Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Victoria Vaughan Dickson

Victoria Vaughan Dickson


Associate Professor
Director, Pless Center for Research

1 212 992 9426

Victoria Vaughan Dickson's additional information

Victoria Vaughan Dickson, PhD, RN, FAHA, FHFSA, FAAN, is an associate professor in the Rory Meyers College of Nursing and director of the NYU Meyers Pless Center for Nursing Research. 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 comorbidity. 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. Dr. Dickson is recognized  as an international expert in qualitative research techniques and mixed methods research and has conducted training to interdisciplinary teams locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Dr. Dickson is dedicated to building research capacity across disciplines and advancing nursing science that impacts policy and clinical care Currently, Dr. 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 co-investigator on several team science initiatives focused on multiple chronic conditions. 


Dr. Dickson’s 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). Dr. Dickson is the co-editor of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  

Dr. Dickson holds a clinical appointment as an advanced practice nurse in the division of cardiology at the NYU Langone Medical Center and the 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)


Achieving Global Targets to Reduce Hypertension: The Importance of Hypertension Self-care Measurement

Dickson, V. V. (2021). Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 36(5), 409-410. 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000851

Associations of Insomnia Symptoms With Cognition in Persons With Heart Failure

Gharzeddine, R., Yu, G., McCarthy, M. M., & Dickson, V. V. (2021). Western Journal of Nursing Research, 43(12), 1105-1117. 10.1177/0193945920988840
Although cognitive impairment is common among persons with heart failure and negatively impacts self-care, hospitalization, and mortality, the associations between cognitive impairment and insomnia symptoms are not clearly understood. The purpose of this study was to explore these associations and examine if they are maintained after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle factors. Guided by the Neurocognitive model of insomnia and sleep and the self-care conceptual model, a cross-sectional data analysis using parametric testing was conducted on the Health and Retirement Study wave 2016. Difficulty initiating sleep and early morning awakening, but not difficulty maintaining sleep were significantly associated with poorer cognitive performance in the bivariate and multivariate analysis. Our results are suggestive of different phenotypes of insomnia symptoms that may have different associations with cognition in persons with heart failure. Further research using objective measurements of insomnia symptoms and detailed neuropsychiatric testing of cognition is needed to confirm this conclusion.

Disease expression and outcomes in black and white adults with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Arabadjian, M. E., Yu, G., Sherrid, M. V., & Dickson, V. V. (2021). Journal of the American Heart Association, 10(17). 10.1161/JAHA.120.019978
BACKGROUND: There is limited research on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is the most common inherited cardiac disorder, in diverse populations, including Black individuals. Current literature lacks comprehensive data on HCM disease expression, comorbidities, and outcomes in this historically disadvantaged group. The purpose of this study was to examine structural HCM characteristics, comorbidities, and outcomes in a Black and White cohort with HCM. METHODS AND RESULTS: The study was a subgroup analysis from a longitudinal, prospective study on HCM, with supplemental chart review. The sample included adults (≥18 years) with a clinical diagnosis of HCM, who self-identified as Black/African American or White. The study sample comprised 434 individuals; 57 (13.1%) were Black, and 180 (41.5%) were women. Black patients were younger than White patients, 54.6 (13.4) versus 62.5 (14.8) years, P=0.001. Black patients were more likely to have sub-basal and diffuse hypertrophy, 22 (38.6%) versus 56 (14.9%), P<0.001, 6 (10.5%) versus 15 (4%), P=0.017, mid-LV obstruction, 7 (12.3%) versus 21 (5.5%), P=0.025, and cardiac fibrosis ≥15%, 10 (22.2%) versus 19 (8.8%), P=0.009, than White patients. Black patients were more likely to experience appropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator interventions, 5 (38.5) versus 5 (6.8), P<0.001 and were more likely to have ≥2 sudden death risk factors. Comorbidities were largely similar between groups, though more Black participants had Class II obesity, 12 (21.8) versus 30 (8.1), P<0.001. Both groups had similar rates of genetic testing usage. CONCLUSIONS: This study underscores the need for continued research of HCM in Black populations, including tailored approaches to diagnosis and precise evaluation of cardiac anatomy.

