Patricia Burbank, DNSc, RN, FAAN

  • Professor
  • College of Nursing
  • Phone: 401.874.5314
  • Email:
  • Office Location: RI NEC Room 230, 350 Eddy St., Providence, RI, 02905


Dr. Patricia Burbank’s longstanding commitment is to teach, research, and practice in gerontological nursing and health innovations. Teaching areas include philosophy of science, theoretical foundations of nursing science, aging and health, and health innovations. She is a faculty member in the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center, where she works with an interdisciplinary team. Dr. Burbank is also on the board of SAGE/RI (Services and Advocacy for Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Elders of Rhode Island).

Dr. Burbank is the author/editor of numerous publications including three books: Drug Therapy and the Elderly (with A. Swonger), Promoting Exercise among Older Adults: Interventions with the Transtheoretical Model (edited with D. Riebe), and the award winning, Vulnerable Older Adults: Issues and Strategies. Her research and scholarly work include topics such as exercise promotion among older adults, participation in interdisciplinary research on the effects of interventions using the Transtheoretical Model to change exercise and nutrition behavior in older adults, an evaluation of a fall prevention program with community-dwelling older adults and identifying issues and needs of older gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender older adults in Rhode Island. Dr. Burbank has been an inventor and co-inventor of two technologies related to measuring gait and promoting exercise among older adults and cofounder of two start-up companies, receiving URI’s intellectual property award. She has the distinction of being a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for her national and international contributions to nursing.


Gerontology, application of the transtheoretical model; LGBTQ health


D.NSc Nursing, Boston University
M.S. Nursing, Boston University
B.S. Nursing, University of Rhode Island

Selected Publications

Burbank P. M., Burkholder G. J., & Dugas J. (2018). Development of the Perspectives on Caring for Older Patients Scale: Psychometric analysesApplied Nursing Research, 43(10), 98-104.

Filinson, R., Clark, P. G., Burbank, P. M., & Stoukides, J. (2016) Adoption of delirium assessment in the acute care setting: A tale of two hospitals. Best Practices in Mental Health12(2), 81-95.

Burkholder, G. J. & Burbank, P. (2012). Caring for LGBT parents and their children. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 27(4), 12-18.

Martins, D. C. & Burbank, P. M. (2011). Critical Interactionism: An upstream-downstream approach to health care reform. Advances in Nursing Science, 34, 315-329.

Burbank, P. M. & Martins, D. C. (2010). Symbolic interactions or critical perspective divergent or synergistic. Nursing Philosophy, 11, 25-41.

Garber, C. E., Greaney, M. L., Riebe, D., Nigg, C. R., Burbank, P. M., & Clark, P. G. (2010). Physical and mental health-related correlates of physical function in community dwelling older adults: a cross sectional study, BMC Geriatrics, 10, 6.

Hellsten, L. A., Nigg, C., Norman, G., Burbank, P. M., et al. (2008). Accumulation of behavioral evidence for physical activity stage of change. Health Psychology, 27, S34- S53.

Burbank, P. M., Dowling, Castronovo, Crowther, & Capezuti (2006). Improving knowledge and attitudes towards older adults through innovative educational strategies. Journal of Professional Nursing, 22(2), 91-97.

Burbank, P. M., Reibe, D., Padula, C. A., & Nigg, C. (2002). Exercise and older adults Changing behavior with the transtheoretical model. Orthopaedic Nursing, 21(4), 51-63.

Burbank, P. M., Owens, J. H., Stoukides, J., Evans, E. G., Leinhaas, M. M., & Vans, J. M. (2002). Developing an interdisciplinary geriatric curriculum: The perils and payoffs of collaboration. Educational Gerontology, 28 (6), 451-472.

Burbank, P., Padula, C., & Nigg, C. (2000). Changing health behaviors of older adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 26(3).

Martins, D. C. & Burbank, P. M. (2021). Community health planning, implementation, and evaluation. In M. Nies, M. & M. McEwen, Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations 8th ed.,)Elsevier.

Burbank, P. M. & Martins, D. C. (2019). Critical interactionism: A theoretical bridge for understanding complex human conditions. In M.H. Jacobsen’s (Ed.), Critical and cultural interactionism. Routledge.

Burkholder, G. J., & Burbank, P. M. (2019). Philosophical foundations and the role of theory in research. In G. J. Burkholder, K. A. Cox, L. M. Crawford, & J. Hitchcock (Eds.), Research methods and design: A guide for scholar-practitioners. Sage.

Clark, P. G., Burbank, P., Greene, G., Owens, N., & Riebe, D. (2018). What do we know about resilience in older adults? An exploration of some facts, factors, and facets. In B. Resnick, K. Roberto, & L. Gwyther (Eds.), Resilience in aging: Concepts, research, and outcome (2nd ed.). Springer.

Burkholder, G. B. & Burbank, P. B. (2016). Philosophical foundations and the role of theory in research. In The scholar-practitioner’s guide to research design (pp. 15-37). Laureate Publishing.

Martins, D. C. & Burbank, P. M. (2014). Community health planning, implementation, and evaluation. In Nies, M. (Ed.), Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (6th ed.; pp.106-121). Elsevier.

Burbank, P. M. (2012). LGBT aging. In J. Lange (Ed.), The nurse’s role in promoting optimal health for older adults: Thriving in the wisdom years (pp. 326-335). F. A. Davis.

Burbank, P. M. & Miller, J. M. (2011). Loss and end of life issues. In S. E Meiner’s (Ed.), Gerontological nursing, (4th ed., pp. 351-367). Elsevier.

Burbank, P.M. (2011). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults. In J. Lange’s (Ed.), Thriving in the wisdom years: The nurse’s role in promoting optimal health of older adults. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.


Burbank, P. M. (Ed.) (2006). Vulnerable older adults: Health care needs and strategies. Springer. (Received the AJN 2006 Book of the Year Award & Choices award).

Burbank, P. M. & Riebe, D. (2002). Promoting exercise and behavior change in older adults – Interventions with the Transtheoretical Model. Springer.

Swonger, A. K. & Burbank, P. M. (1995). Drug therapy and the elderly. Jones & Bartlett.