Contact Information


Dr. Colbert is a Full Professor at the Duquesne University School of Nursing. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public/Community Health with 15 years of experience in settings including jails, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, and community clinics.  She also conducts prenatal classes for incarcerated pregnant women. Dr. Colbert received her BA (in Journalism) from the University of Arizona, her MSN from the University of Texas at Austin, and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar in 2010, Dr. Colbert's clinical practice and research centers on health promotion in vulnerable populations. Her current research focuses on the development of an intensive care-management intervention to improve the health and well-being of women recently released from jail or prison. She has also been involved in research studies examining medication adherence for people living with HIV/AIDS, screening by nurses for interpersonal violence, and safe-sleep practices/SIDS prevention in high-risk populations. Colbert was also named the 2011 Junior Investigator by the Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association. In addition to her commitment to use nursing research and practice to improve care for the underserved, she is also very interested in the public policy issues related to health care for incarcerated women. 

Dr. Colbert teaches in the graduate programs in the School of Nursing, including the Graduate Forensic Nursing and PhD programs. She is active in several professional organizations including the International Association of Forensic Nurses (serving on the Education Committee) and APHA. She is a past-president of the Duquesne University School of Nursing's Sigma Theta Tau chapter and co-founder and co-chair of the Criminal Justice, Trauma, and Violence RIG of the Eastern Nurses Research Society. She serves as a reviewer for multiple journals, and an active member of her own community as a volunteer for organizations serving vulnerable women.


  • PhD, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 2007
  • MSN, Community/Public Health Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • BA, Journalism, University of Arizona, 1993

Research Interests or Expertise

  • Community health

  • Incarcerated adults

  • Health literacy

  • HIV/AIDS/infectious disease

  • Adherence

  • Health promotion and care in vulnerable populations




Profile Information


  • Grants Awarded 2010-2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nurse Faculty Scholars Program Role: Primary Investigator Project: Intensive Case Management for Recently Incarcerated Women Dates: September 1, 2010-August 31, 2013 $350,000
  • 2009-2010 Duquesne University School of Nursing Faculty Research Grant Role: Primary Investigator Project: Identification of Victims of Interpersonal Violence by Emergency Department Nurses July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010 $5,000
  • 2008-2009 Duquesne University School of Nursing Faculty Research Grant Role: Primary Investigator Project: Healthcare Needs and Barriers for Women Immediately Post-Incarceration July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009 $5,000
  • 2008-2009 Duquesne University School of Nursing Faculty Research Grant Role: Co-Investigator Project: Daily Spiritual Experiences: Characteristics and Significance to Young Adult Women with Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009 $5,000

Paper Presentations

  • Colbert, A., Sekula, L.K., Zoucha, R., Hughes, T., & Cohen, S.M. " "Healthcare Needs of Women Immediately Post-Incarceration"."American Public Health Association 139th Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, November 2011.
  • Colbert, A., Sekula, L.K., Dadura, C., Shreiber, V. "Identification of Victims of Intimate Partner Violence by Emergency Department Nurses: A Pilot Study." International Association of Forensic Nursing Annual Scientific Assembly, Montreal, ON, October 2011.
  • Colbert, A., Panosky, D. and Zoucha, R. (2010). "Forensic Nursing and High Risk Offenders: Opportunities for Innovation." International Association of Forensic Nurses 18th Annual Scientific Assembly, Pittsburgh, PA. October, 2010.
  • Sekula, L.K., Colbert, A., Necessary, J. (2010). "Variables in the Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases." International Association of Forensic Nurses 18th Annual Scientific Assembly, Pittsburgh, PA. October, 2010.
  • Colbert, A. (2009). Prenatal Education for Women in Jail. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. November, 2009.
  • Colbert, A., Cohen, S, Zoucha, R. Sekula, L.K. (2008). Healthcare Needs and History of Interpersonal Violence in Women Immediately Post-Incarceration. 2008 International Association of Forensic Nursing Scientific Assembly. Dallas, TX. September, 2008.
  • Amar, A., Colbert, A., Esposito, N., Louis, J., Marino, M. A. (2008). Before Data Collection: Ethical, Safety and Access Considerations in Violence Research. 2008
  • International Association of Forensic Nursing Scientific Assembly. Dallas, TX. September, 2008.
  • Colbert, A., Erlen, J. (2008). Gender Differences in HIV-Related Stigma. Eastern Nursing Research Society. 20th Annual Scientific Sessions. Philadelphia, PA. April, 2008.
  • Colbert, A., Zoucha, R. Sekula, K. (2007). The Application of Cultural Competency Skills: Case Studies in Forensic Nursing. 2007 International Association of Forensic Nursing Scientific Assembly. Salt Lake City, UT. October, 2007.
  • Zoucha, R. Colbert, A. Sekula, K. (2007). The Role of Transcultural Nursing in the Prevention of and Response to Mass Disaster. 33rd Annual Conference of the Transcultural Nursing Society. Bournemouth, UK. September 2007.
  • Colbert, A., Erlen, J. (2007). A Theoretical Framework to Study to Health Literacy and HIV Medication Adherence. Eastern Nursing Research Society. 19th Annual Scientific Sessions. Providence, RI.