Factors associated with work ability in adults with diabetes

McCarthy, M., Yan, J., & Dickson, V. V. (2021). Applied Nursing Research, 61. 10.1016/j.apnr.2021.151478
Aims: The aims of this study were to explore associations between clinical and diabetes-related factors with work ability in a sample of working adults with diabetes. Background: Adults with diabetes may face challenges in the workplace, including managing their diabetes and overall physical and mental health. Methods: This was a cross-sectional design with a sample of 101 working adults. Subjects completed valid and reliable surveys assessing depressive symptoms, diabetes self-care, fear of hypoglycemia, diabetes distress, cardiovascular health using American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 (range 0–7) and work ability. Factors significantly associated with work ability at bivariate level were included in linear and logistic regression. Results: The majority of the sample was female (65%) (mean age 54.1 ± 10.5), White (74%), non-Hispanic (93%), worked full-time (65%) and had type 2 diabetes (87%) (mean duration 12.4 ± 9.5 years). The majority (55%) had low diabetes distress, but 24% had high distress and 28% had depressive symptoms. The sample achieved 2.5 ± 1.4 ideal AHA heart health indices and 33% rated their work ability as excellent. In linear regression higher depressive scores were associated with lower work ability scores (b = −0.45, p = .002). In logistic regression, scores on heart health (OR = 1.4; 95%CI:1.0–1.9, p = .03) and diabetes distress (OR = 0.6, 95%CI:0.4–0.9, p = .048) were significantly associated with work ability at its best. Conclusion: Both cardiovascular and psychological health may impact work ability in adults with diabetes. Routinely screening for diabetes distress and depression while also promoting ideal cardiovascular health may improve overall health and work ability in this population.

The HEAR-VA Pilot Study: Hearing Assistance Provided to Older Adults in the Emergency Department

Chodosh, J., Goldfeld, K., Weinstein, B. E., Radcliffe, K., Burlingame, M., Dickson, V., Grudzen, C., Sherman, S., Smilowitz, J., & Blustein, J. (2021). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 69(4), 1071-1078. 10.1111/jgs.17037
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Poor communication is a barrier to care for people with hearing loss. We assessed the feasibility and potential benefit of providing a simple hearing assistance device during an emergency department (ED) visit, for people who reported difficulty hearing. DESIGN: Randomized controlled pilot study. SETTING: The ED of New York Harbor Manhattan Veterans Administration Medical Center. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and thirty-three Veterans aged 60 and older, presenting to the ED, likely to be discharged to home, who either (1) said that they had difficulty hearing, or (2) scored 10 or greater (range 0–40) on the Hearing Handicap Inventory-Survey (HHI-S). INTERVENTION: Subjects were randomized (1:1), and intervention subjects received a personal amplifier (PA; Williams Sound Pocketalker 2.0) for use during their ED visit. MEASUREMENTS: Three survey instruments: (1) six-item Hearing and Understanding Questionnaire (HUQ); (2) three-item Care Transitions Measure; and (3) three-item Patient Understanding of Discharge Information. Post-ED visit phone calls to assess ED returns. RESULTS: Of the 133 subjects, 98.3% were male; mean age was 76.4 years (standard deviation (SD) = 9.2). Mean HHI-S score was 19.2 (SD = 8.3). Across all HUQ items, intervention subjects reported better in-ED experience than controls. Seventy-five percent of intervention subjects agreed or strongly agreed that ability to understand what was said was without effort versus 56% for controls. Seventy-five percent of intervention subjects versus 36% of controls said clinicians provided them with an explanation about presenting problems. Three percent of intervention subjects had an ED revisit within 3 days compared with 9.0% controls. CONCLUSION: Veterans with hearing difficulties reported improved in-ED experiences with use of PAs, and were less likely to return to the ED within 3 days. PAs may be an important adjunct to older patient ED care but require validation in a larger more definitive randomized controlled trial.

