Joanne DeSanto Iennaco, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, FFNMRCSI

Joanne Iennaco

Professor of Nursing
Director, Clinical DNP Program

Yale School of Nursing - Room 20405

phone: 203-737-2595
fax: 203-737-4480


Joanne DeSanto Iennaco is a Professor of Nursing co-appointed in Psychiatry at Yale University, and Director of the Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Yale School of Nursing.
Professor Iennaco holds a PhD in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University’s School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the effects and measurement of aggression exposure on workers in inpatient psychiatric and hospital settings. Professor Iennaco is the US lead on the PERoPA-Study (Perceptions of Patient and Visitor Aggression in Healthcare Organizations), an international study of nursing managers in Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.   She is a clinical interventionist leading MBTI groups for Dr. Soohyun Nam’s study and CBT for insomnia groups for Professor Nancy Redeker’s randomized controlled trial, the Heart Sleep Study. In the past she has worked with Yale’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine research team studying the effect of psychosocial aspects of the workplace on health.
Professor Iennaco is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with dual certification as both a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and an adult psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialist. She was recently awarded a Fellowship of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2022, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2021, the 2021 Dorothy Sexton Mentorship Award, and the 2016 Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing. Professor Iennaco was a 2010-2012 Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) Scholar, her project was on the Effects of Aggression Exposure in Psychiatric Settings on Employee Health and Work Outcomes. She was also honored with the St. Joseph’s College Outstanding Faculty Award in 1999 and with a Faculty Service-learning Award in 1998 from the Maine Campus Compact.
She recently served as the President of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association New England Chapter, and is a member of the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group (EviPRG), the International Research Collaboration in Clinical Aggression (IRCCA), Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Public Health Association, and the Society for Epidemiologic Research.  Professor Iennaco also serves on the Board of the Connecticut Health Policy Project, and served as a Trustee of the Yale-China Association.

Research Interests/Clinical Practice

Research Interests

Dr. Iennaco’s current research focuses on workplace violence in healthcare settings, aggression measurement and the impact of aggression exposure on healthcare workers.  Her interests more broadly include psychiatric epidemiology and occupational mental health. Specific areas include depression, anxiety, stress, sleep, suicide, aggression and violence, psychotherapy strategies (CBT-I, MBT-I, MI) and the interface between mental and physical health.

Clinical Practice

Professor Iennaco’s clinical work focuses on Young Adults and Adults with complex mental health needs in addition to her work as a group psychotherapy interventionist. She works weekly as an outpatient provider at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC).  In the past she has held administrative and staff roles in adult inpatient psychiatric, admissions, emergency department, day treatment and outpatient settings, and as a visiting mental health nurse.

Selected Publications/Presentations


Tommasini, N.R., & Iennaco, J.D. (2022). A model program to manage behavioral emergencies and support nurses in the medical setting. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 46(1), 37-44.

Wong, A.H., Ray, J.M., Eixenberger, C., Crispino, L.J., Parker, J.B., Rosenberg, A., Robinson, L., McVaney, C., Iennaco, J.D., Bernstein, S.L., Yonkers, K.A., & Pavlo, A.J. (2022 in press). Patient experiences and care observations during agitation events in the Emergency Department: Implications for systems-Based practice. BMJ Open

Redeker, N.S., Yaggi, H.K., Jacoby, D., Hollenbeak, C.S., Breazeale, S., Conley, S., Hwang, Y., Iennaco, J., Linsky, S., Nwanaji-Enwerem, U., O’Connell, M., & Jeon, S. (2022). Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia has sustained effects on insomnia, fatigue, and function among people with chronic heart failure and insomnia: the HeartSleep Study. Sleep, 45(1), zsab252. Doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsab252.

Iennaco, J.D. (2021). Mental Health Promotion. In M. Frenn (Ed.), Health Promotion: Translating Evidence into Practice (Ch 10, pp. 200-215).  Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

Iennaco, J.D. (2020). Aggression and Violence. In M. L. Potter & M. D. Moller (Eds.), Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: From Suffering to Hope (2nd ed., Ch 30, pp. 836-855).Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. 

