Our team

Our team

Patricia Kinser, Ph.D., RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP

Associate Professor
Department of Family and Community Health Nursing


1100 East Leigh Street, Room 3087
PO Box 980567
Richmond, VA 23298-0567

Phone: (804) 828-9140
Email: kinserpa@vcu.edu


I teach at the VCU School of Nursing predominantly in the master’s and PhD programs. The major areas of my teaching focus on women’s health, mindfulness, advanced health assessment, and qualitative research. I am the co-director of the course Mindfulness for Healthcare Professional Students and a contributor to the Artfulness program at VCU. I am a frequent guest speaker in departments throughout and beyond VCU regarding both women’s health issues and the application of mindfulness-based interventions for various clinical and non-clinical populations. I serve as a doctoral student advisor and a member of numerous dissertation committees within and outside of the School of Nursing.


My program of research is largely focused on enhancing wellness in women across the lifespan, with specific foci on biobehavioral mechanisms (including epigenetics) of depression and stress and on the biobehavioral effects of psychobehavioral interventions and complementary health approaches for stress and depression. Thanks to funding from the National Institutes of Health and other foundation grants, I am currently conducting studies on the epigenetic mechanisms of postpartum depression and on the use of yoga and mindfulness interventions as self-management tools for depressive and related symptoms in pregnancy.   My research is positioned at the intersection of research and clinical care regarding the promotion of positive health behaviors & interventions for mental and physical wellness. For more information, see my research lab’s website: http://rampages.us/patriciakinser/


I maintain an active clinical practice as a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP-BC), volunteering at a free clinic in Richmond (Health Brigade). I serve on the Board of the Southern Nursing Research Society as the Director of Awards and I am a grant reviewer for the American Nurses Foundation and Sigma Theta Tau International. I serve as a committee member for multiple School of Nursing and University-level committees, including the APT and University Graduate Council committees. I am the current chair of the Master’s Curriculum Committee at the School of Nursing. I am co-chair of the Perinatal Mental Health Research Group at VCU’s Institute for Women’s Health. I am an active member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, the Southern Nursing Research Society, and the Academy of Women’s Health.



  • PhD - Nursing - University of Virginia
  • MS - Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner - Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BSN - Nursing - Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BS - Biology, Neural & Behavioral Science; Feminist & Gender Studies - Haverford College


  • Fellow, Society of Behavioral Medicine Leadership Institute 2017-2018
  • DAISY Faculty Award, VCU School of Nursing/ AACN/ Daisy Foundation, 2016
  • Distinguished Practitioner & Fellow, National Academies of Practice, 2015
  • Exceptional Dedication and Service Award, Fan Free Clinic, Richmond, VA 2014
  • D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award, Southern Nursing Research Society 2014
  • Phyllis J. Verhonick Dissertation Award, University of Virginia School of Nursing 2012
  • Graduate Merit Award, University of Virginia School of Nursing 2011
  • Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Practitioner Award for Doctorate Study 2011
  • Rodriguez Nursing Research and Leadership Award, University of Virginia 2010


  • 2016-2018 Other Significant Contributor: Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Epigenetic mechanisms of postpartum depression.
  • 2016-2018 Principal Investigator: Self-Management of Chronic Depressive Symptoms in Pregnancy; R15HD086835, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
  • 2016-2018 Other Significant Contributor: Epigenetic mechanisms of postpartum depression (PI: York); NARSAD/Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.
  • 2015-2017 Clinical Faculty Scholar: VCU NIMHD Comprehensive Center of Excellence, 5P60MD002256 (PI: Strauss), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
  • 2015-2016 Principal Investigator: Epigenetic, social, and environmental mechanisms underlying postpartum depression; American Nurses Foundation Research Grant.
  • 2015-2017 Principal Investigator: Mechanisms of Postpartum Depression; National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program.
  • 2015-2016 Principal Investigator: Centering Pregnancy Care plus Yoga for Diverse Pregnant Women; Sigma Theta Tau/ Southern Nursing Research Society Research Grant.
  • 2014-2016 Principal Investigator: Social, environmental, and epigenetic mechanisms underlying postpartum depression- a pilot study; VCU CCTR Endowment Fund (UL1TR0000058, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences).
  • 2013 Principal Investigator: Exploring non-pharmacologic strategies for managing prenatal depression and stress in underserved women via focus groups; supported in part by P30 NR011403 (Grap, PI), Center of Excellence for Biobehavioral Approaches to Symptom Management; National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH.
  • 2012-2013 Principal Investigator: Feasibility, acceptability, and effects of a complementary therapy for women with depression: A one-year follow-up study; supported in part by P30 NR011403 (Grap, PI), Center of Excellence for Biobehavioral Approaches to Symptom Management; National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH.
  • 2009-2011 Principal Investigator: Feasibility and acceptability of yoga for women with depression;
  • T32 Pre-Doctoral Training Grant, National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (T32-AT000052; PI: Ann Gill Taylor), CAM Clinical Research Training Program, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia School of Nursing.


