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Faculty - Heather Dunn

Heather Dunn
PhD, ACNP-BC, ARNP
Assistant Professor (Clinical)
358 CNB
319-467-1528
Education: 

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Iowa
PhD in Nursing, University of Illinois-Chicago
MS, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, University of Illinois-Chicago
BSN, Northern Illinois University

Research Focus/Clinical Interests: 
  • Post-intensive care rehabilitation
  • Prolonged mechanical ventilation
  • Chronic critical illness

The clinical and research interests of Dr. Heather Dunn include chronic critical illness, prolonged mechanical ventilation, and rehabilitation of the chronically critically ill. Her research interests are the direct result of her clinical practice as the first hospital-based pulmonary and critical care nurse practitioner, in what is now a nurse practitioner dominated private practice, in Davenport, Iowa. It was during this time that Dr. Dunn became aware of the paucity of published research and evidence-based practice guidelines to direct clinical decision-making and inform best clinical practices specific to a unique and very challenging patient population, the patient who required prolonged mechanical ventilation at the long-term acute care hospital (LTACH). Ultimately, the gap in understanding and knowledge regarding care of these patients motivated Dr. Dunn to pursue doctoral education at the University of Illinois at Chicago where her research focused on the identification of clinically unique subgroups of patients who are at risk for ventilator dependence and mortality via latent class analysis. She remains passionate about the chronically critically ill and has presented nationally and internationally about this challenging and complex population.