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Karen Devereaux Melillo

Karen Melillo
Dr. Karen MelilloProfessor; Interim Dean of the School of Nursing; Director of Center for Gerontology Research & Partnerships

Research Interests

My major research focus has been on gerontological and geropsychiatric nursing, with an emphasis on the role of the nurse practitioner in caring for older adults in primary care and long-term care settings. Health promotion of older adults, specifically physical activity and exercise, is also an area of research interest. Innovative models of clinical and interprofessional education at the baccalaureate and MS NP levels, with an emphasis on infusing gerontological nursing, have been areas of funding and evaluation research. Nursing workforce development focusing on bringing diversity to nursing with recruitment, retention, and graduation of educationally and economically disadvantaged students, as well as those underrepresented in nursing, has been an area of funding for nearly ten years.


  • Ph D: Social Policy, with focus on aging, long-term care, and health care, (1990), Brandeis University - Waltham, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: "Evaluation of Nursing Process and Outcomes of Care Utilizing Nurse Practitioners to Provide Health Care for Elderly Patients in Massachusetts Nursing Homes"
  • MS: Gerontological Nursing, (1978), University of Massachusetts Lowell - Lowell, MA
  • BS: Nursing, (1977), Salem State College - Salem MA
  • Other: Nursing, (1973), Massachusetts Bay Community College - Watertown, MA

Awards and Honors

  • Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Certification, AANP-CP (2015-2020) (2015)
  • AJN Book of the Year Award (2011), Service, Professional - American Journal of Nursing
  • Selected for National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, Women's Health/Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner Competencies Work Group (2011) - representing the Geropsychiatric Mental Health Nursing Work Group of the American Academy of Nursing (2011-2013)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practioners (2001 to present) (2009)
  • Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (2009), Scholarship/Research
  • Appointed to American Academy of Nursing/Health Institute for Geriatric Nursing (2008) - Geropsychiatric Nursing Core Competency Workgroup, Member (2008-2010)
  • NP Expert Panel Member for the national project, Transitioning to Adult-Gerontology APRN Education: Ensuring the APRN Workforce is Prepared to Care for Older Adults (2008) - funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation to the American Association of colleges of Nursing and the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University (2008-2010)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Elected to Nominating Committee (2007-2008) (2007)
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member (2006) - Journal of Gerontological Nursing (2004 to present)
  • Listed as one of 15 Geriatric Nurse Leaders Today, in Ebersole. (2006), Service, Professional - Geriatric Nursing: Growth of a Specialty, New York: Springer Publishers
  • Fellow (2001) - American Academy of Nurse Practitioners


  • Melillo, K.D. (2017) "Geropsychiatric Nursing: What's in Your Toolkit?," Journal of Gerontological Nursing 43:1 pp. 3-6
  • Lee, A.J., Gautam, R., Melillo, K.D., Abdallah, L., Remington, R. (Framingham State University), VanEtten, D. (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Gore, R. (2016) "An MCBS-based investigation of alternative primary care models in nursing homes: Cost and utilization differences," Research in Gerontological Nursing 9:3 pp. 115-122

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Co-Investigator: Advanced Education Nursing Grant, UMass Lowell DNP (2010), Grant - U.S. Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Nursing, Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Bring Diversity to Nursing -- Educational Opportunities for Minority Students, (2010), Grant - Massachusetts Department of Public Health
    Melillo, K.D. (Principal)
  • Bring Diversity to Nursing BDN - Educational Opportunities (2009), Contract -
    Melillo, K.D. (Principal)
  • PI: Spanish Translation and Pilot Testing of the Physical Fitness and Exercise Activity of Older Adults Scale (1998), Grant - Eta Omega Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International

Research Currently in Progress

  • Bring Diversity to Nursing: Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Nursing Students
    Melillo, K.D., Dowling, J., Abdallah, L.M., Knight, M., Simons, S.R.
  • Collaborative Post-Graduate Nurse Residency, in Partnerships with Lowell General Hospital and Genesis Healthcare

    Funded by the Mass. Department of Higher Education, Nursing and Allied Health Initiative, 2015-2016; Margaret Laccetti, Principal Investigator, with Drs. Lori Keough an Karen Devereaux Melillo (Co-Investigators).
    Melillo, K.D., Laccetti, M., Keough, L.A.