Barbara J. Patterson

Barbara J. Patterson, PhD, ANEF, FAAN

  • Director, Nursing PhD Program
  • Professor
  • Associate Dean for Scholarship & Inquiry

Affiliated Programs


  • 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 faculty development and neuroscience strategies. I have published evidence about leadership competencies for leaders in nursing education. Additionally, I have conducted research extensively in the area of veteran care and veteran BSN students. I have also conducted research in the areas of gender diversity in nursing education and evidence-based teaching.

Off campus, I am Editor in Chief of Nursing Education Perspectives. 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 am staff on the research review panel for the National League for Nursing, which reviews research grants for nursing education.

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., & Forneris, S. G. (2023). Faculty as learners: Neuroscience in action. Journal of Nursing Education, 62(5), 291-297.
  • Krouse, A., McLaughlin, K., Rossi, R., Powell, M., Dorn-Black, W., Mariani, B., & Patterson, B. (2022). Nurse administrators experiences of communication, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration during educational disruption. Nursing Education Perspectives, 43(5), 272-276.
  • Patterson, B., Brewington, J., Krouse, A., & Hall, M. (2022). Building academic leadership capacity through coaching. Nursing Education Perspectives, 43(4), 222-227.
  • Chargualaf, K., Patterson, B., & Elliott, B. (2022). Veteran competencies in nursing textbooks: Implications for educators. Nursing Education Perspectives, 43(1), E2-E7.
  • Elliott, B., Chargualaf, K., & Patterson, B. (Eds.). (2021). Veteran-centered care in education and practice: An essential guide for nursing faculty. Springer Publishing.
    • *2021 Sigma Capstone International Nursing Book Award
    • *2021 AJN Book of the Year Award
  • 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

American Academy of Nursing Fellow (FAAN), 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)



  • A research team consisting of faculty, students, and an alumni in the School of Nursing published a study examining nurse faculty administrators’ experiences of rapid transition and disruption in nursing education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Published in the journal Nursing Education Perspectives, co-authors Anne Krouse, dean of nursing, Kristen McLaughlin, nursing graduate, Rose Rossi, associate dean of undergraduate nursing, Wendy Black-Dorn, nursing PhD candidate, Bette Mariani, nursing graduate, and Barbara Patterson, director of the nursing science doctoral program, implemented a descriptive survey methodology to understand the experiences of academic nurse administrators during the pandemic. The survey utilized the Four Cs of Disaster Partnering conceptual framework which encompasses communication, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration and the interrelatedness of those activities in partnering relationships. The authors' findings showed that key elements of the Four Cs framework played a role in the successful adaptation to new learning environment realities.

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  • Nursing Professor Barbara Patterson, director of the nursing science PhD program, and Alumna Brenda Elliott (center and right) were among the recipients of the 2021 International Awards for Nursing Excellence from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma). Patterson and Elliott, along with Katie Chargualaf, received the Capstone International Nursing Book Award for their co-authored book Veteran-centered Care in Education and Practice: An Essential Guide for Nursing Faculty. The award recognizes Patterson and Elliott's collaborative research to provide nurse educators with the resources to understand the veteran experience and their  transferable skills that can contribute to the classroom, the clinical setting and within higher education. Sigma’s International Awards for Nursing Excellence are based on the society’s dedication to fostering high professional nursing standards, recognizing superior achievement, developing leadership, and encouraging creative work.

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  • 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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