Dr. Wilson is a health psychologist and a nurse. Seeking to view health from outside the western model, Debra completed a Master of Science in Holistic Nursing, then with a focus on Psycho-neuro-immunology completed a PhD in Health Psychology. Debra has worked in maternal/infant health, public health education, program development, public health education, and nursing education. She has expertise in complementary and alternative therapies, epidemiology, breastfeeding trends, wellness, disease prevention, and higher education. She has been reviewing medical information for more than 20 years, with a focus on online patient education.
With over 100 publications including peer-reviewed journal articles, editorials, 3 books, and numerous books chapters, her research experience includes healing for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, autoimmune disease, complementary therapies, breastfeeding, herbs, and women’s health.
Debra’s current research areas include stress, stress management, scalp and hair health, autoimmune disease, and immune function. She was the managing editor of the International Journal of Childbirth Education from 2011 to this year. Debra has taught graduate courses in psychoneuroimmunology, holistic nursing, biopsychology, stress & coping, complementary & alternative therapies, herbology, mental health nursing, health care policy, stress & coping. She has taught at undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels of nursing, psychology, and social work.
Dr. Wilson has a private practice as a holistic nurse, providing grief counseling, clinical hypnosis, trauma counseling, and lactation consulting.
She was the 2017 – 2018 American Holistic Nurse of the Year. The Holistic Nurse of the Year award recognizes nurses with outstanding innovation and/or a change in the field of holistic nursing in the nation. Debra has been recognized locally and nationally including the 2016 Faculty Engaged Scholar Award from Tennessee State University and a Commendation from the United States Army for providing workshops and training for the Department of the Army, 4203rd USA Hospital Medical Unit in Conference.
Debra is very active not only in her career and publications, but also in her local, national, and international communities. The contributions to her local community include a local Sexual Abuse Center and SHARE, a grief support group for those families who have lost a baby. She was a visiting scholar for the Botswana ‘I am Proud to be a Nurse’ Pin Project, where she spoke about holistic nursing, stress management and self‐care for nurses in an attempt to improve pride in professional nursing. She distributed a brass pin to all nurses in the country to promote pride in the profession.
She is a life-long learner seeking further graduate education in physics, and teaches at Austin Peay State University and Walden University. She is an advocate for patient safety and health promotion. Debra is a regular speaker, locally, nationally, and internationally. She has delivered more than 200 formal presentations including many key notes at national conferences. Dr. Wilson is an internationally known speaker on stress and self-care, holistic nursing, and complementary therapies.