Decker nursing faculty

Carolyn Pierce explores the human response to chronic diseases in her collaborative research with bioengineers delving into such diseases as: osteoporosis, heart failure, dementia, varicose veins and fibromyalgia. Her research centers on calf-muscle pump stimulation as a mechanism to improve venous return and thus alter the course of various chronic diseases.

Pierce received the Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Affirmative Action/Diversity Award, as well as the Entrepreneurship Across the Curriculum Award.


  • PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2002
  • MS in nursing, Pennsylvania State University, 1990
  • BS in nursing, Pennsylvania State University, 1984
  • Diploma, Arnot-Ogden Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, 1970

Research interests

  • Chronic diseases
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Nursing theory
  • Nursing history
  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Entrepreneurialism

Selected publications

  • Baniak, L. Pierce, C., Heister, E., & McLeod, K. (2014). Calf muscle pump stimulation as a means to reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome. Biological Research for Nursing.
  • McLeod, K. & Pierce, C. (2013). Cardiomyopathy in women: Second heart failure. Cardiomyopathy. J. Milei & G. Ambrosio, Eds. Shanghai: Intech Open Science.
  • Hoover, E., Pierce, C., Spenser, G., Britten, M., James, G. & Gueldner, S. (2012). Effect of health literacy and education on asthma knowledge. Online Journal of Rural Nursing & Health Care, 12, 30-40.
  • Pierce, C. & Seibold-Simpson, S. (2011). Promoting healthy aging with attention to social capital. In M. Wykle & S. Gueldner, (Eds.). Aging Well: Gerontological Education for Nurses and Other Health Care Professionals. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Pierce, C. & McLeod, K. (2009). Feasibility of treatment of lower limb edema with calf muscle pump stimulation in chronic heart failure. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 8, 345- 348.
  • Pierce, C., Fahs, P.S., Dura, A., Fronczek, A., Morgan, L.L., Leppert, T., Srnka-Debnar, F., Terriquez-Kasey, L., Hamilton, B., & Kilmar, A. (2011). Raising stroke awareness among rural dwellers with a FAST- based educational program. Applied Nursing Research, 24, 82-87.
  • Pierce, C. & McLeod, K. (2009). Influence of seated rocking on blood pressure in the elderly: A pilot clinical study. Biological Research for Nursing, 11, 144-151.
  • Goddard, A., Pierce, C., & McLeod, K. (2008). Reversal of lower limb edema by calf muscle pump stimulation. Journal of Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation, 28 (3), 174-179.
  • Pierce, C. (2007). Distance and access to health care for rural women with heart failure. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 7 (1): 27-34.
  • Pierce, C. (2005). Health promotion behaviors of rural women with heart failure. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 5 (2) [Online].
  • Pierce, C., & Scherra, E. (2004). The challenges of data collection in rural dwelling samples, The Online Journal of Nursing and Health. 4 (2). [Online].
  • Pierce, C. (2001). The impact of culture on rural women's definition of health. Journal of Multicultural Health and Nursing, 7 (1), 50-53,56.

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