Azita Emami, PhD, MSN, BSN, RNT, RN, FAAN

Dean Anita Emami

Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing

Yale School of Nursing - Room 31605



Dr. Azita Emami joined the Yale School of Nursing as Dean in 2023. She is an active researcher, an international advocate for expanding nursing’s role in primary care, and a powerful voice for global equity of healthcare access. 

Dean Emami serves as a trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and on several professional boards and committees. She was a U.S. leader of the international Nursing Now initiative, a three-year global campaign (2018-2020) in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization that raised the visibility, status, and education opportunities of nurses worldwide. She also led the U.S. “Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” effort (2021), part of a global U.N. initiative.

Equity of opportunity in nursing education is a focal point for Dean Emami, who has been a national leader in developing efforts directed at making diversity, equity and inclusion a priority at schools of nursing. She initiated creation of the nation’s first Center for Antiracism in Nursing, and has written and spoken in numerous professional settings about the ways in which both patients and the profession benefit from understanding and addressing implicit bias and historical racism.

Dr. Emami has forged strong relationships and collaborative exchanges with nursing programs in many countries, including Thailand and China. She fosters in both faculty and students a perspective that encourages global engagement and emphasizes the importance of understanding impact on health outcomes of the social determinants of health. 

Dr. Emami earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the renowned Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, where she grew up after emigrating from Iran. She earned a master’s degree in international health care from Karolinska and the Red Cross College of Nursing; a nursing education degree with a teaching certification, and a doctorate in medical sciences from Karolinska.

The Dean’s academic leadership experience spans two countries and 25 years, including positions as Executive Dean of the University of Washington School of Nursing, Dean of the College of Nursing at Seattle University, Head of the Division of Nursing in the Department of Neurobiology Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, and Academic Leader in the Division of Elderly Care in the Department of Nursing at the Karolinska Institutet.

Dr. Emami maintains an active research schedule, with collaborations around the world. Her research reflects her interest in topics ranging from dementia care, challenges in cross-cultural care, and immigrant healthcare policy to the development of cultural competence in clinical nurses. She is internationally recognized for her innovative research on dementia, including development of an oral data collection method for a biomarker of stress. Her research has resulted in more than 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals nationally and internationally. 

Research Interests

Antiracism, healthcare equity, dementia, transcultural care, immigrant healthcare policy, and development of cultural competence in clinical nurses.

Selected Publications

Emami, A., Theorell, T., Kim, H., Berglund, L., Hallinder, H., & Engström, G. (2023). Assessing Stress Using Repeated Saliva Concentration of Steroid Hormones in Dementia Care Dyads: Results from a Controlled Pilot Care Music Intervention. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 128(1).

Kim, H., Engström, G., Theorell, T., Hallinder, H., & Emami, A. (2022). In-home online music-based intervention for stress, coping, and depression among family caregivers of persons with dementia: A pilot study. Geriatric Nursing46, 137-143.

Emami, A., Hallinder, H., Theorell, T., Kim, H., & Engstrom, G. (2022). The Feasibility and Acceptability of In-Home Saliva Collection for Stress in Persons With Dementia and Their Family Caregivers. Biol Res Nurs, 24(3), 308-315.

Theorell, T., Engstrom, G., Hallinder, H., Lennartsson, A. K., Kowalski, J., & Emami, A. (2021). The use of saliva steroids (cortisol and DHEA-s) as biomarkers of changing stress levels in people with dementia and their caregivers: A pilot study. Sci Prog, 104(2), 368504211019856. 

Emami, A., & de Castro, B. (2021). Confronting racism in nursing. Nurs Outlook, 69(5), 714-716. 

Javadivala, Z., Allahverdipour, H., Asghari Jafarabadi, M., & Emami, A. (2020). An Interventional strategy of physical activity promotion for reduction of menopause symptoms. Health Promot Perspect, 10(4), 383-392. 

Emami, A., Thompson, H., & Gimbel, S. (2018). In support of diversity in doctoral nursing education. J Adv Nurs, 74(4), 758-759. 

Gimbel, S., Kohler, P., Mitchell, P., & Emami, A. (2017). Creating academic structures to promote nursing’s role in global health policy. Int Nurs Rev, 64(1), 117-125. 

Emami, A., Jaffe, D., Minton-Foltz, P., Parker, G., Manfredi, S., Braungardt, T., Marley, K. W., Cooley, L., & Siem, S. B. (2017). Nursing schools and academic health centers: toward improved alignment and a synergistic partnership. J Multidiscip Healthc, 10, 271-276. 

