You are here

Kirsten N. Corazzini, PhD, FGSA

Associate Professor
(919) 668-5106
718 Rutherford Street, Room 130

Dr. Corazzini joined the School of Nursing after completing a National Institute on Aging Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development in 2002. She earned her PhD in gerontology from the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, a core faculty member in Duke's Center of Excellence in Geriatric Nursing Education, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. She was inducted as a Fellow of of the Gerontological Society of America in 2012.

The focus of Dr. Corazzini’s research is nursing management in long-term care, especially delegation and the role of professional nursing in nursing homes. With support from a Fulbright-Schuman Fellowship Award, she is currently conducting research on how registered nurses in Sweden and the U.K. accomplish person-centered care in regards to frail older adults in residential long-term care with assistive caregivers.

Academic Program Affiliations

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


  • PhD - University of Massachusetts (Boston), McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies
  • AB - Bryn Mawr College

Research Interests

Dr. Corazzini is a social gerontologist whose research focuses on understanding how nursing clinical expertise affects care of older adults through systems-level factors that systematically shape how care occurs. To that end, she has examined how front-line, paraprofessional healthcare workers in both community-based and institutionalized long-term care settings operationalize licensed clinical care practices and the effects of these behaviors on patient outcomes, with particular attention to the role of RN clinical leadership in shaping these behaviors. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and the Hartford Foundation.

Awards and Honors

  • 2012 || Fellow, Gerontological Society of America
  • 2008 || Member, North Carolina State Board of Nursing Task Force on LPN Practice
  • 2007 || Faculty Travel Award, Duke University Center for International Studies, Duke Global Health Institute
  • 2007 || Member, Expert Panel for research project on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by patients with Hepatitis C Infection
  • 2003 || Fellow Finalist, Brookdale Foundation
  • 2003 || Presenter, 5th Annual Health Care Organizations Conference, University of Michigan, School of Public Health (one of five papers selected for presentation nationally)
  • 2002 || Award for Outstanding Reviewer, Academy of Management, Health Care Management Division
  • 2001 || Lawrence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award, Honorable Mention, American Public Health Association
  • 1999 || Academic year recipient, AARP Andrus Foundation Graduate Fellowship in Gerontology
  • 1999 || Gerontology Book Award for distinguished dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston

Areas of Expertise

  • Gerontology
  • Nursing and Health Care Leadership
  • Research Methods

Areas of Interest

• RN delegation in long-term care
• Organizational context of nursing care of older adults
• Regulation of nursing care in long-term care
• Program evaluation research
• Front-line caregivers in long-term care

