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.