Barbara J. Patterson

Barbara J. Patterson, PhD, ANEF, FAAN

  • Professor
  • Director of PhD Program
  • Associate Dean for Scholarship & Inquiry

Programs I Teach


  • PhD, Nursing Science (1992)
    University of Rhode Island (RI)

About Me

After receiving a diploma in nursing from Millard Fillmore Hospital School of Nursing, I went on to obtain my BSN from D'Youville College, MSN from University of Southern Maine, and PhD from the University of Rhode Island.

In 1992, I began teaching undergraduate nursing students advanced medical-surgical nursing, gerontology, and research at Widener University. I now teach qualitative research, nursing science, and theory in the PhD program, as well as advise doctoral dissertation students. I also am chair of the Institutional Review Board at Widener.

Currently, my research has been in the area of leadership competencies for leaders in nursing education. I have presented and published extensively in nursing education. I have also conducted research in the areas of gender diversity in nursing education, evidence-based teaching, and leadership in nursing education.

Off campus, I was faculty for the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy of Sigma Theta Tau International where I worked with novice nurse educators and leadership development. I also served as chair of the research review panel for the National League for Nursing, which reviews research grants for nursing education and was a member of a think tank examining nursing doctoral programs that focus on the scholarship of teaching.

Research Interests

My research interests include: leadership in nursing education; evidence-based teaching strategies; veterans in nursing education; and gender diversity in nursing education.


  • Patterson, B., Elliott, B., & Chargualaf, K. (2019). Understanding learning transfer of veterans in baccalaureate nursing programs: Their experience as student nurses. Nurse Education in Practice, 39, 124-129. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2019.08.013
  • Chargualaf, K., Elliott, B., & Patterson, B. (2018).  From military to academic nursing: Embracing an untapped leadership resource.  Journal of Nursing Education, 57, 355-358. doi:10.3928/01484834-20180522-06
  • Echevarria, I., Patterson, B., & Krouse, A. (2017). Predictors of transformational leadership of nurse managers.  Journal of Nursing Management, 25, 167-175. doi:10.1111/jonm.12452
  • Patterson, B., & Krouse, A. (2015). Competencies for leaders in nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36, 76-82.  doi:10.5480/13-1300.
  • Elliott, B., & Patterson, B. (2017). Joining Forces: The status of military and veteran healthcare in nursing curricula. Journal of Professional Nursing, 33, 145-152. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2016.06.006.
  • Patterson, B., & Krouse, A.M. (Eds.). (2017). Scientific inquiry in nursing education: Advancing the science. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer. 

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

National League for Nursing (NLN), Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Phi Kappa Phi, and American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN), Editor, Nursing Education Perspectives


  • Distinguished University Professor (2015)
  • Widener University Outstanding Researcher Award (2012)
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (2011-2017)
  • National League for Nursing Academy of Nursing Education (ANEF) (2011)



  • Barbara Patterson, professor and director of the nursing doctoral program, published "Veteran-centered Care in Education and Practice," a resource for nurse educators on how to incorporate caring for the military and veteran population into the curriculum and student clinical experiences. Patterson co-authored the book with nursing alumna and former military nurse Brenda Elliott as well as Katie A. Chargualaf, assistant professor of nursing at University of South Carolina Aiken.

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  • Nursing Professor Named Editor of Influential Journal

    Professor Barbara Patterson has been named editor of the National League for Nursing’s peer-reviewed journal Nursing Education Perspectives. This accomplishment comes after years of experience with the publication in various capacities, including most recently as editor of the Research Briefs section. As editor, Dr. Patterson will lead the journal toward its mission of advancing nursing education through meaningful scholarship that informs the next generation of nursing professionals, educators, and leaders.

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  • Nursing Faculty and Alumni Publish in Nursing Forum

    Seven nursing faculty and two nursing PhD alumni are published in the October/December 2019 issue of Nursing Forum, a peer-reviewed journal that aims to explore, explicate or report issues, ideas, trends and innovations that shape the nursing profession. As the largest number of Widener faculty and alumni represented in a single journal at one time, the research topics range from high stakes testing, the role of nurses on governing boards, student veterans in nursing education, and the impact of table top exercises.

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  • Barbara Patterson Named American Academy of Nursing 2019 Fellow

    Barbara Patterson, nursing professor and director of the nursing PhD program, was chosen as an American Academy of Nursing (AAN) 2019 Fellow, a prestigious recognition that honors Dr. Patterson's work to advance the science of nursing and nurse educators. Dr. Patterson will join a class of nurse leaders that represent 38 states and 17 countries.

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  • Nursing Faculty and Alumna Publish in Nurse Education in Practice Journal

    Barbara Patterson, nursing professor and director of the nursing PhD program, along with Widener nursing PhD alumna Brenda Elliott published an article in the journal Nurse Education in Practice about understanding how veterans transfer learning from their military experience to their nursing education and how nursing faculty can best support their academic careers. 

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