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Kathleen S. Ashton, PhD, RN, CNE

Assistant Professor
(919) 613-7196
2120 Pearson Building

Dr. Kathleen Ashton joined the Duke University School of Nursing faculty in February 2013, and will be teaching in the ABSN Program adult health courses. She has been a registered nurse for 32 years, and has extensive experience as a provider of care to adult populations in acute care settings. Before coming to DUSON, she was a staff nurse and unit educator in the Duke Hospital Emergency Department, Coordinator of the Duke University Health Services Nursing Residency Program™ at Duke Hospital, and a staff nurse in Duke Hospital Peri-operative Services. She also served as a preceptor for newly licensed nurses and experienced nurses.

Dr. Ashton received a baccalaureate degree in nursing science from Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She earned a Master’s degree in nursing education at Duke in 2009, and completed her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in December 2012. Dr. Ashton’s dissertation focused on the adaptation of new registered nurses, and her current research interests include the provision of support to new nurses through evidence-based interventions.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program


  • PhD - University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • MSN - Duke University School of Nursing
  • BSN - Wilkes College

Research Interests

Research Interests include:
• General interest in the nursing workforce, with specific interest in the experiences of new registered nurses.
• Additional interest in developing middle range theories for use within the Roy Adaptation Model.

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 || Outstanding ABSN Faculty Award, Duke University School of Nursing
  • 2013 || Selected Participant, Class of 2013, North Carolina Nurses’ Association Leadership Academy -
  • 2013 || Mary Hanna Memorial Journalism Award (1st place, clinical category), for for article “Nursing care of patients undergoing isolated limb procedures for recurrent melanoma of the extremity”), American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN)
  • 2011 || Nurse Educator of Tomorrow Scholarship
  • 2010 || Nurse Educator of Tomorrow Scholarship
  • 2007 || Inducted, Sigma Theta Tau International

Areas of Expertise

  • Acute / Critical Care
  • Adult Health
  • Nursing Education

Areas of Interest

Nursing workforce
Experiences of new registered nurses
Nursing theory

Representative Publications

  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25805387 Ashton, K. S. The orientation period: essential for new registered nurses' adaptation. Nurs Sci Q. April, 2015 28(2); 142-50
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25608091 Ashton, K. S. New registered nurses' personal responses to professional practice: a pilot study. J Nurses Prof Dev. Jan-Feb, 2015 31(1); 9-14
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24802599 Ashton, K. and Oermann, M. H. Patient education in home care: strategies for success. Home Healthc Nurse. May, 2014 32(5); 288-94
  • 2013 -- Ashton, K. S. The Adaptation of New Registered Nurses (doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina-Greensboro) 2013
  • 2012 -- PubMed # : 22443922 Ashton, K. S. Nursing care of patients undergoing isolated limb procedures for recurrent melanoma of the extremity. J Perianesth Nurs. April, 2012 27(2); 94-109
  • 2012 -- PubMed # : 22263552 Ashton, K. S. Nurse educators and the future of nursing. J Contin Educ Nurs. 43(3); 113-6
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Duke University School of Nursing’s Institute for Educational Excellence will host the 8th annual Pursuing Radical Transformation in Nursing Education Conference March 22 and 23. This year’s theme is “The Science of Learning.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Faculty members Marilyn Oermann, Alison Edie, Kathleen Ashton and staff member Sathya Amarasekara recently published an article entitled "Quality of articles published in predatory nursing journals" in Nursing Outlook. Co-authors include experts from Duke University Department of Psychology, Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives, University of Connecticut School of Nursing and Maine Desk LLC. 


Friday, November 11, 2016

Marilyn Oermann, Jamie Conklin, Kathleen Ashton, Alison Edie, and Sathya Amarasekara recently published an article entitled "Study of Predatory Open Access Nursing Journals" in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship. Co-authors included Susan Budinger from Duke Office of Clinical Research and Editors Leslie Nicoll and Peggy Chinn.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Kathy Ashton had an article published entitled "The orientation period: Essential for new registered nurses' adaptation" in the Nursing Science Quarterly.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Kathy Ashton published an article entitled "New registered nurses’ personal responses to professional practice: A pilot study" in the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development. Also, she recently passed the Certified Nurse Educator exam.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kathy Ashton and Marilyn Oermann coauthored an article titled "Patient education in home care: Strategies for success" that has been published in Home Healthcare Nurse