Iennaco, J.D. (2020). The nursing process in psychiatric mental health nursing. In M. L. Potter & M. D. Moller (Eds.), Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: From Suffering to Hope(2nd ed., Ch 10, pp. 219-238). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Iennaco, J.D. (2020). The nurse-patient relationship and therapeutic communication. In M. L. Potter & M. D. Moller (Eds.), Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing: From Suffering to Hope(2nd ed., Ch 9, pp. 185-218). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Folgo, A., & Iennaco, J.D. (2020). Staff Perceptions of Risk Factors for Violence and Aggression in Ambulatory Care.  WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, 65(2), 435-445.

Wong, A., Ray, J.M., & Iennaco, J.D. (2019). Workplace violence in healthcare and agitation management: Two sides of the same coin. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 45(2), 71-73.

Xie, J., He, G., Ding, S., Pan, C., Zhang, X., Zhou, J., Iennaco, J.D. (2019). A randomized study on the effect of modified behavioral activation treatment for depressive symptoms in rural left-behind elderly. Psychotherapy Research, 29(3), 372-382. doi:  

Wong, A.H., Ruppel, H., Crispino, L, Rosenberg, A. P., Iennaco, J.D., Vaca, F.E. (2018). Deriving a framework for systems-based approach to acute agitation in the Emergency Department: A multi-institutional study.  The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 44, 279-292.

Iennaco, J.D., Whittemore, R., Dixon, J. (2017).  Aggressive Event Incidence using the Staff Observation of Aggression Scale-Revised (SOAS-R): A Longitudinal Study. Psychiatric Quarterly, 88(3), 485-499. doi: 10.1007/s11126-016-9462-y.

Hamrin, V., & Iennaco, J.D. (2016). Evaluation of Motivational Interviewing to Improve Psychotropic Medication Adherence in adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. PMID:27487472   DOI: 10.1089/cap.2015.0187

Iennaco, J.D., Tebes, J.K., & Jacobs, S.C. (2016). Public health concepts in public psychiatry.  In S.C. Jacobs, & J.L. Steiner, J.L. (Eds.), The Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry, (pp. 97-114). New York: Oxford University Press.

Tsai, J., Iennaco, J.D., Giard, J., & Hoff, R.A. (2016). Evidence-based public psychiatry. In S.C. Jacobs, & J.L. Steiner, J.L. (Eds.), The Yale Textbook of Public Psychiatry, (pp. 249-260). New York: Oxford University Press.

Xie, J., Zhou, J., Gong, L., Iennaco, J.D., Ding, S. (2014). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in the intervention of psychiatric disorders: A review. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 1(2), 232-239.

Bowers, L., Stewart, D., Papadopoulos, C., & Iennaco, J.D. (2013). Correlation between levels of conflict and containment on acute psychiatric wards: The City-128 study. Psychiatric Services 64(5), 423-430. doi:10.1176/

Iennaco, J., Dixon, J., Whittemore, R., Bowers, L., (January 31, 2013). Measurement and Monitoring of Health Care Worker Aggression Exposure. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 18, No. 1, Manuscript 3.

Primich, C., & Iennaco, J. (2012). Diagnosing adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: the importance of establishing daily life contexts for symptoms and impairments. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 19, 362-373.

Iennaco, J.D., Cullen, M.R., Cantley, L., Slade, M.D., Fiellin, M., & Kasl, S.V. (2010). Effects of externally rated job demand and control on depression diagnosis claims in an industrial cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(3), 303-311(Advance Access published December 24, 2009 doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp359).

Hamrin, V., Iennaco, J., & Olsen, D. (2009).  A review of ecological factors affecting inpatient psychiatric unit violence. Implications for relational and unit cultural improvements. Issues in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, 30(4), 214-226 . 