How clinicians manage routinely low supplies of personal protective equipment

Ridge, L. J., Stimpfel, A. W., Dickson, V. V., Klar, R. T., & Squires, A. P. (2021). American Journal of Infection Control, 49(12), 1488-1492. 10.1016/j.ajic.2021.08.012
Background: Recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) is routinely limited or unavailable in low-income countries, but there is limited research as to how clinicians adapt to that scarcity, despite the implications for patients and workers. Methods: This is a qualitative secondary analysis of case study data collected in Liberia in 2019. Data from the parent study were included in this analysis if it addressed availability and use of PPE in the clinical setting. Conventional content analysis was used on data including: field notes documenting nurse practice, semi-structured interview transcripts, and photographs. Results: Data from the majority of participants (32/37) and all facilities (12/12) in the parent studies were included. Eighty-three percent of facilities reported limited PPE. Five management strategies for coping with limited PPE supplies were observed, reported, or both: rationing PPE, self-purchasing PPE, asking patients to purchase PPE, substituting PPE, and working without PPE. Approaches to rationing PPE included using PPE only for symptomatic patients or not performing physical exams. Substitutions for PPE were based on supply availability. Conclusions: Strategies developed by clinicians to manage low PPE likely have negative consequences for both workers and patients; further research into the topic is important, as is better PPE provision in low-income countries.

Infection Prevention and Control in Liberia 5 Years After Ebola: A Case Study

Ridge, L. J., Stimpfel, A. W., Klar, R. T., Dickson, V. V., & Squires, A. P. (2021). Workplace Health and Safety, 69(6), 242-251. 10.1177/2165079921998076
Background: Effective management of health emergencies is an important strategy to improve health worldwide. One way to manage health emergencies is to build and sustain national capacities. The Ebola epidemic of 2014 to 2015 resulted in greater infection prevention and control (IPC) capacity in Liberia, but few studies have investigated if and how that capacity was sustained. The purpose of this study was to examine the maintenance of IPC capacity in Liberia after Ebola. Methods: For this case study, data were collected via direct observation of nurse practice, semistructured interviews, and document collection. Data were collected in two counties in Liberia. Data were analyzed using directed content and general thematic analysis using codes generated from the safety capital theoretical framework, which describes an organization’s intangible occupational health resources. Findings: Thirty-seven nurses from 12 facilities participated. Ebola was a seminal event in the development of safety capital in Liberia, particularly regarding nurse knowledge of IPC and facilities’ investments in safety. The safety capital developed during Ebola is still being applied at the individual and organizational levels. Tangible resources, including personal protective equipment, however, have been depleted. Conclusions/Application to Practice: IPC capacity in Liberia had been sustained since Ebola but was threatened by under-investments in physical resources. Donor countries should prioritize sustained support, both financial and technical, in partnership with Liberian leaders. Occupational health nurses participating in disaster response should advocate for long-term investment by donor countries in personal protective equipment, access to water, and clinician training.

Insomnia and Insomnia Symptoms in Persons with Heart Failure: An Integrative Review

Gharzeddine, R., McCarthy, M. M., Yu, G., & Vaughan Dickson, V. (2021). Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 36(4), 374-384. 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000719
Background/Objective Insomnia and insomnia symptoms are highly prevalent in persons with heart failure (HF), and they are associated with several untoward outcomes. The purpose of this integrative review is to describe the correlates, predictors, and outcomes of insomnia and insomnia symptoms in persons with HF. Methods Using integrative review methods, an extensive electronic search of 5 databases was conducted for the period of 2000-2019. Sixteen studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria for review and investigated insomnia or insomnia symptoms in HF. Results Various sociodemographic factors, chronic comorbidities, clinical factors, and cognitive-behavioral factors are correlates and predictors of insomnia and insomnia symptoms in persons with HF. Depression, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, poor self-reported physical functioning, decreased exercise capacity, cardiac events, and poor health-related quality of life are significant outcomes of insomnia and insomnia symptoms in persons with HF. The associations of insomnia and insomnia symptoms with age, sex, sleep-disordered breathing, and cognition were not consistent across all studies. Conclusion Larger studies with diverse age and race groups as well as longitudinal studies and designs that test mediation effects are needed to disentangle complex relationships between insomnia and insomnia symptoms and several of their potential predictors and correlates in HF.

