Chester, Pa. – Dr. Barbara Patterson of Philadelphia, professor and director of the PhD program in the School of Nursing at Widener University has recently authored a book “Scientific Inquiry in Nursing Education: Advancing the Science.”

The first edition was released late summer and is available to purchase online. Co-authored by Dr. Anne Krouse, a former professor in the School of Nursing, the text book addresses the quality of scholarship and research evidence on which nurse faculty base their teaching practices.

“We wanted to fill a gap in nursing research,” Patterson said. “The book offers a perspective that focuses scientific inquiry directly on practice.”

“Nurse scientists hold roles and function in a wide variety of contexts including healthcare, higher education, or proprietary or community-based organizations,” she said. “The mission for all nurses is improving the health of the nation and the world.  As a practice discipline, we need a culture that supports a community of inquiry; a culture of academics and clinicians working respectfully together.”

Patterson and Krouse saw the book as a source for doctoral students pursuing research, as well as nursing faculty and nurse scientists. They designed the book for those who want to advance the science of nursing education and effectively prepare students to become competent practitioners.

“As the healthcare environment becomes increasingly complex, and nurses must be prepared to assume greater responsibility,” Patterson said. “Nurse faculty are challenged to prepare nurses that are ready to meet the demands of this environment. Nursing has a professional obligation to strengthen its capacity of nurse faculty with areas of expertise in teaching and learning beyond role preparation as a teacher.”

Patterson, who was named as a distinguished professor in 2015, also serves as associate dean for scholarship and inquiry and chair of the Institutional Review Board. She has presented and published extensively in nursing education, and just this past semester gave a lecture on evidence-based teaching to the Widener community.

Her research and publications are in the areas of social support and aging, evidence-based teaching, veterans care, and leadership in nursing education. Patterson also serves as a faculty member for the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy of Sigma Theta Tau International where she works with novice nurse educators and individual leadership development. She is also the Research Briefs editor for Nursing Education Perspectives. In 2012, she received the Outstanding Researcher Award from Widener.

Patterson joined Widener in 1992 as assistant professor, was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1999, and was promoted to professor in 2007. She became director of the nursing PhD program in 2008, and in 2015 was appointed associate dean for scholarship and inquiry.