Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Victoria Vaughan Dickson

Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Dr. John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging
Assistant Dean, Research Innovation
Director, Pless Center for Research

1 215 704 7223

Victoria Vaughan Dickson's additional information

Victoria Vaughan Dickson, PhD, RN, FAHA, FHFSA, FAAN, is the John W. Rowe Professor in Successful Aging, Assistant Dean, Research Innovation, and Director of the Pless Center for Nursing Research at Rory Meyers College of Nursing. With extensive clinical and research experience in cardiovascular and occupational health nursing, her research program focuses on investigating the bio-behavioral influences on self-care in patients with cardiovascular disease risk, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and multiple comorbidities. Her work has led to an improved understanding of the sociocultural influences of self-care among vulnerable populations, including ethnic minority groups, women, and older workers; and the development of innovative theory-based interventions. Dickson is recognized as an international expert in qualitative research techniques, mixed methods research, and has conducted training for interdisciplinary teams locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Prof. Dickson is dedicated to building research capacity across disciplines and advancing nursing science that impacts policy and clinical care. Currently, Dickson serves as PI and program director of the NIOSH-funded doctoral training program in occupational and environmental health nursing, PI of the NHLBI- funded Research Education in Cardiovascular Conditions program, co-PI of the NINR-funded NYU Meyers P20 Exploratory Center for Precision Health in Diverse Populations and KL2 co-director and co-investigator of the NCATS-funded NYU CTSI. In addition, she is a co-investigator on numerous team science initiatives focused on multiple chronic conditions.  

Prof. Dickson has been recognized with numerous awards for her research and leadership including the STTI Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame (2019), HFSA Nursing Research Leadership award (2021), and ENRS Leadership Award (2020). She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (2014), American Heart Association (2011), Heart Failure Society of America (2016), and New York Academy of Medicine (2018). Dickson is the editor of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  

Prof. Dickson holds a clinical appointment as an advanced practice nurse in the division of cardiology at NYU Langone Health and Bellevue Hospital. She earned her PhD and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and BSN from Temple University.

PhD - University of Pennsylvania
MSN - University of Pennsylvania
BSN - Temple University

Non-communicable disease

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Nursing
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
American Heart Association
American Nurses Association
Council on the Advancement of Nursing
Eastern Nursing Research Society
European Society of Cardiology
Gerontological Society of America
Heart Failure Society of America
New York Academy of Medicine
New York Nurse Practitioners Association
Sigma Theta Tau, XI Chapter
Sigma Theta Tua International Honor Society

Faculty Honors Awards

Nursing Research Leadership Award, HFSA (2021)
Leadership Award, ENRS (2021)
Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, STTI (2019)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2018)
Associate Editor, Cardiovascular Nursing (2018)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine (2018)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2017)
Spirit of Nursing Award, University of Massachusetts (2017)
Fellow, Heart Failure Society of America (2016)
President-Elect, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2016)
Associate Editor to Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes (2016)
Springer Publishing Company Award (2014)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2014)
PhD Faculty Excellence Award, NYU (2014)
Research Award, ENRS Rising Star (2012)
Fellow, American Heart Association Fuchs-Schoeck Research (2012)
Minority Aging Research and Community Health Scholar, University of Pennsylvania (2011)
Nursing and Allied Health Professional Award, European Society of Cardiology (2011)
Fellow, American Heart Association (2011)
Fellow, Brookdale Foundation Leadership in Aging (2010)
Reviewer of the Year, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (2009)
Nursing Research Award, Heart Failure Society of America (2007)
Martha Hill New Investigator Award, American Heart Association (2007)
Student Award, University of Pennsylvania (2007)
Research Award, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (2006)


Interindividual Variability in Self-Monitoring of Blood Pressure Using Consumer-Purchased Wireless Devices

Zheng, Y., Zhang, Y., Huang, H., Tison, G. H., Burke, L. E., Blecker, S., Dickson, V. V., Olgin, J. E., Marcus, G. M., & Pletcher, M. J. (2023). Nursing Research, 72(4), 310-318. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000654
BACKGROUND: Engagement with self-monitoring of blood pressure (BP) declines, on average, over time but may vary substantially by individual.OBJECTIVES: We aimed to describe different 1-year patterns (groups) of self-monitoring of BP behaviors, identify predictors of those groups, and examine the association of self-monitoring of BP groups with BP levels over time.METHODS: We analyzed device-recorded BP measurements collected by the Health eHeart Study-an ongoing prospective eCohort study-from participants with a wireless consumer-purchased device that transmitted date- and time-stamped BP data to the study through a full 12 months of observation starting from the first day they used the device. Participants received no instruction on device use. We applied clustering analysis to identify 1-year self-monitoring, of BP patterns.RESULTS: Participants had a mean age of 52 years and were male and White. Using clustering algorithms, we found that a model with three groups fit the data well: persistent daily use (9.1% of participants), persistent weekly use (21.2%), and sporadic use only (69.7%). Persistent daily use was more common among older participants who had higher Week 1 self-monitoring of BP frequency and was associated with lower BP levels than the persistent weekly use or sporadic use groups throughout the year.CONCLUSION: We identified three distinct self-monitoring of BP groups, with nearly 10% sustaining a daily use pattern associated with lower BP levels.

