Department of Nursing to welcome Melissa Wilson as new chair

Melissa Wilson, a nurse scientist and civilian executive officer to the vice director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing, was named chair of nursing at Wright State.

Melissa Wilson, Ph.D., has been appointed chair of Wright State University’s Department of Nursing, effective Feb. 6.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Wilson as the chair of Wright State’s Department of Nursing,” said Marty Sexton, Ph.D., professor of nursing and associate dean of the College of Health, Education and Human Services. “We are confident that through her extensive scholarly work in the Air Force Research Lab, she will advance the research initiatives in the Department of Nursing as well as in the College of Health, Education and Human Services. In addition, Dr. Wilson’s assets and strengths, including strong leadership qualities, a wide array of experiences managing people and extensive academic teaching experience, will have a positive influence on the vision and mission of the department.”

Wilson said she is humbled and honored to join Wright State and the College of Heath, Education and Human Services.

“Being in health care for over 30 years has taught me the most important thing I can do is to provide exceptional care for those I serve, no matter the role,” she said. “I look forward to the opportunities as a department chair to care for those I serve and accelerate the stellar programs, students, faculty and staff that already exist.”

Prior to accepting the position at Wright State, Wilson served in the role of civilian executive officer and general health scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, 711 Human Performance Wing, at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where she conducted research and was the executive assistant to the vice director of the wing.

Previously, she served as associate director of the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and as an advanced practice registered nurse at Trihealth.

One of Wilson’s major research focuses over the last 12 years has been the topic of moral distress in health care providers. This research focuses on the consequence of caring as it relates to circumstances involved in health care delivery and directly impacts safe care practices, resilience and long-term mental health outcomes for health care providers.

In addition, Wilson has effectively managed several teams of researchers and investigators from academia, the Veterans Health Administration, industry and Triservice medical systems, leading to successful research into various topics, including acute pain with the goal of reducing the long-term consequences of opiate use and the integration of technologies to improve military health care systems.

Over the course of her career, Wilson has secured $2.8 million in funding as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator. She holds one patent and two invention disclosures for health care innovations created with her team.

Wilson earned her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Missouri and her master’s degree in nursing and bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati.

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