Board Member Spotlight: Donna Bliss

Donna Z. Bliss, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN
University of Minnesota School of Nursing

What advice would you give your younger self?
Think about planning options for your career path as a first half then a second half.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

What made you want to pursue a career in nursing?
I wanted to support people with health problems to lessen the impact of those problems and have a good quality of life.

What book should every nurse read?
Notes on Nursing by Florence Nightingale

What has been your most interesting/surprising outcome while conducting nursing research?
The most interesting outcomes of any of my research has been having a hypothesis supported and identifying new questions to investigate.

What is a fun fact many people may not know about you?
I enjoy and am good at making flower arrangements.

About Donna

Donna Z. Bliss, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, is a Professor, Chair of the Adult and Gerontological Health Cooperative, and School of Nursing Foundation Professor of Nursing Research at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing in Minneapolis, MN. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Bliss received her BSN from Villanova University, Villanova, PA and MSN and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where she completed an individual predoctoral NRSA fellowships funded by NINR, NIH. She was a critical care/trauma nurse at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania for 10 years and at Regions Hospital in St. Paul for 7 years. She had an individual postdoctoral NRSA fellowships funded by NINR and a fellowship in geriatrics at the University of MN. She has had more than 20 years of research funding for her program of research. Her current research is on developing and evaluating innovative technologies to support symptom management and improve quality of life in persons with of chronic health conditions, increase accessibility of healthcare, and improve nursing education. A focus of her research has been on assessing, preventing, and managing fecal incontinence and incontinence associated skin damage. She has >125 journal publications, several book chapters and is editor of a book titled Management of Fecal Incontinence for the Advanced Practice Nurse with an international group of nurse co-authors.

Dr. Bliss had served as an Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD Nursing program during she led the development of a remote delivery model and curriculum revision and as interim Associate Dean of Research at the University of Minnesota. She has held international and national leadership positions: elected as Chair of the Nursing Section of the International Continence Society for two terms and leading an international committee conducting a systematic review of Assessment and Conservative Management of Fecal Incontinence three times; serving as Director of the Center for Clinical Investigation of the Wound Ostomy Continence Society and its small research grants program for 10 years and as a member of the society’s task force that recently added ICD-10 CM codes for moisture associated skin damage conditions; and elected as chair of the Health Sciences section of the Gerontological Society of America and chair of the Nursing Committee of the American Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition. She has been an Associate Editor of Nursing Research and on the editorial boards of Journal of Gerontological Nursing, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, and currently Applied Nursing Research, the International Urogynecology Journal, Continence, and an editor of the Incontinence Group of Cochrane Reviews. She has been an ambassador of the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) Board for 6 years.

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