Profiles of Work and Quality of Life among Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Ghazal, L. V., Merriman, J. D., Santacroce, S. J., Fletcher, J., Wright, F., & Dickson, V. V. (2023). Western Journal of Nursing Research, 45(4), 293-305. 10.1177/01939459221120742
Work ability, or the perception of one’s ability to work presently and in the future, may impact quality of life (QOL) among young adult (YA) cancer survivors. Through a convergent mixed methods design, we explored work ability, work-related goals, and QOL among YA hematologic cancer survivors within five years of diagnosis. We described associations at the individual- and microsystem (work)- levels; and compared factors across low and high work ability groups. Participants (N = 40) completed a survey and interview via digital platforms. Qualitative analysis revealed self-assessed declines in work ability led to questioning work-related goals and influenced QOL. Integrated analysis led to the development of four profiles, growing our understanding of work’s influence on QOL for YA cancer survivors, and identifying components YAs considered when contemplating work-related goals after a cancer diagnosis. Larger studies are needed to elucidate these profiles and identify modifiable factors to inform targeted interventions to improve QOL.

Psychosocial Factors Associated With Alcohol Use Among Nurses: An Integrative Review

Mercer, M., Stimpfel, A. W., & Dickson, V. V. (2023). Journal of Nursing Regulation, 13(4), 5-20. 10.1016/S2155-8256(23)00032-7
Background: Understanding alcohol use among nurses may inform interventions related to the coping mechanisms nurses use for workplace stress and trauma. Alcohol use can be caused by a variety of factors and has serious implications on a nurse's personal health and professional practice. Understanding psychosocial factors and preventive measures may assist in the development of interventions to improve coping mechanisms and reduce the incidence of alcohol misuse. Purpose: To review the psychosocial factors and preventive measures associated with alcohol use among nurses. Methods: For this integrative review, systematic searches were conducted in CINAHL, PubMed, PsychNet, and ProQuest Central. Included studies were peer-reviewed and addressed alcohol use among nurses in the United States. Articles were appraised using methods-specific tools indicated by the Whittemore and Knafl framework. Data were extracted and themes identified using constant comparison. Results: Of 6,214 nonduplicate articles screened, 78 were selected for full-text review and 13 were included after application of inclusion criteria. Synthesis resulted in four themes: (1) occupational stress and trauma, (2) workplace characteristics, (3) mental health implications, and (4) protective factors. The data show that workplace stress and trauma contribute to alcohol use among nurses. Night shifts, rotating shifts, and shift length are factors related to alcohol use, as are mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and suicide. Protective factors that reduce alcohol use among nurses include faith, resilience, and perceived organizational support. Conclusion: Alcohol use among nurses presents challenges for the nursing profession and regulatory bodies with specific and interrelated phenomena related to the role and identity of nurses. A better understanding of these factors through research will facilitate a healthier nursing workforce that is better prepared to take on the rewards and challenges of a nursing career.

Time, Technology, Social Support, and Cardiovascular Health of Emerging Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

McCarthy, M., Yan, J., Jared, M. C., Ilkowitz, J., Gallagher, M. P., & Dickson, V. V. (2023). Nursing Research, 72(3), 185-192. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000645
BACKGROUND: Emerging adults with Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease; however, there are both barriers and facilitators to achieving ideal cardiovascular health in this stage of their lives. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore the barriers and facilitators of achieving ideal levels of cardiovascular health in a sample of emerging adults with T1DM ages 18-26 years. METHODS: A sequential mixed-methods design was used to explore achievement of ideal cardiovascular health using the seven factors defined by the American Heart Association (smoking status, body mass index, physical activity, healthy diet, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and hemoglobin A1C [substituted for fasting blood glucose]). We assessed the frequency of achieving ideal levels of each cardiovascular health factor. Using Pender's health promotion model as a framework, qualitative interviews explored the barriers and facilitators of achieving ideal levels of each factor of cardiovascular health. RESULTS: The sample was mostly female. Their age range was 18-26 years, with a diabetes duration between 1 and 20 years. The three factors that had the lowest achievement were a healthy diet, physical activity at recommended levels, and hemoglobin A1C of <7%. Participants described lack of time as a barrier to eating healthy, being physically active, and maintaining in-range blood glucose levels. Facilitators included the use of technology in helping to achieve in-range blood glucose and social support from family, friends, and healthcare providers in maintaining several healthy habits. DISCUSSION: These qualitative data provide insight into how emerging adults attempt to manage their T1DM and cardiovascular health. Healthcare providers have an important role in supporting these patients in establishing ideal cardiovascular health at an early age.

