and teaching women themselves. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and has received a number of awards for her research and writing in health issues of women with disabilities, including the Villanova University Investigator Award of 2006.


  • Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S., Texas Women's University
  • B.S.N., St. Louis University

Selected Publications

  • Smeltzer, S.C.(2007). "Improving the health and wellness of persons with disabilities: A call to action too important for nursing to ignore." Nursing Outlook. 55(4), 189-193.
  • Smeltzer, S.C.,Sharts-Hopko, N.C., Ott, B., Zimmerman, V. & Duffin, J.(2007)."Perspectives of women with disabilities on reaching those who are hard to reach." Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 39(3), 163-171.
  • Smeltzer S.C.(2007). "Pregnancy in women with disabilities," Journal of Obstetrical, Gynecology, and Neonatal Nursing, 36(1), 80-86
  • Smeltzer S.C. (2006)."Preventive health screening for breast and cervical cancer and osteoporosis in women with physical disabilities (invited paper)," Family and Community Health, 29(1 Suppl):35S-43S.
  • Smeltzer, S.C., & Zimmerman, V. (2005). "Health promotion interests of women with disabilities." Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 37(2), 80-86
  • Smeltzer, S.C. (2000). "Double Jeopardy: Women with Disabilities. Viewpoint Column," American Journal of Nursing, 100(8): 11.

Selected Professional Experience

  • Thomas Jefferson University Associate Professor and Nurse Researcher


  • Inglis Foundation Innovation Award of 2006. Unrestricted grant to recognize work of Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities Project.
  • Reaching Hard-to-Reach Groups: Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities. Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.
  • Developing Curricula on Abuse Affecting Women with Disabilities for Women with Disabilities and Health Care Providers. Planning grant awarded by New Jersey Health Initiatives/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (Authored for NJ Coalition on Women with Disabilities and the NJ Division on Disabilities).
  • Pilot Study: Expiratory Muscle Training in Multiple Sclerosis. Principal Investigator, National MS Society.

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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