Contact Information


Dr. Spigelmyer has served in several different faculty roles in her 33 years in Nursing, in addition to various staff nursing positions. Before coming to Duquesne University, she served as Clinical Instructor of Medicine for The Commonwealth Medical College of Scranton, served as Adjunct Faculty at Duquesne University and Part-time Faculty and Clinical Instructor for the Pennsylvania College of Technology and The Pennsylvania State University. In these roles she taught and mentored both graduate and undergraduate nursing and medical students.

Dr. Spigelmyer has experience in an administrative capacity as a Clinical Nursing Research Specialist in rural healthcare system. In this role she developing evidence-based practice projects and research projects with staff nurses to improve care of the hospitalized patient. She was instrumental in helping staff nurses disseminate their findings via posters presented at regional, national and international conferences as well as publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Prior to her role as a Clinical Nursing Research Specialist, Dr. Spigelmyer has many varied staff nurse experiences. More recently she was certified in Pennsylvania as a school nurse working in a rural school district for about 6 years. In addition, she was a staff nurse working for a travel agency for about 8 years and worked as a staff nurse at a small rural community hospital for 14 years prior to going to the agency. In her staff nursing roles Dr. Spigelmyer cared for respiratory patients, orthopedic patients, pediatric patients, and was ACLS certified for 8 years working with cardiac telemetry patients and neurologic surgical patients.

Dr. Spigelmyer's research activities have focused on family caregivers who assists people with dementia. In particular, Dr. Spigelmyer is interested in how family caregivers manage the phenomenon of resistiveness to care during daily care activities. Dr. Spigelmyer also has previous research experience with the topics of end-of-life care in prisons, vulnerable populations, and oral health in the elderly population with cognitive impairment such as dementia.

Dr. Spigelmyer received her BSN from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, School Nurse Certification from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, MS as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Public and Community Health from The Pennsylvania State University, and her PhD in Nursing with a minor concentration in gerontology from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Spigelmyer is actively involved in several professional organizations including the Epsilon Phi Chapter and Beta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS), and the American Nurses Association. She has also held membership with the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).


PhD, Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, 2015
MS, Clinical Nurse Specialist-Public/Community Health, The Pennsylvania State University, 2006
BSN, Nursing, Bloomsburg University, 1987


  • Family caregiving for people with dementia
  • Geriatric nursing
  • End-of-life caregiving

Profile Information


May 2017-April 2019
"Improving Family Caregivers' Self-Management and Coping with Memory-Related Behaviors of People with Dementia"
(PI) Pamela Spigelmyer
Funded By: Duquesne University Faculty Development Fund Award ($8,719)

May 2015 - Dissertation
"Resistiveness to Care as Experienced by Family Caregivers Assisting People with Dementia"
(PI) Pamela Spigelmyer
Partially Funded by: Beta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International ($500)

September 2009- April 2011
"Infusing End-of-Life Care into Complex Organizations: The Prison Study"
(Corresponding PI) Dr. Susan Loeb
(PI Team) Susan Loeb, Janice Penrod, and Chris Hollenbeak
Role: Research Assistant - data collection, management, and preliminary analysis
Funded by: National Institute of Nursing Research Grant [1R01NR011874-01]

October 2009- April 2010
"Resistive Behaviors in the Context of Informal Caregivers Assisted Activities of Daily Living for People with Dementia" - A Pilot Study
(PI) Pamela Spigelmyer
(Co-I) Dr. Janice Penrod
Funded by: Beta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International ($1,000)

February 2009- April 2010
"Exploring the Formal/Informal Caregiver Interface across 3 Death Trajectories"
(PI) Dr. Janice Penrod
Role: Research Assistant - data collection, management, and preliminary coding
Funded by: NIH/NINR [1R01NR010127-01A1; $1440774/4 years]

January 2008- August 2008
"A Prescription for Enhancing Resident Quality of Life"
(PI) Dr. Ann Kolanowski
Role: Research Assistant - data collection and administration of an intervention
Funded by: National Institutes of Nursing Research (NINR)

September 2005-December 2005
2004 National Nursing Center Consortium (NNCC): "Walk and Win" Project
(PI) Dr. Carol Smith
Role: Project Assistant - helped to coordinate student nurse involvement with intervention
Funded By: Health Resource Service Administration- Division of Nursing (HRSA)

Peer Reviewed Articles (last 5 years):

Spigelmyer P., Winberg A., & Heyd M. (2021). Educating Post-Partum Women: Interventions to Improve Engagement. Clinical Nursing Research. doi:

Spigelmyer, P., Schreiber, J. (2019). A pilot study: Resistive behavior in the
context of informal caregiver-assisted activities of daily living.Geriatric Nursing,

Spigelmyer, P., Hupcey, J., & Kitko, L. (2018). A concept analysis of
resistiveness to care. Clinical Nursing Research. 1-18.doi: 10.1177/1054773818789862

Spigelmyer, P., Hupcey, J., Smith, C.A., Loeb, S., & Kitko, L. (2018). Resistiveness to
care as experienced by family caregivers providing care for someone with dementia. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 50(1), 36-46. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12345

Book Chapters:

Spigelmyer, P., & Jablonski, R. (2016). Impaired Oral Mucous Membrane. In Maas, M., Specht, J., Mobily, P., Schoenfelder, D. & Stineman, A. (Eds.), Care of older persons for optimum quality of life: Nursing diagnoses, outcomes, and interventions (Vol.3) Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa College of Nursing Barbara and Richard Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence. Retrieve from the Iowa Nursing Guidelines page here. 

