Debra Wilson

Contributing Faculty
College of Psychology and Community Services
School of Psychology
Ph.D. Psychology

Dr. Wilson is a health psychologist and a nurse. She has worked for many years gaining expertise in public health, obstetrics, epidemiology, breastfeeding trends, wellness, disease prevention, psychology and nursing education. Seeking to view health from outside the western model, Debra completed a Master of Science in Holistic Nursing, then with a focus on Psycho-neuro-immunology completed a PhD in Health Psychology. Debra has worked in maternal/infant health, public health, and program development. With over 100 publications research experience includes healing for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, autoimmune disease, breastfeeding, and women’s health. Debra’s current research areas include stress, stress management, autoimmune disease, and immune function. She has been the managing editor of the International Journal of Childbirth Education since 2011. Debra has taught graduate courses in psychoneuroimmunology, holistic nursing, biopsychology, stress & coping, complementary & alternative therapies, qualitative research, mental health nursing, health care policy, stress & coping, as well as other courses for both graduate psychology and undergraduate nursing schools. Debra has a private practice as a holistic nurse providing grief counseling, clinical hypnosis, and lactation consulting. She was awarded the American Holistic Nurse of the Year 2017 to 2018. She is a life-long learner seeking a further education in physics, is teaching at Austin Peay University and Walden University, and with over 100 formal presentations including key notes, is an internationally known speaker on stress and self-care.

Courses Taught

PYCH 8747 - Psychoneuroimmunology

RSCH 8360 - Advanced qualitative


PhD, Walden University

MSN, Tennessee State University

BS, Lakehead University

BA, Lakehead University

Public Service

Sharing of Middle Tennessee , Board Member - Nashville

Awards / Honors

American Holistic Nurse of the Year. 2017-2018, American Holistic Nurses Association, 2017

Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award, , 2011

American Holistic Nurses Association Service Award. , American Holistic Nurses Association, 2016

March of Dimes Nurse of the Year for Nursing Education category, March of Dimes, 2015


Wilson, D. R., Cooper, C., Plunk, K., Severson, M. (2016). Overcoming breastfeeding challenges. Clinical Lactation: Official Journal of the United States Lactation Consultant Association

Dillard, D., Wilson, D. R. (2014). Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Immune Function and Disease Processes. Current Nursing Journal


Wilson, D. R. (2018). Quantum Theory: Connections to Health. American Holistic Nurses Association

Wilson, D. R. (2014). Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Sigma Theta Tau/Tennessee Nurses Association

Wilson, D. R. (2013). Long Term Health Outcomes of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Western Social Science Association