Biography

Candy Wilson received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Kentucky University (1992), Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2000), Master of Health Science from Duke University (2019), and PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center (2006). Dr. Wilson honorably served in the active duty US Air Force and retired in 2022. Throughout her nursing and military career, she provided patient care as a clinical nurse and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Each one of her 11 meritorious military ribbons tell a different story of service to this nation. Focusing on overseas deployments, she provided women’s health care in Afghanistan villages for over 3,000 women and children in seven villages living in austere conditions.

Her research interest in symptom science research through an occupational health focus addressed military women’s health needs in three prominent areas that led to changing health care practice through both policy and education. Being responsive to the changing military mission demands, these areas were: illness behaviors of deployed military women managing genitourinary symptoms; maintaining healthy iron status for female trainees; and integrative medicine low back pain treatments. Her work directly provided health evidence that optimally supported women while they continued to forge a path in traditionally male-dominated positions.

As a women’s health nurse scientist reporting research results since 2006, she developed and achieved goals that supported women and health care providers prepare for the subsequent decision by the Secretary of Defense in January 2016 to open all military occupations to women including combat positions. Understanding women’s illness behaviors in deployed settings when managing genitourinary symptoms informed military medic training to improve their medical readiness for providing gynecologic care for women. Medical readiness included training of the medics, updating supply lists for deployed settings, and improving the pre-deployment checklist for women. Her research and educational initiatives provided both military and civilian leaders and health care professionals with an evidence-based understanding of women’s health issues in order that contributed to the well-being and readiness of Servicewomen. As a seasoned women’s health researcher, she was one of four senior military officers from the Army, Navy, and Air Force who led a Military Women’s Health Research Interest Group funded by TriService Nursing Research Program (TSNRP) that provided a substantial contribution for a report to US Congress in July 2015 titled, Deployment Health for Women. The evidence-based plan included a systematic review for the purpose of identifying research gaps. A searchable database for public use resulted from the systematic review after cataloging and critiquing all research that included military women published from 2000-2010. This database has been a source of evidence-based care for deployed military women.

 

Caring for the health of women at the beginning of their military careers by testing serum iron levels has been a key to supporting optimal performance in high physical endurance. Research has shown iron deficiency negatively impacted mood states, cognitive performance, and physical performance. Fitness testing is a proxy for deployment readiness and military members must receive a passing score on their annual physical fitness examination. Her research validated the connection between serum iron levels and specific military training and fitness outcomes. The screening protocol was developed with known evidence in the literature to test as a program evaluation for female military trainees. Simultaneously, she was awarded a small business innovative research (SBIR) grant to develop a small handheld point-of-care device to quickly screen for iron deficiency. The program has completed Phase 2 testing. Using the screening protocol all female trainees will be tested to ensure a health iron level to promote an optimal performance with physical training.

Low back pain is the number one reason for disability in the US military. Promoting the optimal health of military members, she compared health and readiness outcomes to an alternative therapy, known as “Battlefield Acupuncture,” against a sham therapy for the treatment of low back pain. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of Battlefield Acupuncture on pain, sleep, disability, and mobility. This work was recognized by a Japanese television station that interviewed her about the study.

Dr. Wilson comes to the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing after teaching at the doctoral level of nursing for six years at a prior university. She has published 44 peer-reviewed papers and three book chapters. She was awarded over $18 million in research funded from Federal and Department of Defense sources. She was the portfolio director for the Military Women’s Health Research Program for $3M. Dr. Wilson’s research goals at FAU are to collaborate with others dedicated to military and veteran research focusing on sex and gender differences in health and well-being that includes alternative therapies.

Teaching

    Florida Atlantic University (2022- )
  • NGR6110 Advanced Nurse Practice Grounded in Caring

  • Uniformed Services University (2016-2022)
  • PHD820 Research Experience I
  • PHD821 Research Experience II
  • PHD822 Research Experience III
  • PHD823 Research Internship
  • PHD831 Qualitative Research Methods
  • PHD838B Qualitative Research Methods 2
  • PHD840 Emerging Scholars I
  • PHD841 Emerging Scholars II
  • PHD842 Emerging Scholars III
  • GSN701 Advance Practice Role
  • NURS6511 Essentials of Gyn Health
  • NURS661 Advanced Diagnosis & Management in Embryology, Gynecology, & Obstetrical Care
  • NURS8816 Conceptual Frameworks and Theoretical Models
  • NURS8834 Mixed Methods Research

