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Kristine N. Williams, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN

Kristine Williams portrait
Professor, School Of Nursing

Professional Background

Kristine Williams is the E Jean Hill Professor at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. She has years of experience as in community and home health nursing. After completing her MS in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of Connecticut in 1983, she practiced as a Home Health Clinical Consultant and later a Nurse Practitioner. She continues her ANCC certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received her PhD in Gerontology from the University of Kansas in 2001 and joined the University of Kansas Medical Center School of Nursing Faculty. She spent 4 years as the Sally Mathis Hartwig Professor of Gerontological Nursing and Director of the Hartford/Csomay Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence at the University of Iowa. She is currently the E Jean Hill Professor of Nursing at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Academy of Nursing.



Dr. Williams is a nurse gerontologist whose program of research includes multiple contributions leading to improved nursing care for older adults by enhancing nurse-patient communication, providing cognitive training to improve self-care for older adults, and by using technology to link family caregivers of persons with dementia to expert in-home guidance using video telehealth technology. She has used clinical trials to develop and test innovative interventions directly applicable to care settings that improve outcomes for older adults and their families across long term service and support settings. Dr. Williams has received continuous NIH funding since an R03 in 2005 followed by multiple K12, CTSA, R21, R34, R61 and R01 studies. In addition, Dr. Williams has collaborated with other scientists as a co-investigator or consultant on over 15 studies.

Dr. Williams research integrating interdisciplinary strategies to empirically link nursing communication with behaviors of persons with dementia has gained international attention, making a global impact on dementia care. Her findings have stimulated lay public and professional awareness and dialog about the infantilized speech style commonly used with older adults termed elderspeak, and the critical importance of communication to nursing and care of older adults. Publications, presentations, and consulting activities that extend beyond academic and professional forums, to improve clinical practice by increasing communication self-awareness and practices of clinicians via dissemination to Alzheimer care organizations, multi-state long-term care regulatory and provider groups, gerontological nursing groups, and specialty nursing groups seeking to improve care for older adults. Dr. Williams research findings have been highlighted by the Alzheimer’s Association, facilitating guest appearances on Good Morning America, other national news programs, and further in national and international presentations and data-based professional and lay publications.

The rigor and significance of Dr Williams research is widely recognized in department, university, and distinguished alumni awards such as Midwest Nursing Research Society John A. Hartford Award for Gerontological Nursing Leadership and induction as a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Williams is recognized by the scientific community in over 65 publications in top-tier nursing and interdisciplinary publications. Dr. Williams contributions extend to her national services as, or example, chair/member of multiple NIH standing and special emphasis scientific review panels, expert panel member, editorial board member, and board of director member.