Joan Kearney, PhD, PMHCNS, APRN-BC

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Yale University School of Nursing - Room 22003

phone: 203-737-1791
fax: 203-785-6455


Dr. Kearney returns to Yale University with years of education and experience in the field of psychiatric nursing and high-risk developmental research. She is RN and APRN licensed, and ANCC certified. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the City University of New York, NY, with a specialization in child psychiatric nursing. Her doctoral research training was in developmental psychology and human development at Cornell University and the University of Connecticut.

She has served on the faculties of YSN, Columbia University, and Adelphi University. Dr. Kearney belongs to various organizations including the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), International Society of Psychiatric Nursing (ISPN), the American Nurses Association, and the American Psychological Association, to name a few. She is on the national committees for APNA Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, APNA Council of Graduate Educators, and the APNA Research Council as well as the editorial board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.

Her many achievements include election to Fellow and Charter Member of the Anna Maxwell Teaching Academy at the Columbia University School of Nursing and 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 member of the Center for Children and Families at Columbia University School of Nursing and is a member of the Delta Zeta chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. She holds a secondary appointment to the Yale Child Study Center.

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.