Grants Awarded

  • Impact of a Mobile Application for Contraceptive Decision Making. TriService Nursing Research Program ($330K) (Role: Associate Investigator) 2020-2022.
  • Perioperative Handoff Study. Local Funding ($500) (Role: Consultant) 2020-2022.
  • Adjustment Disorders in the US Military: Addressing Gaps in Knowledge and Practice. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program ($1.1M) (Role: Co-Investigator)
  • Combating Infertility During Military Service: A Grounded Theory Approach. TriService Nursing Research Program ($339K) (Role: Associate Investigator/Methods Mentor) 2018-2021
  • The Experience of Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in the Military. TriService Nursing Research Program ($250K) (Role: Associate Investigator/Methods Mentor) 2018-2021
  • Create, Translate, and Implement Evidence into Air Force Healthcare. TriService Nursing Research Program ($450K). (Role: Associate Investigator). 2017-2019
  • A Delphi Study to Determine Military Women’s Health Research Priorities. TriService Nursing Research Program ($400K). (Role: Associate Investigator). 2016-2018
  • Battlefield Acupuncture for the treatment of Low Back Pain in Active Duty Military Members. TriService Nursing Research Program ($445K). (Role: Principal Investigator). 2016-2021
  • Gulf War Women's Health Cohort. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) ($1.1M). (Role: Associate Investigator). 2016-2021
  • Iron Status Determination Point-of-Care Device. Defense Health Agency Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs (Role: Concept developer/Contract Representative) ($2.8M). 2015-2022
  • Evaluation of a Standard Clinical Practice Guideline for Sustaining Iron Status in Female Warriors. Joint Planning Committee-5 (JPC-5) ($1.1M). (Role: Principal Investigator). 2015-2021
  • Working Dogs for Wounded Warriors: Understanding Patient Stress in Aeromedical Evacuation and the Impact of Animal Assisted Intervention. TriService Nursing Research Program ($250K) (Role: Associate Investigator) 2014-2017
  • Acupuncture Training Across Clinical Settings. Defense Health Agency/Veterans Affairs Health Executive Committee ($5.4M) (Role: Associate Investigator) 2013-2015
  • Military Medics’ Insight into Providing Women’s Health Services. TriService Nursing Research Program ($350K). (Role: Principal Investigator). 2011-2015.
  • A Trial to Maximize Accuracy of Military Women’s Genitourinary Infection Self-Diagnosis. TriService Nursing Research Program ($193K). (Role: Associate Investigator). 2007-2013
  • Military Women’s Health and Illness Behaviors in Deployed Settings. TriService Nursing Research Program ($134K). (Role: Principal Investigator) 2008-2011
  • Iron Status of Deployed Military Members. Air Force Surgeon General and TriService Nursing Research Program ($25K). (Role: Principal Investigator). 2009-2011
  • Stress Gym for Combat Casualty Patients. TriService Nursing Research Program ($460K). (Role: Associate Investigator). 2008-2010.
  • Impact of Deployment of Nurses on Retention. TriService Nursing Research Program ($220K). (Role: Associate Investigator). 2008-2009.
  • Effect of Zinc Supplements on Preventing Upper Respiratory Infections in Air Force Academy Cadets in Basic Training. USAF Surgeon General ($25K). (Role: Associate Investigator). 2007-2008

Recent Publications

(D) Data Driven
(MS) Mentored Student
(I) Invited
Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1dkh9a9Z-xdQlk/bibliography/public/

    • Mancuso, J.D., Young, J., Rusiecki, J., Stahlman, S., Schvey, N., Randolph, T., Wilson, C., Witkop, C., Hyde, P., Green, A., Santiago, P., Shell, D., & Sbrocco, T. (2022). Advancing Health Equity in the US Military. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice. (in press).
    • Iobst, S. E., Phillips, A. K., & Wilson, C. (2021). Shared decision-making during labor and birth among low-risk active duty women in the U.S. military. Military Medicine, doi:10.1093/milmed/usab486 (D) (MS)
    • Medicine, doi:10.1093/milmed/usab486 (D) (MS) Iobst, S.E., Phillips, A.K., Foster, G., Wasserman, J., Wilson, C. (2021). Integrative review of racial disparities in perinatal outcomes among beneficiaries of the military health system. JOGNN, (e-pub read ahead).

