patricia kinser

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

Assistant Dean, Research, Scholarship and Innovation

Endowed Professor

(804) 828-9140

Box 980567, Richmond, VA 23298-0567

Department of Family and Community Health Nursing

Office of Research, Scholarship and Innovation


  • Ph.D. (Nursing), University of Virginia
  • M.S. (Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner), Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.S.N. (Nursing), Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.S. (Biology, Neural & Behavioral Science; Feminist & Gender Studies), Haverford College


  • Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine

Research/Scholarship Interests

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 (NIH), I am currently conducting the Mamma Mia Study, a mobile/ internet-based approach to prevent perinatal depression in a large population of women across the United States, and the Mindful Moms Study, a yoga-based approach to intervene with perinatal depression in underserved populations in the Richmond, VA area. I am co-leading work in the NIH-funded RECOVER project, which explores the long-term effects of COVID-19 in children and young adults, with VCU School of Nursing colleague Dr. Amy Salisbury. I am involved in several other studies funded by foundation and university grants covering topics such as the experiences of perinatal women during the COVID-19 pandemic, epigenetic mechanisms of postpartum depression, maternal-child attachment in women using cannabis, and others. 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.


The major areas of my teaching focus on intervention research, qualitative research women’s health, and mindfulness. In the PhD program, I teach Qualitative Research (NURS 772) and NURS 712 (Conducting Rigorous Health-Related Intervention Research (NURS 712). 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.

Select Publications

Book Chapters

  • Salisbury, A., Moyer, S., Erisman, S., Kinser, P., Hawes, K., High, P. (2021). The maternal-fetal dyad: Challenges and adaptations. In Feldman, Blum, Elias, Jimenez, Stancin (Eds). Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (5 th edition), Elsevier Inc.
  • Kinser, P., Robins, J., Jallo, N. (2020). Complementary and integrative health approaches for women’s mental health. In Vermeesch, A. (Ed). Integrative Health Nursing Interventions for Vulnerable Populations, Springer Publishing Company.
  • Kinser, P. (2018). Complementary and Integrative Health. In Taylor, C., Lynn, P., Bartlett, J. (Eds.) Fundamentals of Nursing (9 th ed.), Philadelphia, PA: Walters Kleuwer.
  • 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.

Current Funded Grants

  • 2021-2025—Site Co-Principal Investigator (with Amy Salisbury), National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Life-course examination of genomics, affect, and neurocognitive changes following COVID-19 Infection: the LEGACI cohort (PI: Deoni); OTA 21-015B- Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Initiative: SARS-CoV-2 Recovery Cohort Studies
  • 2021-2022—Principal Investigator, 3R01HD100395-02S1, National Institute of Mental Health, Administrative Supplement to the Mamma Mia Study
  • 2021-2026—Principal Investigator: 1R01NR020220, National Institute of Nursing Research, Biobehavioral perspectives on social connectedness and the “Mindful Moms” intervention for marginalized pregnant women with depression
  • 2020-2021—Principal Investigator: VCU School of Nursing Intramural Grant ProgramCOPE-Q (COVID-19 and Perinatal Experiences – Qualitative) Study
  • 2020-2025—Principal Investigator: 1R01HD100395-01, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, A multisite randomized controlled trial of an internet-based program for preventing and reducing perinatal depressive symptoms
  • 2020-2020—Principal Investigator: VCU School of Nursing Intramural Grants Program,VCU “COPE” Study: COVID-19 and Perinatal Experiences
  • 2020-2021—Co-Investigator: VCU CCTR Endowment Fund (PI: Jallo, Brown), UL1TR002649; National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Effect of cannabis on brain connectivity associated with maternal attachment: A pilot study in postpartum women
  • 2019-2020 VCU School of Medicine Interprofessional CE Grant Program Enhancing Resilience with Everyday Mindfulness in the Clinical Setting.
  • 2018-2020 Sigma Theta Tau Gamma Omega Principal Investigator Kids 2 Be & Breathe (K2B2): A pilot study on the use of yoga and mindfulness in children with severe asthma.
  • 2018-2019 VCU School of Nursing Intramural Grants Program Principal Investigator Mamma Mia: A pilot test of an internet-based program for preventing and reducing perinatal depressive symptoms.
  • 2015-2019 National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program Principal Investigator National Institute of Mental Health Mechanisms of Postpartum Depression.
  • 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.

Professional Service

I am the Assistant Dean of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation at the VCU School of Nursing, providing support to faculty and students in their research endeavors. I am co-chair of the Perinatal Mental Health Research Group at VCU’s Institute for Women’s Health. 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 am a Governor-Appointed member of the Board of Health for the Commonwealth of Virginia (serving a second term). I serve as a grant reviewer at the national level for various federal study sections (e.g., NIH, Veterans Administration), at the foundation level for the American Nurses Foundation and Sigma Theta Tau International, and at the university-level in the CCTR Scientific Review Committee. I am an active member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, the Southern Nursing Research Society, the Marce Society, the Academy of Women’s Health, and the American Academy of Nursing.