Ehrlich, K., Emami, A., & Heikkila, K. (2017). The relationship between geographical and social space and approaches to care among rural and urban caregivers caring for a family member with Dementia: a qualitative study. Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being, 12(1), 1275107. 

Maria, J., Emami, A., & Gerrish, K. (2015). Learning to Nurse in a Multicultural Society – The Experiences of Nursing Students in Sweden. J Nurs Care, 4(5). 

Ehrlich, K., Bostrom, A. M., Mazaheri, M., Heikkila, K., & Emami, A. (2015). Family caregivers’ assessments of caring for a relative with dementia: a comparison of urban and rural areas. Int J Older People Nurs, 10(1), 27-37. 

Olt, H., Jirwe, M., Saboonchi, F., Gerrgish, K., & Emami, A. (2014). Communication and equality in elderly care settings: perceptions of first- and second generation immigrant and native Swedish healthcare workers. Diversity and Equality in Health and Care, 11, 99-111. 

Najafi Ghezeljeh, T., Yadavar Nikravesh, M., & Emami, A. (2014). Coronary heart disease patients transitioning to a normal life: perspectives and stages identified through a grounded theory approach. J Clin Nurs, 23(3-4), 571-585. 

Najafi Ghezeljeh, T., & Emami, A. (2014). Strategies for recreating normal life: Iranian coronary heart disease patients’ perspectives on coping strategies. J Clin Nurs, 23(15-16), 2151-2160. 

Holmgren, J., Emami, A., Eriksson, L. E., & Eriksson, H. (2014). Intersectional perspectives on family involvement in nursing home care: rethinking relatives’ position as a betweenship. Nurs Inq, 21(3), 227-237. 

Ehrlich, K., Bostrom, A. M., Mazaheri, M., Heikkila, K., & Emami, A. (2014). Family caregivers’ assessments of caring for a relative with dementia: a comparison of urban and rural areas. Int J Older People Nurs. 

Holmgren, J., Emami, A., Eriksson, L. E., & Eriksson, H. (2013). Being perceived as a ‘visitor’ in the nursing staff’s working arena–the involvement of relatives in daily caring activities in nursing homes in an urban community in Sweden. Scand J Caring Sci, 27(3), 677-685. 

Emami, A., & Safipour, J. (2013). Constructing a questionnaire for assessment of awareness and acceptance of diversity in healthcare institutions. BMC Health Serv Res, 13, 145. 

Safipour, J., Schopflocher, D., Higginbottom, G., & Emami, A. (2012). Socioeconomic factors and mental health of Swedish adolescents-a cross-sectional study among Stockholm high-school students aged 15-19 years. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies: An International Interdisciplinary Journal for Research, Policy and Care, 8. 10.1080/17450128.2012.708462 

Safipour, J., Higginbottom, G., Mesfin, K., Tessma, M., & Emam, A. (2012). Migration status and self-reported health among high school students in Stockholm: a cross-sectional study Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies: An International Interdisciplinary Journal for Research, Policy and Care, 7(2), 149-163. 

Sonde, L., Emami, A., Kiljunen, H., & Nordenram, G. (2011). Care providers’ perceptions of the importance of oral care and its performance within everyday caregiving for nursing home residents with dementia. Scand J Caring Sci, 25(1), 92-99. 

Safipour, J., Schopflocher, D., Higginbottom, G., & Emami, A. (2011). Feelings of social alienation: a comparison of immigrant and non-immigrant Swedish youth. Int ernational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 31(7/8), 456-468. 

Safipour, J., Schopflocher, D., Higginbottom, G., & Emami, A. (2011). The mediating role of alienation in self-reported health among Swedish adolescents. J of Vulnerable Groups & Inclusion(2), 5805. 

Momeni, P., Wettergren, L., Tessma, M., Maddah, S., & Emami, A. (2011). Factors of importance for self-reported mental health and depressive symptoms among ages 60-75 in urban Iran and Sweden. Scand J Caring Sci, 25(4), 696-705. 

Mazaheri, M., Sunvission, H., Nikbakht, A., Maddah, M., & Emami, A. (2011). Bearing witness to life narratives: Iranian immigrant experiences of a family member with dementia. Diversity in Health and Care, 8(1), 19-28. 

Hammar, L. M., Emami, A., Gotell, E., & Engstrom, G. (2011). The impact of caregivers’ singing on expressions of emotion and resistance during morning care situations in persons with dementia: an intervention in dementia care. J Clin Nurs, 20(7-8), 969-978. 

Hammar, L. M., Emami, A., Engstrom, G., & Gotell, E. (2011). Communicating through caregiver singing during morning care situations in dementia care. Scand J Caring Sci, 25(1), 160-168. 

Hammar, L. M., Emami, A., Engstrom, G., & Gotell, E. (2011). Finding the key to communion-caregivers experience of music therapeutic caregiving in dementia care. A qualitative analysis. Dementia-The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 10(1), 98-111. 

Allahverdipour, H., Asghari-Jafarabadi, M., & Emami, A. (2011). Breast cancer risk perception, benefits of and barriers to mammography adherence among a group of Iranian women. Women Health, 51(3), 204-219. 

Safipour, J., Tessma, M. K., Higginbottom, G., & Emami, A. (2010). Measuring social alienation in adolescence: translation and validation of the Jessor and Jessor Social Alienation Scale. Scand J Psychol, 51(6), 517-524. 

Palesh, M., Tishelman, C., Fredrikson, S., Jamshidi, H., Tomson, G., & Emami, A. (2010). “We noticed that suddenly the country has become full of MRI”. Policy makers’ views on diffusion and use of health technologies in Iran. Health Res Policy Syst, 8, 9.

Olt, H., Jirwe, M., Gustavsson, P., & Emami, A. (2010). Psychometric evaluation of the Swedish adaptation of the Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competence Among Healthcare Professionals–Revised (IAPCC-R). J Transcult Nurs, 21(1), 55-64.

Jirwe, M., Gerrish, K., & Emami, A. (2010). Student nurses’ experiences of communication in cross-cultural care encounters. Scand J Caring Sci, 24(3), 436-444. 

Hammar, L. M., Emami, A., Engstrom, G., & Gotell, E. (2010). Reactions of persons with dementia to caregivers singing in morning care situations. Open Nurs J, 4, 35-41. 

Ghezeljeh, T. N., Momtahen, M., Tessma, M. K., Nikravesh, M. Y., Ekman, I., & Emami, A. (2010). Gender specific variations in the description, intensity and location of angina pectoris: a cross-sectional study. Int J Nurs Stud, 47(8), 965-974.

Emami, A., Momeni, P., Hossein, M. A., & Maddah, S. S. (2010). Developing a questionnaire for conducting cross-national studies–‘Self-reported health and needs among elderly Iranians and Swedes’. Scand J Caring Sci, 24(2), 372-379. 

Nasrabadi, A. N., Seif, H., Latifi, M., Rasoolzadeh, N., & Emami, A. (2009). Night shift work experiences among Iranian nurses: a qualitative study. Int Nurs Rev, 56(4), 498-503.

Najafi-Ghezeljeh, T., Kassaye Tessama, M., Yadavar-Nikravesh, M., Ekman, I., & Emami, A. (2009). The Iranian version of angina pectoris characteristics questionnaire: reliability assessment. J Clin Nurs, 18(5), 694-699. 

Jirwe, M., Gerrish, K., Keeney, S., & Emami, A. (2009). Identifying the core components of cultural competence: findings from a Delphi study. J Clin Nurs, 18(18), 2622-2634.

Ghezeljeh, T. N., & Emami, A. (2009). Grounded theory: methodology and philosophical perspective. Nurse Res, 17(1), 15-23. 

Najafi-Ghezeljeh, T., Ekman, I., Nikravesh, M. Y., & Emami, A. (2008). Adaptation and validation of the Iranian version of Angina Pectoris characteristics questionnaire. Int J Nurs Pract, 14(6), 470-476. 

Momeni, P., Jirwe, M., & Emami, A. (2008). Enabling nursing students to become culturally competent–a documentary analysis of curricula in all Swedish nursing programs. Scand J Caring Sci, 22(4), 499-506. 

Galvin, K., Emami, A., Dahlberg, K., Bach, S., Ekebergh, M., Rosser, E., Powell, J., Edlund, B., Bondas, T., & Uhrenfeldt, L. (2008). Challenges for future caring science research: a response to Hallberg (2006). Int J Nurs Stud, 45(6), 971-974. 

Fonad, E., Wahlin, T. B., Winblad, B., Emami, A., & Sandmark, H. (2008). Falls and fall risk among nursing home residents. J Clin Nurs, 17(1), 126-134. 