JOGNN (e-pub read)

  • Krengel, M., Sullivan, K., Heboyan, V., Zundel, C.G., Wilson, C., Klimas, N., Coughlin, S.S. (2021). Neurotoxicant exposures and rates of Chronic Multisymptom Illness and Kansas Gulf War Illness Criteria in Gulf War deployed women veterans. Life Sciences. (e-pub read ahead). JOGNN (e-pub read)
  • Trego, L.L., & Wilson, C. (2021). A social ecological model for military women’s health. Women’s Health Issues, 31-S1, S11-S21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2020.12.006 
  • Wilson, C., Phillips, A.K., Iobst, S., Meyers, E., Trego, L., Allard, R., Landoll, R. (2021). A scoping review of unintended pregnancy in active duty United States military women. Women’s Health Issues,31-S1, S66-S80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2020.11.006 (MS)
  • Bajjani-Gebara, J., Wilcox, S.L., Williams, J., Kosinski, A., Allard, R., Wilson, C., &s; Landoll, R. (2021). Adjustment disorders in U.S. Active Duty military women: A scoping review for years 2000-2018. Women’s Health Issues, 31-S1, S33-S42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2020.12.003 
  • Braun, L.A., Kostas-Polston, E.A., Miedema, J., Hoffecker, L., &s; Wilson, C. (2021). A scoping review of cervical cancer risk factors, prevention, diagnosis and treatment in U.S. Active Duty military women. Women’s Health Issues, 31-S1, S53-S65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2021.04.003 
  • Phillips, A.K. &s; Wilson, C. (2021). Menstrual practices in operational military women. Military Medicine, 186(Supplement 1), 767-774. https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usaa345 (D) (MS)
  • Talbot, L.A., Wilson, C., Nayback-Beebe, A., Metter, E.J., Hatzfeld, J. (2020). Nursing’s role in preventing and managing back pain in military members: Proceedings of the first back pain summit. Military Medicine, 185(supplement). 43-49. https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usz238 
  • Ansa, B.E., Sullivan, K., Krengel, M.H., Heboyan, V., Wilson, C., Iobst, S., &s; Coughlin, S.S. (2020). The Gulf War women’s health cohort: study design and protocol. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7), 2423. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072423
  • Morales, K.A., Krause-Parello, C.A., Hatzfeld, J.J., Simpson, M., Kolassa, J., Wilson, C. (2019). Strategic aeromedical evacuation (AE): Examining biological and psychological stress in AE patients. Military Behavioral Health, 1, 31-39. https://doi.org/10.1080/21635781.2018.1543062 (D) (MS)
  • Heboyan, V, Krengel, MH, Sullivan, K, Iobst, S, Klimas, N, Wilson, C, Coughlin, SS (2019). Sex differences in Gulf War Illness: A reanalysis of data from the CDC Air Force study using CDC and modified Kansas Case definitions. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 61, 610-616. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000001620 (D)
  • Krause-Parello, CA, Friedmann, E, Wilson, C, Hatzfeld, JJ, Kolassa, J. Hackney, A, Morales, KA. (2019). Relation of PTSD symptom severity to the efficacy of an animal-assisted intervention for stress reduction after military aeromedical evacuation. Stress and Health, 35, 480-490. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2881 (D) (MD)
  • Hopkins, D, Wilson, C. (2019). Polycystic ovary syndrome in Active Duty women: A retrospective analysis. Military Medicine 184(9-10), 440. https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usz023 (D)
  • Coughlin, SS, Heboyan V, Sullivan, K, Krengel, M, Wilson, C, Iobst, S, &s; Klimas N. (2019). Cardiovascular disease among female veterans of the 1991 Gulf War era. Journal of Environment and Health Science, 5, 24-25. https://doi.org/10.15436/2378-6841.19.2455 (D)
  • Potter, M, &s; Wilson C. (2017). Applying Bureaucratic Caring Theory and the Chronic Care Model to improve staff and patient self-efficacy. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 41, 310-320. https://doi.org/10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000256 (D) (MS)
  • Wilson, C., Corrigan, R, &s; Braun, L. (2017). Deployed Women's Illness Behaviors While Managing Genitourinary Symptoms: An Exploratory Theoretical Synthesis of Two Qualitative Studies, Nursing Outlook, 65, S17-S25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2017.07.009 (D)
  • Coughlin SS, Thind H, Liu B, Wilson C. (2016). Towards research-tested smartphone applications for preventing breast cancer. mHealth 2:26. https://doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2016.06.02
  • Wilson, C., Corrigan, R, Reese, S, Almonte, A, Simpson, D, &s; Wilson, A. (2016). Military Medics Insight into Providing Women’s Health Services in Austere Settings. Military Medicine, 181, e1608-e1614 (D) https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-15-00480 