An Integrated Review of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Black Populations: Underrecognized and Understudied

Arabadjian, M., McCarthy, M., & Dickson, V. V. (2021). The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 36(2), 104-115. 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000718
BACKGROUND: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common inherited cardiac disorder globally, affecting 0.2% to 0.5% of individuals. Existing clinical HCM guidelines do not address diverse populations, specifically minority groups who often experience health disparities. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the state of the science of HCM in black populations. METHODS: This integrated review guided by Whittemore and Knafl's methodology included literature search of multiple databases, data evaluation, and analysis. Publications between 2000 and 2020 were included if they addressed HCM cardiac anatomic manifestations, disease course, symptoms, quality of life, or outcomes in black populations. RESULTS: Six articles met the inclusion criteria. Overall, blacks are underrepresented in HCM research. Certain HCM structural phenotypes are more commonly exhibited in blacks, and physiology drives HCM treatment. Sudden death events and all-cause mortality do not differ between blacks and whites with HCM. Fewer blacks with HCM undergo genetic testing than whites with HCM. The lack of diversity in general genomic databases has resulted in reclassification of several genetic variants identified as more common in blacks. CONCLUSIONS: Blacks are underrepresented in HCM research, even those focused on elucidating HCM manifestations, disease course, and outcomes in black populations. This may be due in part to HCM research that is largely generated from specialty centers that can require patients to navigate complex healthcare systems to reach expert HCM care. Longitudinal studies with large samples of blacks with HCM are necessary to elucidate how HCM affects this population.

An integrative review: Women’s psychosocial vulnerability in relation to paid work after a breast cancer diagnosis

Melnyk, H., Djukic, M., Merriman, J., & Vaughan Dickson, V. (2021). Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77(5), 2144-2154. 10.1111/jan.14730
Aim: The aim of this integrative review was to explore psychosocial vulnerabilities in women after a breast cancer diagnosis that are related to their paid work. Design: The review methodology was guided by Whittemore and Knafl. The Mehnert Cancer Survivorship and Work Model provided a lens through which to view vulnerability in working women with a focus on facilitating interventions to improve both recovery and work outcomes. Data Sources: PUBMED, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycNET databases were searched for English language papers published between January 2014–June 2020. Review Methods: Titles and abstracts were screened. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were then applied to full text screen of the remaining articles following PRISMA guidelines. Thirteen studies meeting the inclusion criteria were critically appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. A constant comparison approach was used to systematically distil findings into categories and assess their fit within the Mehnert Model subdomains. Results: Vulnerabilities coalesced predominantly within the following subdomains: (a) changes in identity and role functioning; (b) social reintegration; (c) coping strategies; and (d) social supports. Patterns and themes within these subdomains were related both positively and negatively to form the contours of a survivor's satisfaction/dissatisfaction with quality of life related to work and breast cancer recovery. Conclusion: Overall, findings highlight the importance of employment and work environments in bolstering women's psychosocial health after a breast cancer diagnosis. Impact: Findings from this review support adapting psychosocial distress screening to include vulnerabilities relating to work life. Nurses are ideally positioned to facilitate this screening and engage clinicians in a dialogue surrounding patient's support needs due to nursing's central role on the interdisciplinary team. Nurses may also foster collective accountability for implementing ongoing multidisciplinary survivorship care plans that include a return to work component.