Representative Publications

  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26465626 Cai, Y. and Mao, Z. and Corazzini, K. and Petrini, M. A. and Wu, B. Nursing Workforce in Hubei China: Implications for the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine Education. Holist Nurs Pract. Nov-Dec, 2015 29(6); 370-6
  • 2015 -- Corazzini, K. N. and Vogelsmeier, A. and McConnell, E. S. and Day, L. and Kennerly, S. and Mueller, C. and Flanagan, J. T. and Hawkins, K. and Anderson, R. A. Perceptions of nursing practice: capacity for high-quality nursing home care Journal of Nursing Regulation. October, 2015 6(3); 17-24
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 24451896 Corazzini, K. and Twersky, J. and White, H. K. and Buhr, G. T. and McConnell, E. S. and Weiner, M. and Colón-Emeric, C. S. Implementing Culture Change in Nursing Homes: An Adaptive Leadership Framework. Gerontologist. August, 2015 55(4); 616-27 PMC4542586
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 24451896 Corazzini, K. and Twersky, J. and White, H. K. and Buhr, G. T. and McConnell, E. S. and Weiner, M. and Colón-Emeric, C. S. Implementing Culture Change in Nursing Homes: An Adaptive Leadership Framework. Gerontologist. August, 2015 55(4); 616-27 PMC4542586
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26259021 McKinney, S. H. and Corazzini, K. and Anderson, R. A. and Sloane, R. and Castle, N. G. Nursing home director of nursing leadership style and director of nursing-sensitive survey deficiencies. Health Care Manage Rev. August 6, 2015, Epub ahead of print
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25647829 Anderson, R. A. and Bailey Jr, D. E. and Wu, B. and Corazzini, K. and McConnell, E. S. and Thygeson, N. M. and Docherty, S. L. Adaptive leadership framework for chronic illness: framing a research agenda for transforming care delivery. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. April-June, 2015 38(2); 83-95 PMC4417005
  • 2014 -- Song, Y. and Anderson, R. A. and Corazzini, K. N. and Wu, B. Staff characteristics and care in Chinese nursing homes: A systematic literature review International Journal of Nursing Sciences. December, 2014 1(4); 423-436
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25237881 Corazzini, K. N. and Anderson, R. A. Adaptive leadership and person-centered care: a new approach to solving problems. N C Med J. September/October, 2014 75(5); 352-4
  • 2014 -- Day, L. and Turner, K. and Anderson, R. A. and Mueller, C. and McConnell, E. S. and Corazzini, K. N. Teaching Delegation to RN Students. Journal of Nursing Regulation. July, 2014 5(2); 10-15
  • 2014 -- Yap, T. L. and Kennerly, S. and Corazzini, K. and Porter, K. and Toles, M. and Anderson, R. A. Evaluation of cueing innovation for pressure ulcer prevention using staff focus groups. Healthcare. July 25, 2014 2(3); 299-314


Grant Funding (Selected)

  • Practical nurse, Registered nurse and Aide, Collaborative Team In CarE (PRACTICE) Intervention Planning Grant

    John A. Hartford Foundation
    07/2014 to 06/2015
    Role: PI

    Project Goals: To develop the team infrastructure and intervention materials of the PRACTICE intervention to reduce avoidable nursing home resident hospitalizations by targeting how assessment and care planning, delegation and supervision occur in nursing homes.

  • Regulating Licensed Nursing Practice in Nursing Homes: Enacted RN and LPN Scopes of Practice and Care Outcomes

    National Council of State Boards of Nursing
    01/2013 to 12/2014

    Project Goals: To identify the set of behaviors and strategies that RN Directors of Nursing (DONs) in nursing homes and their licensed nursing staff can use to enact their full scope of practice to improve quality of care, accounting for between state differences in Nurse Practice Acts (NPAs).

  • Wide Area Patient Mobility Assessment Radar (PMAR) for Pressure Ulcer Prevention

    Information Initiative at Duke - Research Incubator Award
    08/2013 to 07/2014

    Unique collaboration between the School of Nursing and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Pratt School of Engineering for the purpose of preventing pressure ulcers among patients in nursing homes and hospitals by developing novel radar signal analysis tools and techniques to monitor patient mobility.

  • CONNECT for Better Falls Prevention in VA Community Living Centers

    VA Health Services Research and Development
    EDU 08-417
    08/2009 to 07/2012
    Role: Co-Investigator

    Project Goal: In this longitudinal, randomized, controlled trial using multiple levels of analysis, we will compare the uptake of fall risk factor reduction practices and related patient fall-related outcomes in nursing homes, under two approaches to education: (1) FALLS, which is delivered using content-focused approaches to education including self-instructional modules, an in-house falls program coordinator, academic detailing sessions and audit and feedback and (2) FALLS as described above, plus CONNECT, which is delivered using learner-centered approaches and is intended to increase information exchange among staff of all levels and disciplines, increase direct care nursing providers’ participation in decision-making, and increase cognitive diversity when implementing evidence-based care practices.

  • Evidence-Based Nursing Practice in Geriatric Settings

    DHHS/HRSA/Division of Nursing
    07/2009 to 06/2012
    Role: Co-Investigator

    Project goals: The purpose of this grant is to bring nursing experts, education and clinical improvement projects to nurses in geriatric settings across North Carolina by engaging registered nurses across the spectrum of elder care from five targeted communities in North Carolina in an in-depth Continuing Education Institute.

