Joan Kearney, PhD, APRN, FAAN

Professor of Nursing
Chair, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Yale University School of Nursing - Room 20411

phone: 203-737-1791
fax: 203-785-6455


Dr. Kearney is a Professor at YSN and the Yale Child Study Center, having previously served on the faculty of the Columbia University School of Nursing. In addition to her academic career, she has held administrative and executive positions in Nursing and Psychiatry in New York and Connecticut, as well as membership and consultative roles to advisory boards and professional panels across practice, organizational, and policy domains. Dr. Kearney belongs to various organizations including the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), the American Nurses Association, and the American Psychological Association, to name a few. She is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the highest level of achievement and leadership in the fields of urban health care and research. She was a founding faculty member of the Center for Children and Families at the Columbia University School of Nursing  where she was also elected as a Fellow and Charter Member of the Anna Maxwell Teaching Academy. Her clinical background and specialty licensure is in psychiatry and her doctoral research training was in developmental psychology and human development.  She has mentored numerous students across PhD and DNP  programs in nursing, psychology and social work. Her research and advisory work centers on severe trauma in varied populations and continues to have critical relevance for clinical practice, systems level initiatives and policy change.

Research Interests

Dr. Kearney’s research spans the intersections of attachment, trauma and coping in high-risk attachment/caregiving systems across the psychiatric and pediatric spectrum. 

Selected Publications and Presentations

Byrne, M., Blanchard-Lewis, B., Kearney, J.A. (April 2016). Testing and Funding a Research Intervention to Support Triadic Relationships among Mothers, Alternate Caregivers, and Children During Maternal Separations. Eastern Nursing Research Society, Pittsburgh, PA.

Kearney, J.A.., Byrne, M., Trudeau, J., Magargee, M., Johnson, J., Semeraro, P. (April 2016). Trauma

Recovery in the Context of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking: Moving Beyond Clinical Diagnoses. American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) New England Annual Conference. Sturbridge, Mass.

Byrne, M & Kearney, J. ( April 2014). Developing a Research Intervention to Improve Triadic Relationships Among Mothers, Alternate Caregivers, and Children During Maternal Separations. Eastern Nursing Research Society. Philadelphia, Pa.

Kearney, J & Byrne, M. (April 2014). Maternal Reflective Functioning in Criminal Justice `Involved Women Enrolled in a Mother /Baby Co-Residence.  Eastern Nursing Research Society. Philadelphia, Pa.

Kearney, J. & Byrne, M.  (2014). Understanding parental behavior in pediatric palliative care: Attachment theory as a paradigm. Palliative and Supportive Care., First View online, 1-10.

Wang, J. & Kearney, J. (2013). Chinese American parents of children with life limiting illness: A comprehensive review of the literature. Jnl of International Palliative Nur. 19, (7), 347 – 354.

Kearney, J.  (October 2013).  Attachment Theory in Serious and Life Limiting Pediatric Illness.  Hospice

and Palliative Medicine Grand Rounds, Columbia University Medical Center, NY, NY.

Kearney, J. (March 2012). The Parental Engagement Scale. Paper, Eastern Nursing Research Society. New Haven, Ct.

Kearney, J. A., & Byrne, M. W. (2011). Planning with parents for seriously ill children: Preliminary results on the development of the parental engagement scale. Palliative & Supportive Care, 9(04), 367-376.

Kearney, J.A. & Cushing, E.  (2012). A Multimodal Pilot Intervention with Violence-Exposed Mothers in a Child Psychiatric Trauma Focused Treatment Program. Issues in Mental Health Nur.  33 (8).

Kearney,  J. A., Britner, P.A., Farrell, A.F., Robinson, J. L. (2011). Mothers’ resolution of their young children’s psychiatric diagnoses: Associations with child, parent, and relationship characteristics. Child Psychiatry and Hum Devp 42(3), 334-348.

Kearney, J. (2010). Women and Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Themes in maternal interviews about their children’s psychiatric diagnoses. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. Special Issue: Violence Exposure: The Lived Experience, 31(2), 74-81.

Kearney, J.A. & Cushing, E. (February, 2011). Women and Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Immediate and Long Term Outcomes from a Multi-modal Caregiving System Intervention. 3nd Annual National Family Violence and Child Trauma Conference, Foxwoods, Ct. 

Kearney, J.A. & Cushing, E. (March, 2010). Women and Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Maternal processes. 2nd Annual National Family Violence and Child Trauma Conference, Foxwoods, Ct.

Wang, J., Shang, J., Kearney, J. (2016). A Mental Health Disorders in Home Care Elders: An Integrative Review. Geriatric Nur., 37(1), 44-60.

Wang, J., Kearney, J., Jia, H., & Shang, J. (2016). Mental health disorders in elderly people receiving home care: Prevalence and correlates in the national U.S. population. Nur. Research, 65(2), 107-116. 

Lucero RJ, Kearney J, Cortes Y, Arcia  A, Appelbaum, P, Fernández RL, Luchsinger J. (2015). Benefits and Risks in Secondary Use of Digitized Clinical Data: Views of Community Members Living in a Predominantly Ethnic Minority Urban Neighborhood. Am.Jnl of Bioethics, 6(2):12-22

Kulage, K, Ardizzone, L, Enlow, W, Hickey, K, Jeon, C, Kearney, J,  Schnall, R,  Larson, E. (2013). Research Priorities in Schools of Nursing.  Jnl of Prof Nur 29, (4),191–196

Kearney, J.A. (2004). Early reactions to frustration: Developmental trends in anger, individual response styles and implications for caregiving risk. Jnl of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nur, 17 (3), 105-112.