Addressing Challenges in Recruiting Diverse Populations for Research: Practical Experience from a P20 Center

Wright, F., Malone, S. K., Wong, A., Melkus, G. D., & Dickson, V. V. (2022). Nursing Research, 71(3), 218-226. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000577
Background Improving the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in all research areas is essential for health equity. However, achieving and retaining diverse samples is challenging. Barriers to recruitment and retention of diverse participants include socioeconomic and cultural factors and practical challenges (e.g., time and travel commitments). Objectives The purpose of this article is to describe the successful recruitment and retention strategies used by two related studies within a P20 center funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research focused on precision health research in diverse populations with multiple chronic conditions, including metabolic syndrome. Methods To address the complexity, biodiversity, and effect of metabolic syndrome and multiple chronic conditions, we developed culturally appropriate, multipronged recruitment and retention strategies for a pilot intervention study and a longitudinal observational pilot study within our P20 center. The following are the underlying principles that guided the recruitment and retention strategies: (a) flexibility, (b) active listening and bidirectional conversations, and (c) innovative problem solving. Results The intervention study (Pilot 1) enrolled 49 participants. The longitudinal observational study (Pilot 2) enrolled 45 participants. Women and racial/ethnic minorities were significantly represented in both. In Pilot 1, most of the participants completed the intervention and all phases of data collection. In Pilot 2, most participants completed all phases of data collection and chose to provide biorepository specimens. Discussion We developed a recruitment and retention plan building on standard strategies for a general medical population. Our real-world experiences informed the adaption of these strategies to facilitate the participation of individuals who often do not participate in research - specifically, women and racial/ethnic populations. Our experience across two pilot studies suggests that recruiting diverse populations should build flexibility in the research plan at the outset.

Associations of insomnia symptoms with sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors in persons with HF: Health and retirement study

Gharzeddine, R., McCarthy, M. M., Yu, G., & Dickson, V. V. (2022). Research in Nursing and Health, 45(3), 364-379. 10.1002/nur.22211
Insomnia symptoms are very common in persons with heart failure (HF). However, many of the correlates and predictors of insomnia symptoms in this population remain unclear. The purpose of this study is to investigate the associations of sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors with insomnia symptoms in persons with HF. A theoretical framework was adapted from the neurocognitive model of chronic insomnia to guide the study. Data from the health and retirement study were used for the analysis. Parametric and nonparametric bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to investigate these associations. Age, depressive symptoms, comorbidity, dyspnea, pain, and smoking had significant bivariate associations with all insomnia symptoms. Race, Hispanic ethnicity, marital status, household income, poverty, and physical activity were associated with difficulty initiating sleep (DIS) and early morning awakening (EMA). Female sex, education, and alcohol consumption had a significant bivariate association with DIS. Sleep-disordered breathing and body mass index were significantly associated with EMA. Multivariate analysis suggested that depressive symptoms, comorbidity, dyspnea, and pain had independent associations with each insomnia symptom. Age explained DIS and difficulty maintaining sleep, and significant interaction effects between age and physical activity on DIS and EMA were revealed. Results suggest that insomnia symptoms are associated with several sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors. Age below 70 years, depressive symptoms, comorbidity, dyspnea, and pain might be considered as a phenotype to identify persons with HF who are at increased risk for insomnia symptoms.