  • Outcomes of Nursing Management Practice in Nursing Homes

    National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research
    10/2009 to 08/2010
    Role: Co-Investigator

    Project Goal: This research will test the benefit of a new staff interaction intervention (CONNECT) over and above a falls quality improvement intervention in reducing patient fall rates in nursing homes.

  • Regulating licensed nursing practice in nursing homes: RN delegation, LPN practice, and care outcomes

    National Council of State Boards of Nursing
    07/2008 to 09/2010
    Role: PI

    Project Goal: To measure the relationships between state Nurse Practice Acts’ codification of RN delegation and LPN practice, and facility-level outcomes of care.

  • Geriatric Nursing Education Center of Excellence

    The Duke Endowment
    01/2008 to 12/2010
    Role: Co-Investigator

    Project Goal: This project seeks to expand the capacity for developing nursing faculty with expertise in geriatric nursing, through expanding career pathways, developing new models of clinical instructor development, and establishing a virtual community of nursing educators who share expertise in geriatric nursing education techniques.

  • Case Study of a Participatory Model of Improving Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly

    Duke University Center for International Studies Travel Grant
    07/2007 to 06/2008
    Role: PI

    Project Goal: To evaluate a collaboration between the Duke University School of Nursing and the Pan American Health Organization: Caribbean Program Coordination to improve the management of cardiovascular disease in the elderly.

  • Partner Team for the NC New Organizational Vision Award (NC NOVA)

    NC Foundation for Advanced Health Programs, Inc.
    03/2007 to 07/2007
    Role: Co-PI


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Center for Nursing Research recently announced its small grant awardees: 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Faculty at the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) have been working with the Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute Community Engagement Core at Duke on a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute project, Health Outcomes that Matter (PCORI EAIN #2512) to identify research priorities for patients, families and communities. Their work will contribute to a five-year roadmap for research. Five workgroups have been working towards this end, and DUSON faculty are involved in four of these:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Eleanor McConnell and Kirsten Corazzini recently received a Networking in Research Development small grant award for their proposal entitled “Network-Level Outcome Measures that Matter for People Living with Dementia.”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Marion E. Broome, Michael Relf, Kirsten Corazzini and PhD student Jing Wang recently presented at the U.S.-Sino Nursing Forum hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. The three-day conference provided the opportunity to explore the variations, similarities, research endeavors and research findings regarding the management of chronic disorders in the United States and China.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that during the next 25 years the population of Americans who are 65 years and older will double to about 72 million. With this increase in the older adult population comes a need to raise awareness of vital aging issues through education, research, clinical practice and community or population health.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PhD students Jing Wang and Hanzhang Xu along with Eleanor McConnell recently presented on "Community Care of Frail Elders in Cross Cultural Settings: A team-based approach" at the Strategies to Strenghten Health Systems Globally: A Duke Showcase event. Kirsten Corazzini also worked with the team on building the presentation.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Kudos to Christine Tocchi and her entire team for the submission of their NIH R15 application entitled "The Influence of Frailty on Home Healthcare Outcomes." This proposal requests funding for a two-year period with a start date of September 1, 2017.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More than 14 faculty, staff and PhD students presented at the 2016 Gerontological Society of American (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, LA. According to GSA, more than 3,600 international experts attended thr premier gathering of gerontologists from both the United States and around the world. Attendees participated in over 450 scientific sessions including symposia, paper and poster presentations.

The following faculty, staff and PhD students presented at the conference:

Friday, September 16, 2016

More than 12 faculty and staff members, and several PhD alumni and students presented at the 2016 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research presented by the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) in Washington, D.C. This year's event focused on Determinants of Health and their implications for nursing science and health policy.

The following faculty, staff and PhD alumni and students presented at the conference: