Susan Kools headshot

Susan M. Kools

Associate Dean
Unit: School of Nursing
Department: School of Nursing
Office location and address
McLeod 5034
202 Jeanette Lancaster Way
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

A University of California, San Francisco professor for nearly two decades before arriving at UVA, Dr. Kools is a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse scientist whose long-standing program of research centers on the health, mental health and development of adolescents. Her aim is to promote a greater understanding of developmentally and culturally appropriate interventions and contexts for care for young people. Dr. Kools has primarily studied adolescents in foster care and led an NIH funded intervention study to improve their health and development. Globally, she has had adolescent health projects in Malawi, Hong Kong, and China. Her current research is a community-based participatory design exploring sexual and reproductive health in very young adolescents (ages 10-14) in rural Uganda. This project is a training site for the UVA Minority Health International Research Training Program (MHIRT) funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, of which she is a Co-Director and supports students from around the country as well as from the Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Kools is an internationally recognized expert on qualitative methods and known widely for her pioneering work in dimensional analysis, a methodology for generating grounded theory. She currently teaches qualitative research methods in the PhD Program.

A Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing since 2007, Dr. Kools serves on its Expert Panel on Children, Adolescents and Families. She received the Outstanding Service for Children and the Community Award from the San Francisco court system in 2000, the UCSF Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award in 2012 for her 18 years of leadership and service to diversity, and, most recently, USCF’s Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award for 2014. Dr. Kools also served as an advisor to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to develop cultural competencies for graduate nursing education.

As the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Kools is leading the development and implementation of IDEA: the Dean's Initiative on Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence Achievement. Under her leadership, we are now actively using best practices to improve faculty, staff and student diversity and working to promote an engaged and respectful community for all in which to learn and work.

In her role as the Director of Global Initiatives, she is transitioning our global health education experiences to a model of sustained partnership with host universities and communities. These partnerships are built around a core of faculty research that is mutually beneficial and student education experiences are centered on locally determined needs and priorities.

GNUR 8460: Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis
Credits: 3
Students will conduct an Institutional Review Board-approved qualitative pilot study to gain experience in data collection, analysis & interpretation. The analytic approaches of contemporary forms of qualitative description, ethnography & grounded theory will be compared & contrasted in practical application. Issues of trustworthiness, credibility & rigor will be examined using students' research. Prereqs: GNUR 8120 & 8440 or instructor consent.
GNUR 9010: Mentored Study
Credits: 1–4
PhD students register for 1-4 credits of mentored study with a faculty member. The mentored study develops a topic through in-depth literature review. The final project is a manuscript ready to be submitted for publication in a professional journal. If agreeable with the dissertation committee, this publication could be included as one of the dissertation manuscripts for students selecting the manuscript option.
GNUR 9110: Research Practicum I
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the student with opportunity to develop and refine research skills by participating in an ongoing research study. Students should plan on devoting 8 hours a week for each 9110 credit enrolled each semester. Students must register for GNUR 9110 for a total of 4 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and advisor.
GNUR 9999: Dissertation Research
Credits: 3–12
A culminating experience that requires the student to plan and implement a research study of significance. Prerequisite: Permission of dissertation chair.