Cardiovascular health in emerging adults with type 1 diabetes

McCarthy, M., Yan, J., Jared, M. C., You, E., Ilkowitz, J., Gallagher, M. P., & Vaughan Dickson, V. (2022). European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 21(3), 213-219. 10.1093/eurjcn/zvab062
Aims: Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) face increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Controlling individual cardiovascular risk factors can prevent or slow the onset of CVD. Ideal cardiovascular health is associated with a lower incidence of CVD. Identifying areas of suboptimal cardiovascular health can help guide CVD prevention interventions. To assess cardiovascular health and explore the barriers and facilitators to achieving ideal cardiovascular health in a sample of young adults with T1D. Methods and results: We used a sequential mixed-method design to assess the seven factors of cardiovascular health according to American Heart Association. Qualitative interviews, guided by Pender's Health Promotion Model, were used to discuss participant's cardiovascular health results and the barriers and facilitators to achieving ideal cardiovascular health. We assessed the frequency of ideal levels of each factor. The qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. Qualitative and quantitative data were integrated in the final analysis phase. The sample (n = 50) was majority female (70%), White (86%), with a mean age of 22 ± 2.4 and diabetes duration of 10.7 ± 5.5 years. Achievement of the seven factors of cardiovascular health were: non-smoking (96%); cholesterol <200 mg/dL (76%); body mass index <25 kg/m2 (54%); blood pressure <120/<80 mmHg (46%); meeting physical activity guidelines (38%); haemoglobin A1c <7% (40%); and healthy diet (14%). Emerging qualitative themes related to the perceived benefits of action, interpersonal influences on their diabetes self-management, and perceived self-efficacy. Conclusion: We found areas of needed improvement for cardiovascular health. However, these young adults expressed a strong interest in healthy habits which can be supported by their healthcare providers.

The Effect of Psychosocial Factors and Functional Independence on Poststroke Depressive Symptoms: A Cross-Sectional Study

Babkair, L. A., Chyun, D., Dickson, V. V., & Almekhlafi, M. A. (2022). The Journal of Nursing Research : JNR, 30(1), E189. 10.1097/JNR.0000000000000464
Background Stroke is the second leading cause of death and a major cause of serious, long-term disability worldwide. The approximately 15 million people each year who experience stroke are at risk of developing depression. Poststroke depressive symptoms affect one third of survivors of stroke. Patients who develop poststroke depressive symptoms experience decreased functional independence, poor cognitive recovery, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality. Survivors of stroke use social support to deal with stress and defend against the adverse effects of negative stroke outcomes. Purpose This study was designed to examine the influence of perceived social support (emotional and informational, tangible, affectionate, and positive social interaction), stress level, and functional independence on depressive symptoms in survivors of stroke. Methods A cross-sectional observational study design in outpatient settings and rehabilitation centers was conducted. A convenience sample of 135 survivors of stroke completed the psychometrically valid instruments. Results Most of the sample had mild or moderate depressive symptoms (26% and 29%, respectively). The mean score for perceived social support was 77.53 (SD = 21.44) on the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey. A negative association was found between depressive symptoms and the social support total score (r = -.65, p <.01). All of the social support subcategories were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Hierarchical multiple linear regression showed that social support, stress level, and literacy were associated with depressive symptoms (β = -.31, p <.001; β =.45, p <.001; and β =.16, p =.01, respectively) and partially mediated the association between depressive symptoms and functional independence. Conclusions/Implications for Practice Poststroke depressive symptoms are common among survivors of stroke. Social support may improve health by protecting these individuals from the negative outcomes of stroke and enhance their recovery. Future research is required to examine how related interventions improve social support in caregivers and reduce depressive symptoms in stroke survivors.

Exercise and Self‑Management in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

McCarthy, M. M., Ilkowitz, J. R., Zheng, Y., & Vaughan Dickson, V. (2022). Current Cardiology Reports, 24(7), 861-868. 10.1007/s11886-022-01707-3
Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review paper is to examine the most recent evidence of exercise-related self-management in adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Recent Findings: This paper reviews the benefits and barriers to exercise, diabetes self-management education, the role of the healthcare provider in assessment and counseling, the use of technology, and concerns for special populations with T1D. Summary: Adults with T1D may not exercise at sufficient levels. Assessing current levels of exercise, counseling during a clinical visit, and the use of technology may improve exercise in this population.

Exploration of Relationships Between Symptoms, Work Characteristics, and Quality of Life in Young Adult Hematologic Cancer Survivors

Ghazal, L. V., Merriman, J. D., Santacroce, S. J., Fletcher, J., Wright, F., & Dickson, V. V. (2022). Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, 11(5), 530-534. 10.1089/jayao.2021.0135
This study explores relationships between individual, microsystem (work) characteristics, and quality of life (QOL) among young adult (YA; ages 20-39 years at diagnosis) hematologic cancer survivors. Forty YAs who had completed cancer therapy within the past 5 years were recruited through social media and completed an online survey. Poorer QOL was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, and poorer work ability and financial health (all p < 0.05). A comprehensive understanding of work characteristics, including work ability, may lead to multilevel interventions improving QOL. Future research should include larger, more diverse samples of YA cancer survivors.