Cullen, M.R., Vegso, S., Cantley, L., Galusha, D., Rabinowitz, P., Taiwo, O., Fiellen, M., Wennberg, D., Iennaco, J., Slade, M.D., & Sircar, K. (2006). Use of Medical Insurance Claims Data for Occupational Health Research. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 48, 1054-1061.

Iennaco, J. D. (1999). Results of a State Task Force to Prevent Adolescent Suicide. In J. L. McIntosh, Suicide ‘98 (pp. 172 – 173).  Washington, D. C.: American Association of Suicidology.    


Iennaco, J.D. (May 2023). The Impact of Aggression Exposure on Psychiatric Workers: A Call for Changes in Practice. Silver Hill Hospital Grand Rounds, Silver Hill Hospital, CT.

Iennaco, J.D. (April, 2022). Sleep Strategies to Enhance your Toolbox. CT APRN Society Annual Conference 2022, Mystic, CT. 

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2019). Measuring Both Sides of Aggression: Aggressive Event & Worker Exposure Characteristics in Inpatient Psychiatry. Paper presented at the 11thEuropean Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry, Oslo, Norway.

Heckemann, B, Iennaco, J.D., Duxbury, J, Riahi, S., & Hahn, S. (October, 2019). Dealing with patient and visitor aggression in healthcare: a workshop exploring future responsibilities in leadership. Paper presented at the 11th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry, Oslo, Norway. 

Heckemann, B, Iennaco, J.D., Duxbury, J, Riahi, S., & Hahn, S. (October, 2019). Comparing settings: a survey of nurse managers exploring organizational safety culture against aggression in psychiatric and general hospitals. Paper presented at the 11thEuropean Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry, Oslo, Norway.

Iennaco, J.D., Molle, E., Parkosewich, J., & Depukat, D. (October, 2019). Characteristics of Patient Aggression in Inpatient Medical Settings.  Paper presented at the CT Nursing Research Alliance Annual Conference, Hartford, CT.

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2019). Preventing the Ills of Too Many Pills!  Using Collaborative Deprescribing.  Paper presented at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) 33rd Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.

Molle, E., Iennaco, J.D., Parkosewich, J., Depukat, D., & Allegra, M. (October, 2019). Aggression in Medical Settings and Missed Care: A Descriptive Study. Paper presented at the CT Nursing Research Alliance Annual Conference, Hartford, CT.

King, B., Vanderhoef, D., Mooney, L., Iennaco, J.D., Katz, S., Cox, S., & Thompson, B. (October, 2019). Graduate Education Panel: Preceptors and Students: Benefits and Challenges. Panel Discussion presented at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) 33rd Annual Convention, New Orleans, LA.

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2018). Skills Enhancement for Aggression Management (SEAM) in Inpatient Medical Settings. Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector: Advancing the Delivery of Positive Practice, Toronto, Canada.

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2017). Neurobiology of Sleep & CBT for Insomnia.  Pre-conference Workshop, American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Annual Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

Iennaco, J.D. (May, 2017). Standards for Monitoring Aggressive Behavior in Clinical Settings.  Paper presented & Discussion at the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group Spring Meeting, Split, Croatia.

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2015). Using Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in Practice: A Skills Building Workshop. Pre-conference workshop, American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2015). The Role of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurse in the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) Model of Care. American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference. Orlando, FL (Paper Presentation with J. L. Tolarba).

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2013). When is Monitoring of Restraint Episodes Misleading? American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX (Paper Presentation).

Iennaco, J.D. (October, 2012). Understanding Aggressive Events Targeting Staff Members. Third International Conference on Violence in the Health Care Sector. Vancouver, British Columbia (Poster Presentation)

Social Media | Weblog Essays | Videos

Iennaco, J.D. (2020-present). Quieting Minds Weblog. (Mindfulness Exercises and Strategies to Support Mental Health)

Iennaco, J.D. (2020-present). Jo Iennaco: You Tube Mindfulness Channel.

Iennaco, J.D. (2009-2013). Mental Notes by Joanne Weblog.