  • Niemtzow R.C., Burns S.M., Piazza T.R., Pock A.R., Walter J., Petri R., Hofmann L., Wilson C., Drake D., Calabria K., Biery J., Baxter JS., Gallagher R.M., &s; Jonas W.B. (2016). Integrative Medicine in the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs: Cautious Steps Forward. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 22(3), 171-173. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2016.29002.rcn.
  • Braun, L, Kennedy, H, Sadler, L, Dixon, J, Womack, J, &s; Wilson, C. (2016). U.S. Navy Women’s Experience of an Abnormal Cervical Cancer Screen. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 61, 249-256 (D) (MS) https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.12378
  • Koda, E, Wilson, C. &s; Gordan, D. (2016). Case Report: Intercostal Injury-Related Atelectasis Treated with Auricular Acupuncture. American Family Physician, 65, E1-E3.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2005290116300851?via%3Dihub 
  • Braun, L, Kennedy, HP, Womack, J, &s; Wilson, C. (2016). Integrative Literature Review: U.S. Military Women’s Genitourinary and Reproductive Health. Military Medicine, 181, 35-41 (MS) https://academic.oup.com/milmed/article/181/1/35/4158270?login=false 
  • Wilson, C., Trego, LL, Rychnovsky, J, Steele, N, &s; Foradori, M. (2015). Creating and Sustaining a Military Women’s Health Research Interest Group. AMEDD Journal, Apr-Jun edition. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26101911/ 
  • Williams, R.A., Gatien, G., Hagerty, B.M., Kane, M., Otto, L., Wilson, C, &s; Throop, M. (2012). Addressing Psychological Care Using an Interactive Web Site for Combat-Wounded Patients. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 1-10 (D) https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6163.2012.00344.x 
  • Wilson, C. (2012). Caring for Military Women and Military Families as a Nation at War. JOGNN. 41, 281-282. Guest Editor (I) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01344.x 
  • Wilson, C., Nelson, JP (2012). Exploring the Patterns, Practices and Experiences of Deployed Military Women who Managed Genitourinary Symptoms. JOGNN, 41, 293-302. (D) (I) https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01347.x 
  • Wilson, C., McClung, J.P., Karl, J. &s; Brothers, M.D. (2011). Iron status of military personnel of deployed to Afghanistan. Military Medicine, 176. 1421-1425 (D) https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-11-00167 
  • Wilson, C. (2011). Uterine Fibroids: Clinical and surgical management. ADVANCE for NPs and PAs. (I)
  • Wilson, C. (2011). A ‘boots on the ground’ perspective of caring for the women and children in Afghanistan. JOGNN, 40, 255-261. (I) https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01251.x 
  • Wilson, C. &s; Brothers, M. (2010). Iron deficiency in Women and Its Potential Impact on Military Effectiveness. Nursing Clinics of North America, 45, 95-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnur.2010.02.005 
  • Trego, L., Wilson, C., Steele, N. (2010). A Call to Action for Evidence-based Military Women’s Healthcare: Developing a Women’s Health Research Agenda that Addresses Sex and Gender in Health and Illness. Biologic Research in Nursing, 12, 171-177. https://doi.org/10.1177/1099800410375299 
  • Wilson, C. (2009). Sex Differences in Gallbladder Cancer: Late Diagnosis Leads to Poor Prognosis. ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners. (I) 
  • Veverka, D., Wilson, C., Martinez, M., Wenger, R., &s; Tamosuinas, A. (2009). Use of Zinc Supplements to Reduce Upper Respiratory Infections in United States Air Force Academy Cadets. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 15, 91-95 (D) (MS) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2009.02.006 
  • Wilson, C. (2009). The Sex Differences with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners. (I)
  • Wilson, C. (2008). Sex differences in Iron Deficiency Between Female and Male Athletes. ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners. (I)
  • Wilson, C. (2007). Sex differences in the Cost of Low Back Pain. ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners. (I)
  • Wilson, C. (2007). Sex Differences in Sleep Disorders. ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners. (I)
  • Wilson, C. (2007). Sex Differences in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Joint Pain. ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners. (I)
  • Wilson, C. (2005). My definition of nursing. Nursing Forum, 40, 116-118.
  • Wilson, C. (2005). Recurrent vulvovaginitis candidiasis: An overview of traditional and alternative therapies. ADVANCE for Nurse Practitioners, 13, 24-29. (I) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15898312/ 
  • Kendrick, J., Wilson, C., Elder, R., & Smith, C. (2005). Reliability of reporting of self-monitoring of blood glucose in pregnant women. JOGNN, 34, 329-334. (D) https://doi.org/10.1177/0884217505276306 
  • Wilson, C. (2000). The nurse’s role in misoprostol induction: A proposed protocol. JOGNN, 29, 574-583. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2000.tb02070.x 

Honors/Awards