Contact Information


Pamela Spigelmyer, PhD, RN, CNS, SGAHN, joined the faculty in the School of Nursing as Assistant Professor in January 2016. As assistant professor, Dr. Spigelmyer teaches both undergraduate nursing students face-to-face and graduate nursing students online. She has mentored undergraduate nursing honor students and DNP students with student presentations at regional and international conferences. Dr. Spigelmyer also serves as dissertation chair for PhD students and has published with her students (Journal of School Health). She has also served as a nursing expert consultant for Biomedical Engineering students working on healthcare related capstone projects. 

Dr. Spigelmyer has recently been credentialed as a Scholar of the Global Academy of Holistic Nursing. This recognition is evidence of her commitment to integrating holistic nursing in her pedagogy and nursing praxis. She recently collaborated with three other university faculty (Dr. Cathleen Applet, Dr. Andrew Simpson, and Dr. Jessica Devido) creating a multi-disciplinary community-engaged project involving 314 students from nursing, sociology, and history. The program encouraged students to become critically conscious of their professional roles and consider holistic ways to promote health and wellness when vulnerable populations experience health inequities. Dr. Spigelmyer encourages her students to think holistically when formulating plans of care for patients. 

Dr. Spigelmyer is passionate about the wellbeing of older adults. Her research activities are holistically focused to improve health and wellness for older adults. Specifically, she is interested in helping dementia family caregivers. Her research started with a focus on family caregivers’ meaning of the phenomenon of resistiveness to care during daily care activities (published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship). She also published a concept analysis on the phenomenon of resistiveness to care (Clinical Nursing Research). Recently Dr. Spigelmyer explored integrating the holistic practice of mindfulness self-compassion to help dementia family caregivers manage difficult caregiving situations (published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing). She is currently working to increase visibility of family caregivers for hospitalized older adults and prepare family caregivers for their caregiving role post discharge. In doing so, she anticipates to holistically improve post discharge outcomes for hospitalized older adults. 

Dr. Spigelmyer’s experience in education and practice accumulated over her 36 years as a nurse. She previously held the position of Clinical Nursing Research Specialist at Susquehanna Health, honorary Clinical Instructor of Medicine for The Commonwealth Medical College of Scranton, Adjunct Faculty at Duquesne University, and Clinical Instructor for the Pennsylvania College of Technology and The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Spigelmyer brings clinical practice experiences from her work as a school nurse for the Mifflin County School District, and as a staff nurse working in rural and urban healthcare systems in Central Pennsylvania (Lewistown Hospital, Pinnacle Health system, Holy Spirit, Mount Nittany Medical Center, Select Specialty Hospital-Harrisburg). 

Dr. Spigelmyer is actively involved in professional organizations including a scholar in the Global Academy of Holistic Nursing (SGAHN), serving as Governance Chair and Vice-President for Epsilon Phi Chapter and Beta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (SIGMA), awards committee member for Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS), member of the National League of Nursing (NLN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). She 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
  • Dementia
  • Geriatric nursing
  • End-of-life caregiving
  • Vulnerable population

  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative methods

Profile Information


Spring 2022
Funds used to hire a graduate student in the Master's
Program in Applied and Public Sociology during summer 2022 to assist with preparation and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data from “Moments of Intersection” project for dissemination.
Team Members - Cathleen J. Appelt, Jessica Devido, Andrew Simpson, Pamela C Spigelmyer
Funded by: Wimmer Family Foundation ($2,943.72) 

January 2021
Advancing Applicant Award Contemplating Community: “Moments of Intersection” as a strategy to promote community-engaged, multidisciplinary, problem-solving skills for Generation Z students. A teaching project in leadership as an innovative academic model.
Team Members - Cathleen J. Appelt, Jessica Devido, Andrew Simpson, Pamela C Spigelmyer   
Funded by: Duquesne University John G. Rangos Sr. Prize ($3000)  

April 2016
“Resistiveness to Care as Experienced by Family Caregivers Assisting People with  Dementia”
(PI) Pamela Spigelmyer 
Funded By: Duquesne University Presidential Scholarship Award ($5,000)

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)

Peer Reviewed Articles (last 5 years):

Artman, D., Spigelmyer, P., Rebmann, T., & Zoucha, R. (2023). Disaster preparedness in K-12 schools: An integrative review. Journal of School Health [accepted for publication]

Spigelmyer, P., & Loughran, M. (2022). Simulation: An active learning strategy for an undergraduate nursing leadership course. Nursing Forum,1-8. DOI: 10.1111/nuf.12760. Epub2022.

Spigelmyer, P., Kalarchian, M., Lutz, C., & Brar, P. (2022). Mindfulness self-compassion: Helping family caregivers cope with memory related behaviors of dementia. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 1-12. Doi. 10.1177/08980101221123730

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

Spigelmyer, P., Hupcey, J., & Kitko, L. (2021). A concept analysis of resistiveness to care. Clinical Nursing Research. 1-18.doi: 10.1177/1054773818789862

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., 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

Regional and National Conference Presentations (last 5 years):

Presentation: Ethical Considerations Surrounding Early COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to Older Adults in the U.S. (Pamela C Spigelmyer PhD, RN, CNS, CSN & Melanie Turk, PhD, RN)  2023 Carol Carfang Nursing & Healthcare Ethics Conference, Clearwater Beach, Florida, to be held March 1-3, 2023 

Presentation: “Concept Analysis of Social Isolation in the Older Adult Population” (Spigelmyer, P, & Sheena Williams-Roth, MS, RN) 13th annual McGinley-Rice Symposium, The Face of the Person Who Is Socially Isolated, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA, October 20-21, 2022

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):

Spigelmyer, P, & Sheena Williams-Roth, MS, RN “Concept Analysis of Social Isolation in the Older Adult Population” 13th annual McGinley-Rice Symposium, The Face of the Person Who Is Socially Isolated, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA, October 20-21, 2022

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

  • 2023 Duquesne University School of Nursing Service Award

  • 2023 Scholar of the Global Academy of Holistic Nursing (SGAHN).