  • Kinser, P., Pauli, J., Jallo, N., Hoekstra, M., Karst, K., Shall, M., Starkweather, A. (2017, in press). Physical activity and mindfulness/yoga approaches for pregnancy-related low back and pelvic pain. Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic and Neonatal Nurses. doi: 10.1016/j.jogn.2016.12.006
  • Harris, A., Braun, S., Fleagle, E., Robins, J., Kinser, P. (2017, in press) Why and how to manage stress with mindfulness. Imprint: National Student Nurses Association magazine.   
  • Kinser, P., Robins, J., & Masho, S. (2016). Self-administered mind-body practices for reducing health disparities: An interprofessional opinion and call to action. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016(2016), 6 pages. www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/2156969/. doi: 10.1155/2016/2156969
  • Kinser, P., Braun, S., Deeb, G., Carrico, C., Dow, A. (2016). “Awareness is the first step”: An interprofessional course on mindfulness and mindful-movement for healthcare professionals and students. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 25: 18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.08.003
  • Starkweather, A., Lyon, D., Kinser, P., Heineman, A., Sturgill, J., Deng, X., Siangphoe, U., Elswick, R., Greenspan, J., & Dorsey, S. (2016). Comparison of low back pain recovery and persistence: A descriptive study of characteristics at pain onset. Biological Research for Nursing, 1-10.
  • Jallo, N., Svikis, D., Price, S., Kinser, P., Elswick, R., Masho, S. (2015). Prevalence and predictors of depressive symptoms in pregnant African American women. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 36(11):860-9.
  • Price, S., Kinser, P., Masho, S., Jallo, N. (2015). Racial disparities in the association between stress and preterm birth. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 8(4):79-91.
  • Kinser, P., Masho, S. (2015). “Yoga was my saving grace”: The experience of women who practice prenatal yoga. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 21(5): 319-26.
  • An, K., Jallo, N., Menzies, V., Kinser, P., Robins, J., Starkweather, A., (2015). Integrative review of co-occurring symptoms across etiologies of chronic liver disease and implications for symptom management research and practice. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(4): 310-7. DOI: 10.1111/jnu.12146.
  • Kinser, P., Masho, S. (2015). “I just start crying for no reason”: The experience of stress and depression in pregnant urban African American adolescents and their perception of yoga as a management strategy. Women’s Health Issues. 25(2): 142-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.11.007. PMID: 660474
  • Menzies, V., Jallo, N., Kinser, P., An, K., Robins, J., Driscoll, C., Starkweather, A., Bajaj, J., Lyon, D. (2015). Shared symptoms and putative biological mechanisms in chronic liver disease: Implications for biobehavioral research. Biological Research for Nursing, 17(2): 222-9. doi: 10.1177/1099800414541541. PMID: 25037448
  • Kinser, P. & Lyon, D. (2014). A conceptual model of stress vulnerability, depression, and health outcomes in women: Potential uses in complementary therapy research. Brain and Behavior, 4(5), 665-674. DOI: 10.1002/brb3.249. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/brb3.249/pdf
  • Kinser, P., Elswick, R., Kornstein, S., (2014). Long-term effects of a mind-body intervention for women with major depressive disorder: Sustained mental health improvements with yoga. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 28(6), 377-83.DOI: 10.1016/j.apnu.2014.08.014.
  • Kinser, P., Bourguignon, C., Taylor, A.G., Steeves, R. (2013). “A feeling of connectedness”: Perspectives on a gentle yoga intervention for women with major depression. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 34(6), 402-411. DOI: 10.3109/01612840.2012.762959. PMID: 23805925
  • Jallo, N., Lyon, D., Kinser, P., Kelley, D., Menzies, V., Jackson-Cook, C. (2013). Recruiting for epigenetic research: Facilitating the informed consent process. Nursing Research and Practice, vol 2013. Article ID 935740. DOI:10.1155/2013/935740. PMID: 23840949
  • Kinser, P., & Lyon, D. (2013). Major depressive disorder and measures of cellular aging: An integrative review. Nursing Research and Practice, vol 2013. Article ID 469070. DOI: 10.1155/2013/469070. PMID: 23691300
  • Kinser, P., & Robins, J. (2013). Control group design: Enhancing rigor in research on mind-body therapies for depression. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Article ID 140467. DOI: 10.1155/2013/140467. PMID: 23662111
  • Kinser, P., Bourguignon, C., Whaley, D., Hauenstein, E., Taylor, A.G. (2013). Feasibility, acceptability, and effects of gentle Hatha yoga for women with major depression: Findings from a randomized controlled mixed-methods study. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 27(3): 137-147. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2013.01.003. PMID: 23706890
  • Taylor, A.G., Anderson, J.G., Riedel, S.L., Lewis, J.E., Kinser P.A., Bourguignon, C. (2013). Cranial electrical stimulation improves symptoms and functional status in individuals with fibromyalgia. Pain Manag Nurs, 14(4), 328-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2011.07.002. PMID: 24315255
  • Kinser, P., Goehler, L., Taylor, A. (2012). How might yoga help depression? A neurobiological perspective. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 8(2), 118-126. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2011.12.005. PMID: 22385566
  • Kinser, P. (2011). “We were all in it together”: Medicine and nursing in the 8th evacuation hospital, 1942 1945. Windows in Time, the newsletter for the University of Virginia School of Nursing Center for Historical Inquiry, Nov, 19(2), 7-13. PMID: 22397106
  • Kinser, P. & DeWilde, C. (2010). First world lessons from third world experiences: Central america. In Fitzpatrick, J., Shultz, C., Aiken, T. (Eds). Giving Through Teaching: How Nurse Educators are Changing the World, NLN Foundation and Springer Publishing Company.