Regional and National Conference Presentations (last 5 years):

Presentation: Moments of Intersection: A Strategy to Promote Community-Engaged, Multidisciplinary Problem-Solving Skills for Students (Pamela C Spigelmyer, PhD, RN, CNS, CSN, Andrew Simpson, PhD, Cathleen Appelt, PhD, Jessica Devido, PhD, RN, Terri Baltimore) 34th ENRS Annual Scientific Sessions, Providence, RI, March 31-April 1, 2022

Presentation: Case Study: Alternative Assignment for First-Year Undergraduate Nursing Students in a Service-Learning Course. (Pamela C Spigelmyer, PhD, RN, CNS, CSN & Cynthia Walters DNP, RN, CHN) 46th Biennial Convention, Indianapolis, Indiana November 6-10, 2021.

Presentation: Helping Family Caregivers Self-Manage the Challenges of Caring for Someone with Memory Behaviors. (Pamela C Spigelmyer PhD, RN, CNS, CSN & Melissa Kalarchian PhD), Virtual 33rd ENRS Annual Scientific Sessions, Online March 25, 2021.

Presentation: Helping Family Caregivers. (Pamela C Spigelmyer PhD, RN, CNS, CSN). Virtual Scholars Night-Epsilon Phi Chapter of Sigma. Duquesne University Online February 23, 2021.

Presentation: To Live Alone or Not? (Pamela C Spigelmyer PhD, RN, CNS, CSN), 2020 Carol Carfang Nursing & Healthcare Ethics Conference, Clearwater Beach, Florida, February 26-28, 2020.

Presentation: Collaboration Aids in Translating Evidence-Based Practice into Action for Staff Nurses (Pamela C Spigelmyer PhD, RN, CNS, CSN), 45th Biennial Convention, Washington, D.C., November 16-20, 2019.

Presentation: Using Simulation in an Undergraduate Nursing Leadership Course. (Pamela C Spigelmyer PhD, RN, CNS, CSN, Mary Kay Loughran, DNP, MHA, RN), 30th International Nursing Research Congress, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, July 25-29, 2019.

Regional and National Poster Presentations (last 5 years):

Graver, K. & Fullerton, K., (2021) Gender differences may influence how caregivers handle burden. Duquesne University Undergraduate Research Symposium. April 16-19, 2021. Pamela Spigelmyer PhD, RN, CNS, CSN Faculty Mentor (Honorable Mention Award recipients of $100 from the School of Nursing) [2020 Undergraduate Honors Students]

Fisher-Grace, K., Turk, M., (2021) Investigating Diabetes Distress, Self-Care and Personal Health Record Use. Duquesne University Graduate Research Symposium. March 8-12, 2021. Acknowledge Pamela Spigelmyer, PhD, RN and Mary K. Anthony PhD, RN- PhD dissertation committee members [School of Nursing Graduate Student Award]

Loughran, M. & Spigelmyer, P. “Using Simulation and TeamSTEPPS to Enhance Leadership Skills in an Undergraduate Nursing Leadership Course” 2020 Annual SWPONL Nursing Leadership Conference, Pittsburgh PA, August 27-28, 2020 (Third Place Award)

Gruender, M., & Mann, M., “Caregiver Conquering Challenges of Daily Living” 30th International Nursing Research Congress, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, July 25-29, 2019. Dr. Pamela Spigelmyer-student mentor [2018 Undergraduate Honors Students]

Gruender, M., & Mann, M. “Caregiver Conquering Challenges of Daily Living” Duquesne University Graduate Research Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA April 3, 2019. Dr. Pamela Spigelmyer-student mentor [2018 Undergraduate Honors Students]

Shipley, P., Spigelmyer, P. & Garman, K. "Compassionate Love: A Concept Analysis" Beta Sigma Chapter of STTI 2019 Research Day, Penn State University, University Park, PA, May 9, 2019.

Spigelmyer, P. & Winberg, A. "Patient Education Prompts as an Activation to
Education and Reduced Length of Stay" 31stAnnual Scientific Session of the Easter Nursing Research Society, Providence RI, April 4, 2019

Invited Editorial Articles:

Spigelmyer, P. (2019, January 18). Don't Forget to Assess the Family Caregiver of Your Older Adult Patient. MD Magazine. Retrieved from the article at Media News online

Duqcte. (2017, February 27). Helping students reflect on study habits [Web blog post]. Retrieve the blog online here

Professional Practice:

Summer 2016 - Duquesne University Presidential Scholarship Award grant "Resistiveness to Care as Experienced by Family Caregivers Assisting People with Dementia" ($5000)

July 2015

  • Hospital Associations of Pennsylvania (HAP) Achievement Award
  • Optimal Operations Award- "Improving Surgical Care for Critical Access Hospital Patients While Maintaining Cost-Efficient Care"

Student Mentoring:

2013 - Fall Pennsylvania State University Nursing Alumni Society Mentoring MACS Award

Poster Award:

Lundy, P., Duchman, S. & Spigelmyer, P. "Partnership to Align Nursing Practice, Electronic Individualized Plan of Care and Patient Outcomes" 2014 Annual PONL Nursing Leadership Conference. Gettysburg, PA, October 22-23, 2014