Poster Presentations

  • Colbert, A., Cohen, S., Sekula, L. K., and Zoucha, R. (2009). Health Need and History of Interpersonal Violence in Women Immediately Post-Incarceration. Eastern Nursing Research Society. 21st Annual Scientific Sessions. Boston, MA.
  • Nickerson, C., Colbert, A, Zoucha, R, and Behun, J. (2009). Daily Spiritual Experiences and Perceived Quality of Life of Young Adult Women: Exploring the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence (A Pilot Study). American Holistic Nurses Association National Conference. Madison, WI.
  • Colbert, A. Erlen, J., Sereika, S., (2008). Are Functional Health Literacy and Medication Taking Self-Efficacy Predictors of HIV Medication Adherence? International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. 3rd International Conference on HIV Treatment Adherence. Jersey City, New Jersey. March, 2008.

Invited Presentations

  • Creating a Career Working with Vulnerable Populations. Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania Annual Conference, Lancaster, PA, November 2011.
  • Sexual Assault: An International Issue. Injustice and Indifference: Duquesne University Human Rights Film Series. January, 2010.
  • Introduction to Forensic Science in the Healthcare Environment: What Providers Need to Know. Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists. 2009 Annual Meeting, Washington, PA. March 27, 2009.
  • Health Concerns of Incarcerated Women. Mothers in Prison Workshop for Social Service Providers, Pittsburgh, PA. December 2, 2008.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • McKibbin, A., Peltier, J., Colbert, A. and Sekula, K. (2011). Assessing the Learning Needs of South Carolina Nurses by Exploring their Perceived Knowledge of Emergency Preparedness: Evaluation of a Tool. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. (in press)
  • Wickersham, K., Colbert, A., Caruthers, D., Tamres, L., Martino, A., and Erlen, J.A. (2011). Assessing Fidelity to an Intervention in a Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Medication Adherence. Nursing Research, 60(4):264-69.
  • Colbert, A., Zoucha, R. (2010) Disaster assistance: Culturally congruent care of victims of natural disaster. In Core Curriculum for Transcultural Nursing and Health Care, eds. Douglas, M.K., Pacquiao, D. F. Journal of Transcultural Nursing and Health Care, 21(Supplement 1), 268S-272S.
  • Colbert, A.M., Kim, K.H., Sereika, S.M., Erlen, J,A. (2010). An examination of the relationships among gender, health status, social support, and HIV-related stigma. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 21(4), 302-12.
  • Colbert, A. (2009). Measurement challenges in forensic nursing research. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 5(1) 51-2.
  • Broyles, L.M., Colbert, A., Tate, J.A., Swigart, V.A., Happ, M.B. (2008). Clinicians' evaluation and management of mental health, substance abuse, and chronic pain conditions in the intensive care unit. Critical Care Medicine, 36(1), 87-93.
  • Lewis, M.P., Colbert, A., Erlen, J., Meyers, M. (2006). 100% adherers on antiretroviral therapy: successful medication management. AIDS Care, 18(2), 140-148.
  • Broyles, L., Colbert, A., Erlen, J. (2005) Adherence: medication practice and feminist thought: a theoretical and ethical response to adherence in HIV/AIDS. Bioethics, 19(4), 362-378.