  • Braun, S., Harris, A., Kinser, P., Deeb, G., Carrico, C., Dow, A. (November, 2016). Mindfulness and yoga for healthcare professional trainees: A mixed-methods investigation of an interdisciplinary course. Poster presentation at the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, San Diego, CA.
  • Braun, S., Kinser, P., Deeb, G., Carrico, C., Dow, A. (May, 2016). An interprofessional course on mindfulness and mindful-movement for healthcare professionals and healthcare professionals in training. Presentation at the International Congress of Integrative Medicine and Health, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Braun, S., Deeb, G., Carrico, C., Kinser, P. (May, 2016). Brief yoga intervention increases state mindfulness in dental students. Poster at the International Congress of Integrative Medicine and Health, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Kinser, P. & Masho, S. (June 2014). “I just start crying for no reason”: The experience of stress and depression in pregnant urban low-income African American adolescents and their perception of management strategies. Podium presentation at the 14th International Conference for Social Stress Research, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Kinser, P. (August, 2011). Yoga as a complementary health practice for women with depression. Podium presentation at the Sigma Theta Tau 22nd International Nursing Research Congress, Mexico.

National and Regional Presentations:

  • Weis, K., Kinser, P., Matthews, J., Leiferman, J. (April, 2017). Prevalence and predictors of depression and stress in diverse samples of pregnant women. Symposium presentation at the 38th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Diego, CA.
  • Kinser, P., Jallo, N., Robins, J., An, K., Johnson, C., Small, L. (Feb, 2017). Symposium—Lessons learned from null findings: Turning lemons into lemonade. Symposium presentation at the Southern Nursing Research Society Conference, Dallas, TX.
  • Jallo, N., Kinser, P., Sturgill, J., Elswick, R.K. (Feb, 2017). Lessons learned from using biomarkers in nursing research. Symposium presentation at the Southern Nursing Research Society Conference, Dallas, TX.
  • Kinser, P., Huberty, J., Matthews, J., Leiferman, J. (March/April, 2016). Complementary approaches for mental health across the perinatal period. Symposium presentation at the 37th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Washington, DC.
  • Kinser, P., & Jallo, N. (March, 2016). Study findings regarding a mind-body intervention for perinatal depression. Paper Presentation at the 37th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Washington, DC.
  • Kinser, P., Lyon, D., Robins, J. (Feb, 2016). Epigenetics and biobehavioral research: A focus on DNA methylation. Symposium presentation at the Southern Nursing Research Society Conference, Williamsburg, VA.
  • Kinser, P., York, T., Roberson-Nay, R., Amstadter, A. (Feb, 2016). Racial differences in DNA methylation patterns in early pregnancy. Podium presentation at the Southern Nursing Research Society Conference, Williamsburg, VA.
  • Kornstein, S., Kinser, P., Wingold, T., Hinesley, J. (October, 2015). When mommy gets depressed: Recognizing and responding to depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Invited podium presentation at the 53rd Annual Children’s Mental Health Symposium, Richmond, VA.
  • Kinser, P. (September, 2015). Long-term effects of yoga for major depressive disorder and opportunities for promoting mental health in underserved populations. Invited podium presentation at the Symposium for Yoga Research, Kripalu Institute, Stockbridge, MA.
VCU School of Nursing
Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU School of Nursing|
Box 980567 | 1100 East Leigh Street | Richmond, Virginia 23298-0567
Phone: (804) 828-0724 | Fax: (804) 828-7743 | Email: vcu_nurse@vcu.edu

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