Sally Cohen headshot

Sally Cohen


Clinical Professor

1 505 918 5058

433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Dr. Cohen’s scholarship focuses on health and social policies for children, with a focus on bullying prevention. She is a nationally recognized leader in advancing health policy and nursing, especially in integrating health policy into nursing education, practice, and research.  And she has extensive experienced in national and state health policy. Her interdisciplinary scholarship encompasses nursing, public health, and political science. Among her many honors and leadership roles, Dr. Cohen is Editor-in-Chief of Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice and was elected to the American Academy of Nursing in 1988.


BA - Cornell University
MSN - Yale University
PhD - Columbia University

Honors and awards

Elected to American Academy of Nursing (1988)
90 Nurses for 90 Years, Yale University School of Nursing (2013)
Kaplan-Landy Award for Vision, Innovation, and Leadership, Hadassah National Nurses Council (2008)
Elected to the New York Academy of Medicine (2006)
Ellen Rudy Clore Excellence in Writing Award, Journal of Pediatric Health Care (1998)
Marisa de Castro Benton Prize, for outstanding dissertation in Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University (1993)
Dissertation approved with distinction (1993)
Elected to Sigma Theta Tau, International, Honor Society for Nursing, as charter member Delta Mu Chapter (1979)


Community/population health

Professional membership

American Academy of Nursing
American Nurses Association
American Political Science Association
International Bullying Prevention Association
Pediatric Endocrine Nurses Society



PENS Position Statement on Bullying Prevention

Cohen, S., & Dwyer, A. (2018). Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 39, 91-93. 10.1016/j.pedn.2017.12.007

Nurses Improve Their Communities’ Health Where They Live, Learn, Work, and Play

McCollum, M., Kovner, C., Ojemeni, M. T., Brewer, C., & Cohen, S. (2017). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 18(1), 7-16. 10.1177/1527154417698142
Nurses are often recognized for their volunteer efforts following disasters and international humanitarian crises. However, little attention is paid to the activities of nurses who promote a culture of health in their communities through local volunteer work. In this article, we describe nurses’ perceptions of how they promote health in their communities through formal and informal volunteer work. Using 315 written responses to an open-ended question included in a 2016 survey of the career patterns of nurses in the U.S., we utilized conventional content analysis methods to code and thematically synthesize responses. Two broad categories of nurse involvement in volunteer activities arose from the participants’ responses to the open-ended question, “Please tell us what you have done in the past year to improve the health of your community”: 17% identified job-related activities, and 74% identified non-job-related activities. 9% of respondents indicated they do not participate in volunteer work. Job-related activities included patient education, educating colleagues, and “other” job-related activities. Non-job-related activities included health-related community volunteering, volunteering related to a specific population or disease, family-related volunteering, church activities, health fairs, raising or donating money, and travelling abroad for volunteer work. Nurses are committed to promoting a culture of health in their communities both at work and in their daily lives. Leveraging nurses’ interest in volunteer work could improve the way nurses engage with their communities, expand the role of nurses as public health professionals, and foster the social desirability of healthful living.

Trends in the Supply and Practice Environment of Nurse Practitioners in New Mexico

Judge, S. M., Boursaw, B., & Cohen, S. (2016). Nursing Economic$, 34(1), 35-43.
This study examines the practice environment for nurse practitioners (NPs) in New Mexico and assesses whether the future supply of NPs will be adequate to meet the health care needs of a varied population in a sparsely populated state with a relatively low average standard of living, yet one that offers a broad scope of practice authority for its NPs. The study's models forecast decreasing numbers of New Mexico NPs between the ages of 40 and 60 in the state's metropolitan counties. These decreases are not offset by gains in other age brackets. Thus, over time, the state's metro areas may not maintain their 2013 NP-to-insured and NP-to-senior population ratios. In contrast, the study's models forecast improving ratios in nonmetropolitan counties. The future need for NPs in New Mexico and similarly situated states may therefore be greatest in fast-growing urban areas, where the number of newly insured individuals with primary care needs is likely to be high.

On White Papers and Pages

Cohen, S. (2015). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 16(1), 3-4. 10.1177/1527154415589664

Advancing policy, politics, and nursing practice to its next stage

Cohen, S. (2014). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 15(3), 63. 10.1177/1527154414568258

Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Moving Forward

Cohen, S. (2014). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 14(3), 115-116. 10.1177/1527154414533616

The Future of Nursing Report Three Years Later: An Interview with Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, Senior Advisor for Nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Cohen, S. (2013). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 14(2), 79-85. 10.1177/1527154413497403

Remembering Donna Diers

Cohen, S. (2013). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 14(1), 3-4. 10.1177/1527154413493476

Nursing Testimony Before Congress, 1993-2011

Cohen, S., & Muench, U. (2012). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 13(3), 170-178. 10.1177/1527154412471201
This article describes nurses' testimony before congressional committees between1993 and 2011. We address three questions: (a) How have trends in nurses' testimony changed over time? (b) What do data reveal about nursing's engagement with health policy issues on the congressional agenda? (c) How might the findings be useful in implementation of health care reform and the Institute of Medicine report on the Future of Nursing. Using LexisNexis® Congressional online database, we identified 434 nursing testimonies presented at congressional hearings. Descriptive statistics were used to examine characteristics of the nurse expert witnesses and the testimonies topics on which they testified. Nurses most frequently testified on workforce issues (36%), followed by access and coverage (14%). The majority of the nurse witnesses had graduate degrees 65% and lived and worked in fewer than 10 states. Nurses appeared before House or Senate appropriations committees 38% more often than before any other congressional committees. Our findings point to the need for additional research, especially given the crescendo of calls for nursing to step up to the political table. The article concludes with implications for future research and policy action.

Reframing Child Health Policy

Cohen, S. (2012). Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 13(3), 128-129. 10.1177/1527154412471202