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Susan Denman, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Associate Professor Emerita

Dr. Denman is the director of the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty of the MSN Program at School of Nursing. She teaches in the APRN clinical courses. After earning a diploma in nursing at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Syracuse, NY, she earned her BS in nursing and then an MS in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at the State University of New York–Stony Brook. In 1996, she completed a PhD at the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation research focused on health promotion/illness prevention among low-income Latina mothers. She has continued this research interest in North Carolina and internationally.

Dr. Denman’s clinical background includes public health nursing and work as a family nurse practitioner in a variety of settings from urban hospital-based clinics to rural community health centers. She is fluent in Spanish and an expert on Latino health care. She currently practices part-time in the Extended Hours service at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham and serves as the President of the Board of Directors of El Centro Hispano, also in Durham.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • Master of Science in Nursing Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


  • Ph.D. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MS - State University of New York, Stony Brook
  • BS - State University of New York

Research Interests

Current research interests are access and utilization of primary health care, especially by Latino populations. Particular interests are maternal/child health access and utilization by vulnerable populations and the effect of demographics, barriers, satisfaction and information on use of primary care.

Awards and Honors

  • 2008 || Duke-UNC Latin American Studies Faculty Research Award
  • 2008 || Duke-UNC Latin American/Caribbean Studies Faculty Research Award
  • 2003 || Who’s Who in Health Sciences Education, Academic Keys
  • 2002 || Outstanding Faculty Award, Duke University School of Nursing
  • 2000 || Duke University Provost Award for International Presentation
  • 1997 || Duke-UNC Latin American Studies Faculty Presentation Award
  • 1995 || Doctoral Student Poster Award, Southern Nursing Research Society
  • 1995 || Duke-UNC Latin American Studies Doctoral Candidate Presentation Award
  • 1990 || UNC-CH Merit Scholarship, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • 1967 || New York State Regents Scholarship

Areas of Expertise

  • Family Health
  • Global and Community Health

Representative Publications

  • 2009 -- PubMed # : 20013439 Pollak, KI; Denman, S; Gordon, KC; Lyna, P; Rocha, P; Brouwer, RN; Fish, L; Baucom, DH Is pregnancy a teachable moment for smoking cessation among US Latino expectant fathers? A pilot study. Ethn Health. December, 2009 15(1); 1-13
  • 2007 -- PubMed # : 17264792 Hunter, A; Denman Vitale, S; Garzon, L; Allen, PJ; Schumann, L Global infections: recognition, management, and prevention. Nurse Pract. February, 2007 32(2); 34-41
  • 2006 -- Denman, S. Education: an essential key for the improvement of public health in developing countries. In 2ème Réunion du Comité Scientifique IAP-WHEP edited by . October, 2006; : French National Academy of Sciences, Inter Academy Panel, Scientific Committee of the Women's Health Education Program (WHEP).. October, 2006
  • 2004 -- PubMed # : 15257125 Green-Hernandez, C; Quinn, AAT; Denman-Vitale, S; Falkenstern, SK; Judge-Ellis, T Making primary care culturally competent. Nurse Pract. June, 2004 29(6); 49-55
  • 1999 -- PubMed # : 10661118 Denman-Vitale, S; Murillo, EK Effective promotion of breastfeeding among Latin American women newly immigrated to the United States. Holist Nurs Pract. July, 1999 13(4); 51-60
  • 1999 -- Denman, S. and Stern, E. and Parra, I. and Lopez, C. and Gilbertson, S. and Quibrera, M. Latino Access to Care Survey: Report to The Duke Endowment. 1999

Grant Funding (Selected)

  • Enhanced Geriatric Content for Family Nurse Practitioners

    Health Resources and Service Administration
    07/2010 to 06/2013
    Role: Project Director

    Project goal: To expand and revise the existing Master of Science in Nursing family nurse practitioner (FNP) curriculum at the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON), to address the critical shortage of primary care providers in rural and underserved areas who are skilled in providing primary care of older adults.

  • En Pareja: A Latino Couples Intervention to Help Expectant Fathers Quit Smoking

    National Institutes of Health
    08/2008 to 07/2013
    Role: Co-PI

    The smoking rate among Latino males is too high. Few effective programs reach and promote long term smoking cessation among Latino Spanish-speaking smokers. This intervention approaches Latinos when their wives are pregnant to increase motivation for quitting. The intervention includes Latinas and teaches the couples effective communication skills to help sustain cessation effects long term.

  • Assessing Risk Factors for Obesity in Young Children in Northern Mexico

    06/2011 to 05/2013
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • Health of Latino Infants: Interventions to Assure Care

    National Institutes of Health
    09/2006 to 08/2009
    Role: PI

    Using American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for the standard schedule of infant well baby examinations (WBE) and immunizations (IMZ), this study will examine the effectiveness of a phone-based intervention (RAAPP) which includes: (1)WBE/IMZ care reminders, (2) problem assessment, (3) and problem assistance delivered at 3 time points (2, 4, and 6 months of infants’ age); delivered largely by RN-supervised Latina lay health advisors to a sample of low-income, foreign born Latino mothers of a new infant.

  • Award for partial funding of three conference presenters - Video project

    Duke Center for Instructional Technology Jump Start grant
    01/2007 to 12/2007
    Role: Program Director

    Program Director. Teaching effort. Duke CIT Jump Start grant follow-up. Award for partial funding of three conference presenters - Video project.

  • Adult Physical Exam Video Project

    Duke Center for Instructional Technology Jump Start grant
    04/2006 to 04/2007
    Role: Program Director

    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.

  • Initiate Use of Audio/Video iPODS in selected DUSON courses

    Duke Center for Instructional Technology Digital Initiative grant
    01/2006 to 12/2006
    Role: Co-Applicant

    Teaching effort. Duke CIT Digital Initiative grant. Initiate Use of Audio/Video iPODS in selected DUSON courses. Approx. 150 iPODS were awarded to DUSON in 2006.

  • LEE (Lograremos el Ejercer Enfermeria)

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    07/2004 to 07/2006
    Role: Consultant

    RWJF Fellowship grant to DUMC, LEE (Lograremos el Ejercer Enfermeria): $20,000. 2004 to 2006.

  • Evidence-Based Nursing in Geriatric Care Settings

    Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA)
    1D62 HP01909-01
    09/2003 to 06/2006
    Role: Consultant
  • El Centro Hispano Latino Health Fair support

    Duke University Latino/a Studies
    01/2003 to 12/2003
    Role: Project Director


Susan Denman, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, an associate professor at Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON), has been awarded a Fulbright grant that will allow her to help integrate evidence-based nursing principles into education and practice at the Universidad de Las Americas (UDLA) School of Nursing in Quito, Ecuador.