Skip to content

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Mary Ellen Wright

Assistant Professor
CUSHR Scholar

Office: Office 217 Greenville Clemson

Phone: 864-720-2067 or cell 828-606-6


Educational Background

Florida Atlantic University PhD

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
University of Florida

Nursing the Developing Family
The Catholic University of America MSN

Duke University BSN

Courses Taught

Family Nursing II: Child and Adolescent (NURS 8200
Nursing Research Design and Methods (NURS 8070)


Mary Ellen Wright PhD, APRN, CPNP is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at Clemson University and a Clemson University Health Sciences Research Faculty Scholar. Dr. Wright is a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and a Women’s Health Advanced Practitioner for the past 35 years, with clinical practice, teaching and research in community healthcare to address the needs of women’s and children’s health. Dr. Wright earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Duke University, her Master of Science in Nursing from The Catholic University of America, in the specialty of Nursing of the Developing Family and a post-graduate certificate from the University of Florida in Advanced Nursing Practice Pediatrics. Her Doctorate in Philosophy was earned from Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Wright also earned a post-graduate certificate in Healthcare Innovation Management from Western Carolina University. Dr. Wright has been named one of the Great 100 Nurses of North Carolina. Her experience includes being the Nurse Scientist for Mission Health System, North Carolina and Faculty Administrator, Graduate Faculty and Interim Director of Undergraduate Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. Her Advanced Nursing Practitioner clinical experience includes public health clinics, School Based Health Centers for Pregnant Adolescents and Infants/Children; Emergency Shelter for Maltreated Children; Pediatric Development Center with clinics to serve families affected by HIV; private pediatric and obstetric and gynecologic practice. Dr. Wright’s grant funded research has focused on maternal and infant health particularly in the field of perinatal substance exposure, domestic/interpersonal violence; child maltreatment, and social support in the newborn period. Dr. Wright has also conducted research on premenstrual syndrome and creation of a functional developmental scale for child assessment, pet therapy and infections, use of play therapy for pediatric magnetic resonance imaging. Her current research includes novel psychotropics and child maltreatment; experiences of mothers with addiction, and a home health model for follow-up of infants perinatally exposed to substances. Dr. Wright has multiple publications and presentations at international and national forums. Dr. Wright serves on the Expert Panel for the National Land Grant University Response to the Opioid Crisis. She was past lead on a Duke Endowment Grant for Family-Centered Approach to Perinatal Substance Exposure and is the current lead on Clemson University creative inquiry on perinatal substance exposure for undergraduate student involvement in research. Dr. Wright serves as faculty in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program pediatric course and graduate research.

Research Interests

Perinatal Substance Exposure
Substance Use in Relation to Families with Infants and Children
Domestic/interpersonal Violence
Social Support for Mothers of Infants
Child Development Functional Assessment
Prevention Strategies for Child Maltreatment

Research Publications

Book Chapters
Wright, M.E. Caring Among a Nurse Practitioner and a Parenting Teen and Child. In Barry, C.; King, B. & Gordon, S. (2015). Nursing Case Studies in Caring. Springer Publishing.
Robertson, M.E. (1991) Multidimensional and Interdisciplinary Approaches to PMS. In Taylor, D.L. and Woods, N.F. Menstruation, Health and llness. Hemisphere Publishing: New York.
Journal Articles
Hamrick, H.J.; Gable K.; Freeman, … Wright, M.E. et. al. (2016).
A Prospective Study of Factors Involved in Maternal Refusal of Newborn Vitamin K Prophylaxis: Implications for Case Management and Prenatal Education. Hospital Pediatrics, 6(1), 15 – 23.
Harden , P.; Brown, J.; Wright, M.E. (2016)
Prevention of Transmitted Infections in a Pet Therapy Program: An exemplar. The American Journal of Infection Control. 44, 846-850. Ref no:AJIC-D-15-00553R1.
Sandler, A.; Wright, M.E. (2015)
New Clinical Functional Improvement Scale in Pediatrics. Manuscript accepted to the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
Wright, M.E. (2013)
Mothers of Newborns: Help Seeing Behavior as Calls for Caring. Poster
at International Association of Human Caring Conference. Abstract in
Journal of Human Caring.
Wright, M.E.; Pross, E. (2008)
Black Infant Mortality: Community Stories. This project won 2nd place in posters for the South Florida Nursing Research Consortium, Fall 2008. National AWHONN Conference Poster, 2011, Abstract JOGNN, 2012.
Smart, CJ; Smith, B.; Wright, M.E.
Nurse to Nurse: Perinatal Loss Resource Nurse Program. Abstract published in JOGNN. June 2013.

Honors and Awards

Great 100 Nurse State of North Carolina for Excellence in Practice and commitment to the Nursing Profession
Clemson University Faculty Scholar in Health Research
Mission Health Women's Services Honors
Mission Health Children's Services Honors
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing since 1980

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall