Dr. Susan Dyess’ practice experience is within critical care and faith community nursing practice settings. She has contributed to local, federal and national grant submissions, related to holistic nursing leadership program development, program evaluations and community outreach programs. Each initiative focused on the practice setting as an environment for health and healing, and concurrently attended to the development of requisite skills associated with leading holistic nursing responses. 


Dr. Dyess’ research design primarily engaged participatory action approaches and mixed methods addressing key phenomena such as faith, new nurse transition, healing practice environments, transformative nursing practice, emerging nurse leadership development, faith community nursing and holism. Her research efforts have advancing holistic nursing leadership through program development and evaluation with a focus on leadership in acute care and community practice settings, most specifically faith-based settings.  She has contributed to the generation of knowledge that supports the holistic development of professionals, caring and holistic practice environment transformation with innovations for holistic practice in acute and community settings. The projects and associated research provided a foundation for understanding health and healing from the perspective of nurse leader, nurse, patient and community in the 21st century. Future research will focus inform holistic models of caring and leading interventions to sustain health for professionals, individuals, and communities.

Dr. Dyess facilitates didactic and practicum courses for Graduate Nursing students in the Advanced Holistic Concentration and the Administrative and Financial Leadership Concentration.

Research Foci

  • The impact of holistic leadership within acute and community settings that highlights positive professional and patient outcomes.
  • Holistic resources in communities
  • Leading nursing practice 

Teaching at Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing:

  • NUR 4829 RN-BSN Practicum Immersion
  • NGR6168 Advanced Nursing Situations Foundations in Holistic Nursing 1
  • NGR6169 Advanced Nursing Situations Foundations in Holistic Nursing 2
  • NGR6296 L & 6297 L Advanced Holistic Nursing Practicums
  • NGR 6892 Advanced Nursing Situations: Influencing Healthcare Policy
  • NGR 6723L & 6724L Practicums

Grants Awarded

2015: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, $3,500. Meditation practice for nurse leaders: What is the impact of a systematic personalized practice on stress, mindfulness, locus of control, self-esteem and patient satisfaction? (Pilot Study, Principal Investigator, Faculty Mentor).

2015   Sigma Theta Tau International Iota Xi Chapter, $1,500, The relationship of a systematic faith-friendly meditation practice with nurse leaders on stress, mindfulness, locus of control, self-esteem and patient satisfaction (Pilot Study, Principal Investigator).

2015   Undergraduate Research Grant $500, The relationship of a systematic faith friendly meditation practice with nurse leaders on stress, mindfulness, locus of control, self esteem and patient satisfaction (Pilot Study, Principal Investigator, Faculty Mentor).

2013: Exploration and Description of Faith-based Health Resources in Palm Beach County: $ 24,021. Palm Healthcare Foundation. (Principal Investigator)

2012: Exploring the power of social engagement resources to sustain health for ethnically diverse community dwelling elders.  $2,500 Healthy Aging Research Initiative (HARI) Seed Grant. (Principal Investigator)

2012: Faculty Research Mentor/ Mentee Program. $ 2,000 Florida Atlantic University Division of Research. (Mentee)

2011-2014: Succession Planning for the Future: A Nursing Administration Master’s Degree for Emerging Leaders. $827,000. HRSA Advanced Education in Nursing. (Project Director, Co-Investigator)

2006-2011: Novice Nurse Program under the auspices of The Nursing Leadership Institute: $662,483, Palm Healthcare Foundation. (Project Director, Co-Investigator and Principal Investigator) 

2010:  Enhancing the work environment, improving nurse satisfaction, diminishing horizontal violence and linking to education with critical care unit at a community hospital. $1,000 Sigma Theta Tau International, Iota Xi Chapter. (Co-Principal Investigator) 

Recent Publications

*=data based


*Dyess, S.M., Prestia, A., Marquit, D.E., & Newman, D. (in press).Self-care for nurse leaders in acute care environment reduces perceived stress: A pilot study merits further        investigation. Journal of Holistic Nursing.

Opalinski, A., Dyess, S.M. Stein, N. L., Saiswick, K., & Fox, V. (in press). Broadening practice perspective by engaging in academic-practice collaboration: A faith community nursing exemplar. International Journal of Faith Community Nursing.

Hebert, P., Barice, J., Park, J.Y., Dyess, S.M, McCaffrey, R., & Hennekens, C, (in press).   Treatments for inflammatory arthritis: Potential but unproven role of topical copaiba. Integrative Medicine: A Clinicians Journal.

* Baugh, M.L.A., Opalinski, A. Dyess, S.M. & Gropper, S. (2016). Snack  provisions by 21st century community learning center-based afterschool programs. Journal of Hunger and      Environmental Nutrition.  DOI,

*Chaing-Hanisko, L., Newman, D., Dyess, SM Piyakong, D., Liehr, P (2016) Guidance for using mixed methods in nursing practice research. Applied Nursing Research, 31(2016), 1-5.

Dyess, SM, Opalinski, A., Saiswick, K., & Fox, V. (2016) Caring across the healthcare continuum: A call to nurse leaders to manifest values through action with community      outreach. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 40 (2) 137-145.

*Dyess, SM., Sherman, RO., & Pratt, B. (January, 2016). Growing nurse leaders: Their perspectives on nursing leadership and today’s practice environment Online Journal for      Issues in Nursing. Vol.21. No1. 

*Opalinski, A. Dyess, S.M. &  Gropper, S. (2015). Do faith communities have a role in addressing childhood obesity? Public Health Nursing, 32, 721-730 doi: 10.1111/phn.12226

* Dyess, SM. (2015). An exploration and description of faith-based health resources: Understanding community opportunities to inform advancing healthcare reform. Holistic Nursing Practice 29, (4), 216-224.

*Dyess, SM, Prestia, A. Smith, M. (2015). Support for caring and resiliency among successful nurse leaders. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 39(2), 104-116.

Dyess, S.M., Tappen, R.& Hennekens, CHH. (2014). Increasing the rates of advance care  planning: A challenge for inter-professional collaboration.  American Journal of     Medicine, 127  (12), 1142-1143.

*Prestia, A., Dyess, S.M. & Sherman, R.O. (2014). Planting seeds of succession. Nursing Management, 45 (3),31-37.

*Dyess, S.M., Boykin, A., Bulfin, M.J. (2013). Hearing the voice of nurses in practice: A process of practice environment transformation linked to caring theory. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(2), 167-173.

Dyess, S.M., Chase, S. & Hanaway, K. (2013), Caring in the community: An exemplar from faith community nursing practice. International Journal for Human Caring, 17(2), 23-28.

*Sherman, R. O., Dyess, S, M., Hannah, E., & Prestia A. (2013). Succession planning for the future through an academic-practice partnership: A nursing administration master's program for   emerging nurse leaders. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 37(1)0, 18-27. 

*Dyess, S.M. & Chase, S. (2012). Sustaining health in faith community nursing practice: Emerging processes that support the development of a middle-range theory.   Holistic Nursing Practice, 26(4), 221-227

Prestia, A. & Dyess S.M. (2012). Maximizing caring relationships between nursing assistants and patients: Care partners. Journal of Nursing Administration,42 (3), 44-147

*Dyess, S.M., & Parker, C. (2012). Transition support for the newly licensed nurse: A program that made a difference. Journal of Nursing Management, 20 (5), 615-623. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01330.x

 *Dyess, S.M., & Sherman, R.O. (2011). Developing the leadership skills of new graduates to influence practice environments: A novice nurse leadership program. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 35(4), 313-322.

*Dyess, S. M. (2011). Faith: A concept analysis.  Journal of Advanced Nursing, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05734.x

Newlin, K., Dyess, S.M., Allard, E. Chase, S., Melkus, G. (2011). A methodological review of faith-based            health promotion literature: Advancing the science to expand delivery of Diabetes education to Black Americans.  Journal of Religion and Health, doi 10.1007/s10943-011-9481-9

*Dyess, S. M., & Chase, SK, (2010). Caring for adults living with a chronic illness through communities of faith. International Journal for Human Caring, 14 (4), 38-44. 

Dyess, S.M., Boykin, A. & Rigg, C.  (2010). Integrating caring theory with nursing practice and education:  Connecting with what matters. JONA, 40(11), 498-503

Sherman, R. & Dyess, S.M. (2010). Coaching novice nurses. Nurses First, 3(3), 9-12.

Dyess, S.M., Chase, S.K., & Newlin, K. (2010). State of research for faith community nursing 2009.  Journal of Religion and Health, 49(2), 188-199.

Dyess, S.M., & Sherman R.O. (2010). Developing a leadership mindset in new graduates. Nurse Leader, 8 (1), 29-33.

*Dyess, S.M.  & Sherman, R. O. (2009). The first year of practice: New graduate transition and learning needs. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 40(9),403-410.

 *Dyess, S. M. (2008). Dissertation: Living in abundance: The experience of living with chronic illness for adults affiliated with a community of faith with access to a faith community nurse. (Dissertation supervisor, Susan Chase)

Sherman, R. & Dyess, S. (2007). Be a coach for novice nurse. American Nurse Today, 2 (5), 54-55.



Sherman, R. & Dyess, S.M. (2009). Understanding group and individual needs. In N. Gantz, 101 Global leadership lessons for nurses: Shared legacies from leaders and their mentees (pp.218-223).  Indianapolis: IN: Sigma Theta Tau International Press 

Dyess, S.M. (2002) Parish Nursing, In C. Chambers-Clark (Ed.) Health promotion in communities: Holistic and wellness approaches. (pp. 409-417) New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. 


Guest editorials, book reviews or other publications:


Dyess, S.M. (2013). Book Review: Gottlieb, L. Strengths-Based Nursing Care: New York, NY.:Springer. Nursing Forum, 48 (1), 2.

Sherman, R.O. & Dyess, S. M. (2010). New graduate transition into practice during turbulent economic times. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(7), doi:10.3928/01484834-20100621-01


Dyess, S.M. (2008). Book Review: Newman, M.A. Transforming Presence: The Difference that Nursing Makes. Philadelphia: F.A.Davis Co.  Visions, 15 (1), 56-58.


  • Rotary Club of Boca Raton, Teacher of the Year (2014)
  • Florida Nurse's Association Great 100 Nurses; Role Model Category (2013)
  • Finalist Palm Healthcare Foundation's Nurse's of Distinction; Educator Category (2013)
  • Finalist Palm Healthcare Foundation's Nurse's of Distinction; Leadership Category (2011)
  • Finalist Palm Healthcare Foundation's Nurse's of Distinction; Educator Category (2008)
  • Graduate Student Leadership Award of the Year, Florida Atlantic University (2007)
  • Commitment to Community Award, Palm Healthcare Foundation (2007)


  • PhD
    • Florida Atlantic University, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing (2008)
  • MS
    • Florida Atlantic University, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing (1998)
  • BSN
    • University of Iowa, College of Nursing (1984)
  • Certification
    • Nurse Executive- Board Certified (2014)
    • Advanced Holistic Nursing- Board Certified (2012)
  • Advanced Course Completion
    • Integrative Nurse Coaching (2015-16)
    • Healthy Aging Certificate (2014)
    • Gerontology Certificate (2014)
    • End of Life Care Certificate (2014)
    • Level I Reiki Practitioner (2013)
    • Spirituality and Healthcare Research Duke University Summer Intensive (2013)
    • eLearning Designer/Facilitator Certification Course (2012)
    • Research Talk: Qualitative Methods Intensive (2011)
    • International Parish Nurse Resource Center; Basic Course, and Faculty Course (1999)