Occupational and Environmental Health Training Grant


NYU Meyers College of Nursing is part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-funded NY/NJ Education and Research Center (T42-OH-008422), where we have a training program in occupational and environmental health nursing (OEHN). The purpose of the PhD/DNP OEHN training program is to prepare nurse leaders in OEHN. We prepare nurse scientists (PhD) to conduct interdisciplinary occupational and environmental health-focused research that will advance nursing science, inform clinical practice, and influence the education of future nursing professionals. Our DNP graduates are prepared to provide evidence-based advanced practice clinical care in OEHN, lead interdisciplinary healthcare teams in occupational health and safety, and educate future practitioners in OEHN. 


OEHN PhD trainees will successfully complete at least 12 credits in occupational and environmental health coursework.Use three DNP elective course credits in an OEHN course delivered by NYU Meyers faculty who are experts in the field.
Complete a dissertation focused on an OEHN topic e.g. workplace exposures, workforce issues, safety.Focus the DNP Project on a clinical question related to occupational and/or environmental health in the workplace. OEHN DNP trainees will complete at least 200 clinical hours in OEHN nursing as part of the 400-hour DNP clinical hour requirement.
Participate in interdisciplinary journal club, field trips, and other OEHN-related experiences and scholarly activities.Participate in interdisciplinary journal club, field trips, and other OEHN-related experiences and scholarly activities.



  • Financial support
  • One-on-one mentorship from expert faculty and practitioners
  • Intraprofessional learning with NYU Meyers DNP and PhD students
  • Interprofessional collaboration and experiences with students across the NY/NJ Education and Research Center


Meet the 2023 - 2024 OEHN Trainees:

DNP Trainees

Sadie Mercer HeadshotSadie Mercer, BSN, RN 







PhD Students

Vanessa Caiazzo headshotVanessa Caiazzo, MPH, RN   

Research interest: Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers



Natalie Hellmers headshotNatalie Hellmers, MSN, ACNP-BC, RN

Research interest: Work-life balance among family caregivers of adults with Parkinson's Disease




Kathryn Leep-Lazar headshot

Kathryn Leep-Lazar, BSN, RN

Research interests: Nursing burnout, nursing turnover, and occupational health of nurses 






Malie Mercer headshotMaile Mercer MSN, RN, CCRN
Research interests: burnout prevention, secondary-trauma exposure and effective resilience training in nurses and student nurses.






Past Trainees

Jenni Duc Nguyen headshotJenni Duc Nguyen, MSN, FNP-B

DNP project: Blood-borne Pathogen Exposure Prevention e-Learning 




Halia Melnyk headshotHalia Melnyk, MPH, RN

Dissertation title: Health-related quality of life and work in postmenopausal women with breast cancer during aromatase inhibitor therapy



Jin Jun headshotJin Jun, PhD, MSN, RN, CCRN

Dissertation title: The relationship between nursing unit-level organizational culture and the use of evidence-based practice among nurses in hospitals



Melissa Ojemeni headshotMelissa T. Ojemeni, PhD, MA, RN, PCCN

Dissertation title: Comparative policy responses to managing international nurse migration to the United States and United Kingdom from 2004 - 2014



Shani Irby headshotShani Irby, DNP, MSN, ANP-BC

DNP project: Educational outreach visits to improve the implementation and adherence to a treatment template for patients with an occupational and environmental exposure related cancer being treated in an ambulatory oncology setting



Mimi Niles headshot

Mimi Niles, PhD, CNM, MPH

Dissertation title: Relationship-Centered Midwifery Care: A case study of midwives working in an urban public hospital




Laura Ridge headshotLaura Ridge, PhD, ANP-BC, AAHIVE

Dissertation title: A case study of how task-shifting influences the intellectual capital of nursing in Liberia




Lauren Ghazal headshotLauren Ghazal, PhD, FNP-BC

Dissertation title: Exploring Multilevel Factors Influencing Quality of Life in Young Adult Cancer Survivors: A Mixed Methods Approach





Le-Jeune Sealey-Horsford headshotLe-Jeune Sealey-Horsford, DNP, MS, FNP-BC, NP-C, RNC-MNN

DNP project: Improving Preventative Screening for World Trade Center Responders Through a Structured Communication Guide: A Quality Improvement Intervention




Ganesh RamGanesh Ram, DNP, AGPCNP-BC

  • DNP project: Introduction of an Ergonomics Education Program to Increase Awareness of Upper Body Mechanics among Dental Practitioners



Yvelande Couamin headshotYvelande Couamin, DNP, FNP

DNP project: Introduction of an Ergonomics Education Program to Increase Awareness of Upper Body Mechanics among Dental Practitioners




PhD Students and faculty stand in front of their poster presentation.
Students and faculty attended the 2017 NJ/NY ERC Scientific Research Day at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
L to R Prof. Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Program Director, Jin Jun, Mimi Niles, Prof. Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, Program Deputy Director, Melissa Ojemeni
Mimi Niles and Laura Ridge present a poster
 2018 Annual Scientific Research Day at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, (L-R), Mimi Niles and Laura Ridge present a poster on behalf of all the nursing trainees
Jin Jun in immersion suit
Trainees attend the annual ERC Historical Tour of occupational sites. Jin Jun, PhD, RN gets practice using an immersion suit in the Maine harbor. 
2019 NJ/NY ERC Scientific Research Day at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
2019 NJ/NY ERC Scientific Research Day at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. (L-R PhD students Vanessa Caiazzo, Halia Melnyk, Natalie Hellmers, Lauren Ghazal, and Prof. Vicky Dickson)
T42 trainees at ENRS
Students and faculty presented their research at the 2023 Annual Scientific Sessions of the Eastern Nursing Research Society in Philadelphia. L-R Maile Mercer, Kathryn Leep-Lazar,  Deputy Director Prof. Witkoski Stimpfel, Vanessa Caiazzo, Dr. Nguyen
PhD student Kathryn Leep- Lazar presented her podium titled "Occupational and Organizational  Turnover in Registered Nurses" in October 2023 at the International Commission on Occupational Health conference.


Congrats Grads

2018 Graduates

PhD graduates Jin Jun Melissa Ojemeni at graduation

PhD graduate Jin Jun being hooded at graduation

2019 Graduates

Shani Irby speaking at graduation

















2021 Graduates

Lauren Ghazal in her graduation attire















2023 Graduation

Prof. Dickson with two PhD students in graduation attire.













Program Director: Amy Witkoski Stimpfel