Our team

Our team

R.K. Elswick, Jr., Ph.D., NREMT-B

Department of Family and Community Health Nursing


1100 East Leigh Street, Room 4010H
Box 980567
Richmond, VA 23298-0567

Phone: (804) 828-1336
Email: rkelswic@vcu.edu

"By a small sample, we may judge of the whole piece." Miguel de Cervantes from Don Quixote


Dr. Elswick has been teaching graduate statistics courses for more than 35 years. However, his real passion is to find the most efficient and compelling way to teach statistics to non-statisticians His approach to teaching statistics is guided by the adage, "You should not have to take the car apart to be able to drive the car". With Dr. Elswick’s approach, the student is presented with current “real life” data and an interesting research question at the beginning of every lecture followed by the presentation of the appropriate statistical test to answer the research question. Any important background statistical material is presented only as needed as the semester progresses. Easy to use statistics software (JMP) is used to explore the data and guide the user to the correct inference. All lectures present the topic with a minimum of mathematics with an emphasis on data interpretation, test assumptions, and interpretation of statistical output.


Derived from more than 35 years of experience, Dr. Elswick has expertise in the design and analysis of clinical experiments. Specifically, he has expertise in power analysis, longitudinal data analysis, mixed model methodology and crossover experiments. He has authored or co-authored more than 115 refereed manuscripts. Dr. Elswick has served in key positions in more than 20 federally funded grants including as Coordinator of Data Services in the P20 Exploratory/Development Center (McCain PI) and as Director of the Data Services and Analysis Core in the VCU SON Center of Excellence (Grap PI).


Dr. Elswick serves on various School of Nursing and VCU Hospital System committees. In addition, he serves as Statistical Editor for the journal Cancer Nursing. Apart from his academic service, Dr. Elswick leads a yearly medical mission to Santo Tomas, El Salvador. 


  • Ph.D., Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
  • B.S., Mathematics and Statistics, Radford University, Radford, Virginia

Major Research Funding (selected since 2015)

  • Co-Investigator, Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of COMT, a Key Moderator of Cognitive Decline, Theresa Swift-Scanlan, P.I., NIH 1R01NR017221-01A1, $458,030 Total Direct Cost, 8/10/18 – 10/31/21
  • Co-Investigator and Biostatistician, Context-aware Freezing of Gait mitigation in real-world setting, Ingrid Pritzer-Aboff, P.I., NIH/NINDS 1R01NS120560-01, 2020 - 2024
  • Co-Investigator and Biostatistician, Optimizing vibration therapy to improve gait and balance in PD, Ingrid Pritzer-Aboff, P.I., Michael J. Fox Foundation, 2018 – 2020
  • Co-Investigator, Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of COMT, a Key Moderator of Cognitive Decline, Theresa Swift-Scanlan, P.I., NIH 1R01NR017221-01A1, 2018 - 2013 8/10/18 – 5/31/23
  • Co-Investigator and Biostatistician, Tremor Pilot Project, Ingrid Pretzer Aboff, P.I., Industry Pilot Project, Resonate Forward LLC, 2018 – 2020.
  • Statistician, Clinical Leadership Development for Frontline Medical Surgical Nurses: An Evaluation of Needs and Methods, Terry Jones, P.I., Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses, 2017 - 2019.
  • Co-investigator, Improving Symptom Self-Management in Adolescents & Young Adults with Cancer, Suzanne Ameringer, P.I., St. Baldricks Foundation, 2016 – 2017.
  • Co-investigator, Subjective Responses and Metabolic State During Exercise in Sickle Cell Anemia, Suzanne Ameringer P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, (NINR #R21), 2015 - 2017.
  • Co-investigator, Pain Sensitivity in Low Back Pain, Angela Starkweather P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, (NINR #R01), 2013 – 2016.
  • Co-investigator and Biostatistician, Managing Acute Pain in Critically Ill Non-communicative Palliative Care Patients, McGuire/Shanholtz (MPI), (NINR #R01), 2012 – 2016.
  • Co-investigator, Exhaled Biomarkers of Pulmonary Infection in the Critically Ill, Alison Montpetit, P.I., Virginia Commonwealth University, (NINR # R00), 2012 – 2015.


Publications (selected since 2015)

Creating collaboration. Advancing science. Impacting lives.