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Penny L. Cooper, DNP, FNP-BC, ACNPC, CCRN

Assistant Professor Emerita

Dr. Cooper has extensive clinical experience in intensive care, trauma nursing, and critical care transport (including Life Flight). She has also held positions in nursing management and performance improvement. She earned a BSN from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1987, and she completed a Master of Science in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty in 2002 and a Post Master's Certificate in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty in 2008, both at Duke. In 2012, she completed the DNP at the University of Colorado-Denver.

Dr. Cooper joined the School of Nursing faculty in 2003. She teaches in core courses in acute/critical care and chronic care of adults in the School of Nursing MSN Program. She also engages in clinical practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, and Sigma Theta Tau.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • Master of Science in Nursing Program


  • DNP - University of Colorado - Denver
  • MSN - Duke University School of Nursing
  • BSN - Illinois Wesleyan University

Awards and Honors

  • 2001 || Sigma Theta Tau, Beta Epsilon Chapter

Areas of Expertise

  • Acute / Critical Care
  • Cardiovascular
  • Family Health

Representative Publications

  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24769779 Mabrey, M. E. and McFarland, R. and Young, S. L. and Cooper, P. L. and Chidester, P. and Rhinehart, A. S. Effectively identifying the inpatient with hyperglycemia to increase patient care and lower costs. Hosp Pract. April, 2014 42(2); 7-13
  • 2013 -- Scott, M. and Cooper, P. Teaching Conversation: Using “Fishbowls”: Unfolding Case Studies as a Coaching Strategy in an Online Learning Environment February 28, 2013
  • 2003 -- Cooper, P. L. A fall from a horse. Duke Life Net. 2003 XI(3);
  • 2002 -- Cooper, P. L. Pelvic management. Duke Life Net. 2002 X(1);

Grant Funding (Selected)

  • Using Multimedia Applications with Longitudinal Case Studies: An On-line Approach to Nurse Practitioner Clinical Development (CATALYST Faculty Innovation Award)

    Duke University School of Nursing CONCEPT Office
    01/2012 to 12/2012
    Role: co-PI with Mike Scott

    Project Goal: Determine the effectiveness of multimedia applications with longitudinal case studies in teaching on-line nurse practitioner (NP) students. An example of narrative pedagogical methods in nurse practitioner education is the use of unfolding cases in which students decipher employing evidence based guidelines and their own contextually derived conclusions based upon their immersion into the clinical story. Even more powerful is to limit the cases to one or two unique individuals and have their stories develop over time so that students bond in a creative way with these same individuals. While such methods are not necessarily new, the challenge remains how to adapt such a process to the on-line learning environment in a manner that engages students and invites additional dialog regarding the uniqueness of each case. One possibility is to design each case utilizing multimedia production techniques and loading each segment into content specific on-line modules. Employing sound slide technology and/or videography, each segment places the student into a specific time and space allowing for an additional level of hermeneutical understanding.

  • Palliative Care and End-Of-Life Care in Advanced Nursing Practice

    Health Resources and Service Administration
    01/2009 to 01/2011
    Role: Program Faculty

    Project Goal: Institutional Training Grant: The purpose of this project is to prepare expert advanced practice nurses in end of life care, particularly in high risk and underserved populations, by integrating end of life concepts into the Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum.

  • Advanced Diabetes Management for Nurse Practitioners

    Health Resources and Service Administration
    07/2007 to 06/2008
    Role: Program Faculty

    Project Goal: Consistent with the legislation of Title VIII and in concert with the goals of Healthy People 2010 and National Goals I -III, the purpose of this new project is to prepare expert advanced practice nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes, particularly in high risk and underserved populations. We plan to use an innovative educative approach that allows those from rural areas to learn medical content regarding health problems that are highly prevalent in their communities, thus increasing the likelihood of graduated nurse practitioner students remaining in these communities to practice. The graduates of this program will be eligible for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) exam as Adult or Family Nurse Practitioners. In addition, completion of the proposed Advanced Diabetes Management for Nurse Practitioners will provide students with the necessary didactic content to be eligible for the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) exam to certify them as an Advanced Practitioner in Diabetes Management.

  • Adult Physical Exam Video Project

    Duke Center for Instructional Technology Jump Start grant
    04/2006 to 04/2007
    Role: Project Faculty

    This project created video series that demonstrate a specific adult physical examination taught in N332 Physical Assessment. The various formats of the videos were integrated to online courses posted in Blackboard, to self-paced web tutorials for online learning and to video iPods for mobile learning.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summertime might mean vacations at the mountains, or the beach for some, but for the faculty of the School of Nursing, summer is anything but being laid back. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, they are engaged around the world expanding their knowledge and sharing their expertise.

We asked the classic question, “So what will you be doing during the summer break?” The following is just a snapshot of some of the answers we received about the activities keeping DUSON Faculty busy this summer:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Melanie Mabrey and Penny Cooper co-authored an article entitled "Effectively identifying the inpatient with hyperglycemia to increase patient care and lower costs" that has been published in Hospital Practice.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Today, Duke University School of Nursing faculty members Dr. Margaret “Midge” Bowers, Dr. Penny Cooper and Dr. Rémi Hueckel fill their days by teaching students, conducting research and working with patients. But once, these three women were first responders racing to accident scenes and urgent medical emergencies—not in an ambulance but in a Duke Life Flight helicopter. Each has more than a decade of experience working as a flight nurse. Dr. Bowers was part of the crew from 1988 to 1999, Dr. Cooper from 1990 to 2000 and Dr. Hueckel from 1998 to 2000.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Duke University School of Nursing alumni who graduated in years ending in 3 or 8 will celebrate Reunion Weekend 2013 on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13. Scheduled events include an open house, an awards presentation, the Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Science address, an update on the School of Nursing, a session with students, a moderated panel discussion, and a program on avoiding injuries while exercising.

A cadre of Duke faculty presented at the 38th National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Annual Meeting themed "Revolutionary Ideas and Nurse Practitioner Education" April 12–15 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Associate Professor Valerie Sabol gave a podium presentation entitled "Incorporating Obesity Education into Adult Primary and Acute Care NP Programs" during the Curriculum Topics concurrent session.