Mary Bennett, DNS, APRN, is a professor and director of the Western Kentucky University School of Nursing. She has been a faculty member for 27 years, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. Her clinical work is as a family nurse practitioner in the primary care setting. Dr. Bennett’s primary research focus is testing the effects of various complementary therapies on physiological and psychological outcomes, using psychoneuroimmunology as the underlying theory. Her dissertation was on the effect of laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity. Since then she has examined the effects of laughter, massage therapy, relaxation therapy and music therapy on stress and immune function. Other areas of research interest are examining barriers to prenursing and nursing student success, and care of the end-of-life patient. Dr. Bennett has received research funding and awards from Rush University, Indiana State University, Western Kentucky University, and from the Lambda Sigma and Kappa Theta chapters of Sigma Theta Tau International. She has presented her research at national and international conferences such as the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society conference and the International Society for Humor Studies conference. Dr. Bennett’s research has been published in numerous journals including Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Oncology Nursing Forum, Psycho-Oncology, Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Journal of Biological Research for Nursing, Brain Behavior and Immunity, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, and Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.
Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, is an instructor in nursing and psychology at undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. Dr. Wilson has a PhD in health psychology with a focus in psychoneuroimmunology and a masters in holistic nursing. Dr. Wilson has worked in nursing for many years gaining expertise in public health, mental health nursing, obstetrics, epidemiology, breastfeeding trends, wellness, behavioral influence on immunity, and nursing education. Dr. Wilson has a private practice as a holistic nurse and over 100 publications including peer-reviewed research articles. She has over 150 professional and peer-reviewed presentations. She is a lifelong learner now seeking graduate studies in physics. Debra is an internationally known speaker on stress, health, immune function, and self-care. Dr. Wilson is the managing editor of the International Journal of Childbirth Education. She was awarded the Tennessee 2015 March of Dimes Nurse Educator of the Year in Tennessee and the Tennessee Nurses Association Award for Nursing Excellence in Education. She is married, on faculty at Austin Peay State University School of Nursing, and has a tragically spoiled Tibetan Terrier named Maggie. Awarded by the American Holistic Nurses Association, Dr. Wilson is the 2017-2018 Holistic Nurse of the Year.
Lynette S. Smith, PhD, PMHNP, FNP, is an assistant professor at Western Kentucky University School of Nursing. She has been nursing faculty for 6 years, teaching in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), family nurse practitioner (FNP) and doctor of nursing practice programs at the graduate level. She practices as a PMHNP and FNP in a community mental health setting. Dr. Smith’s primary research interests include substance abuse, brief intervention and referral to treatment, clinical documentation in an electronic clinical tracking systems to meet national core competencies, and health-related quality of life outcomes. Dr. Smith has received funding from Western Kentucky University and Meharry University. She has presented her research at international, regional, and local conferences such as Sigma Theta Tau International and Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives, and Western Kentucky Research Day. Dr. Smith’s research has been published in several journals, including Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services and Nurses in Professional Development.
Sherry Lovan, PhD, MSN, RN, has served as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program coordinator in the Western Kentucky University School of Nursing since Fall 2012. Her educational background includes an Associate of Science in Nursing degree, a BSN degree, and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from Western Kentucky University (WKU). In 2009, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration and Organizational Leadership from the University of Louisville/WKU. Her research interests include servant leadership, professionalism, mentoring, positive work environment, and retention of nursing students. She has published in the following peer-reviewed journals: Nursing Ethics, Journal of Nursing Education, Journal of Christian Nursing, International Journal of Human Caring, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and Journal of Nursing Regulation.