Skip to main content.

Amanda M. Emerson, PhD, RN

Amanda Emerson portrait
Assistant Professor, School Of Nursing

Professional Background

Amanda Emerson, PhD, RN, is a research assistant professor in the School of Nursing and teaches philosophy of science, theory, and qualitative methods. Dr. Emerson has supervised student doctoral work on historical trauma, moral distress in critical care nursing, spiritual coping in heart failure patients, and spiritual coping in parents of adult children with schizophrenia. Emerson holds a second PhD in English and formerly taught early American literature and women’s studies. Her clinical practice as an RN was in intermediate post-surgical cardiac care.



As a researcher, Dr. Emerson seeks to understand and address barriers to health equity in populations affected by criminal legal system involvement. She worked for eight years with the Sexual Health Empowerment ([S]HE) team in the KUMC Department of Population Health on NIH-funded studies to prevent cervical cancer by increasing screening and HPV vaccinations in people who have criminal-legal system involvement. Emerson’s current research is centered on accelerated aging and associated health services needs in older women with criminal-legal system involvement (current and previous incarceration and community supervision). Emerson is currently supported by a KL2 mentored research career development award, a CTSA grant from NCATS awarded to Frontiers Clinical and Translational Science Institute (KL2TR002367). Dr. Emerson’s publications appear in Journal of Aging and Health; Journal of Women and Aging; Prevention Science; Vaccine; Qualitative Health Research; Nursing Inquiry; and elsewhere.