Fonad, E., Burnard, P., & Emami, A. (2008). Shielding or caging? Healthcare staffs’ views on fall risk and protection in Stockholm. Int J Older People Nurs, 3(1), 46-54. 

Allahverdipour, H., & Emami, A. (2008). Perceptions of cervical cancer threat, benefits, and barriers of Papanicolaou smear screening programs for women in Iran. Women Health, 47(3), 23-37. 

Emami, A., & Nasrabadi, A. N. (2007). Two approaches to nursing: a study of Iranian nurses. Int Nurs Rev, 54(2), 137-143. 

Emami, A., & Mazaheri, M. (2007). Difficulties in recruiting participants for a research study on immigrant dementia caregiver: Challenges in conducting research with a culturally diverse population. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 5(4), 103-108. 

Ekman, S. L., & Emami, A. (2007). Cultural diversity in health care. Scand J Caring Sci, 21(4), 417-418. 

Allahverdipour, H., MacIntyre, R., Hidarnia, A., Shafii, F., Kzamnegad, A., Ghaleiha, A., & Emami, A. (2007). Assessing protective factors against drug abuse among high school students: Self-control and the extended parallel process model. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 18(2), 65-73. 

Alavi, N. M., Ghofranipour, F., Ahmadi, F., & Emami, A. (2007). Developing a culturally valid and reliable quality of life questionnaire for diabetes mellitus. East Mediterr Health J, 13(1), 177-185. 

Nikbakht Nasrabadi, A., & Emami, A. (2006). Perceptions of nursing practice in Iran. Nurs Outlook, 54(6), 320-327. 

Jirwe, M., Gerrish, K., & Emami, A. (2006). The theoretical framework of cultural competence. Journal of Multicultural Nursing and Health, 12(3), 6. 

Fonad, E., Robins Wahlin, T.-B., Heikkilä, K., & Emam, A. (2006). Moving to and living in a retirement home. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 20(3), 45-60. 

Allahverdipour, H., Hidarnia, A., Kazamnegad, A., Shafii, F., Fallah, P. A., & Emami, A. (2006). The status of self-control and its relation to drug abuse–related behaviors among iranian male high school students. Social Behavior and Personality, 34(4), 413-424.

Emami, A., & Torres, S. (2005). Making sense of illness: late-in-life migration as point of departure for elderly Iranian immigrants’ explanatory models of illness. J Immigr Health, 7(3), 153-164. 

Emami, A., Heikkilä, K., & Lipson, J. G. (2005). An integrative review of nursing studies of culture based care. Journal of Nursing and Health, 12(1). 

Ebbeskog, B., & Emami, A. (2005). Older patients’ experience of dressing changes on venous leg ulcers: more than just a docile patient. J Clin Nurs, 14(10), 1223-1231. 

Nikbakht Nasrabadi, A., Parsayekta, Z., & Emami, A. (2004). Smoking as a symbol of friendship: qualitative study of smoking behavior and initiation of a group of male nurse students in Iran. Nurs Health Sci, 6(3), 209-215. 

Nikbakht Nasrabadi, A., Parsa Yekta, Z., & Emami, A. (2004). Phenomenological study of nursing experiences in Iran and Sweden. Hayat, 10(3), 23-30. 

Nasrabadi, A. N., Lipson, J. G., & Emami, A. (2004). Professional nursing in Iran: an overview of its historical and sociocultural framework. J Prof Nurs, 20(6), 396-402. 

Emami, A., & Tishelman, C. (2004). Reflections on cancer in the context of women’s health: focus group discussions with Iranian immigrant women in Sweden. Women Health, 39(4), 75-96. 

Nasrabadi, A. N., Emami, A., & Yekta, Z. P. (2003). Nursing experience in Iran. Int J Nurs Pract, 9(2), 78-85.…

Emami, A., Benner, P., & Ekman, S. L. (2001). A sociocultural health model for late-in-life immigrants. J Transcult Nurs, 12(1), 15-24. 

Emami, A., Torres, S., Lipson, J. G., & Ekman, S. L. (2000). An ethnographic study of a day care center for Iranian immigrant seniors. West J Nurs Res, 22(2), 169-188. 

Emami, A., Benner, P. E., Lipson, J. G., & Ekman, S.-L. (2000). Health as continuity and balance in life. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 22(7), 812-825. 

Emami, A., & Ekman, S. (1998). Living in a foreign country in old age : Life in Sweden as experienced by elderly Iranian immigrants. Health Care in Later Life, 3(3), 183-198.