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Inaugural International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design

We look forward to seeing you at the Inaugural International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design: History, Design and Innovation, hosted by the School of Nursing and supported by the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

To view the conference compendium which includes the schedule, and presenting abstracts, click here.

To register online, click here. If paying by check, please make it payable to Clemson University and mail to:

Attn. Kesha Smith
Clemson University School of Nursing
508 Edwards Hall
Clemson, SC 29634

Conference Registration Fee:

  1. Regular until Aug. 5: $595
  2.  After Aug 5: $695
  3. Student/Low Resource Country/Government: $195

An updated schedule with the panelists is available here.

WHAT: Inaugural International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design: History, Design and Innovation
WHEN: August 14 - 17, 2019
WHERE: Clemson University Nursing Building | 605 Grove Road | Greenville, SC 29605

Conference Mission

The mission of the conference is to:

  • Disseminate new knowledge obtained through research related to the effect of healthcare design on patient (family), provider and organizational outcomes
  • Identify best practices for nurse leadership in healthcare design
  • Stimulate innovation in healthcare design
  • Encourage interprofessional collaboration and engagement
  • Identify opportunities for nurse, patient/family input into safety improvements in healthcare design
  • Foster an inclusive platform for specialty design settings (global health, military health, integrative health, etc.) that expands and supports the role of nurse leaders in the design of specific specialty practices

The conference will include presentations, posters and panel discussions with healthcare design leaders.

Please email any questions to

Lynn McDonald Day 1 - Lynn McDonald to present "Florence Nightingale and the Built Environment for Health"

Lynn McDonald, PhD, is Professor Emerita at the University of Guelph, Ontario. She did her PhD at the London School of Economics and has an honorary doctorate and is a member of the Order of Canada. She is director of the 16-volume Collected Works of Florence Nightingale. She has also published on sociological theory, especially women theorists, and criminology. She is a former member of Parliament, when her Non-Smokers’ Health Act was the first legislation in the world to establish smoke-free work and public places. A climate change activist, is co-founder of JustEarth: A Coalition for Environmental Justice. 

Jaynelle Stichler Day 2 - Jaynelle Stichler to present "Nursing and Design for Health"

Jaynelle F. Stichler, DNS, RN, NEA-BCR, EDAC, FACHE, FAAN, is Professor Emerita at San Diego State University, Co-Editor of HERD Journal, and Research Consultant for the Center of Nursing Excellence, Sharp HealthCare. Dr. Stichler has authored over 200 articles in peer reviewed journals and books and is a frequent presenter at national and international nursing and healthcare design conferences. She has a Doctorate of Nursing Science from University of San Diego and is a Fellow in both the American Academy of Nursing and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Emily Patterson Day 3 - Emily Patterson to present "Applying Human Factors to Room Design to Support Nurses' Work"

Emily S. Patterson, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Health Information Management and Systems, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Medicine at the Ohio State University. She has a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University. Dr. Patterson applies human factors engineering to improve patient safety and quality in healthcare. She has served as a scientific advisor for The Joint Commission and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She serves as Associate Editor for Human Factors and on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Dr. Kirk HamiltonDay 4 - D. Kirk Hamilton will present "Evidence-Based Nurse/Architect Collaboration Impacts Outcomes"

Kirk Hamilton, PhD, FAIA, FACHA, FCCM, EDAC, is the Julie & Craig Beale Endowed Professor of Health Facility Design at Texas A&M University, teaching healthcare design at the graduate level after 30 years of active practice. Board certified by the American College of Healthcare Architects, with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas, a Master’s Degree in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, and a recently completed PhD in Nursing & Healthcare Innovation at Arizona State University, studying ICU nurse movement patterns and interaction with objects. A prolific author and advocate for evidence-based design, Hamilton co-edits the peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary Health Environments Research & Design Journal (HERD) of which he is a founding co-editor. 

  • View an updated schedule of the conference here.
  • CEUs will be provided.
  • Reception for attendees to be held August 14, 2019
  • Conference themes include Nursing History and Florence Nightingale, Philosophy, Methods, Nursing + Architecture Health, Nursing +Human Factors Community + Environment, Multidisciplinary Review of the role of nursing in healthcare design.
  • View the list of presentations and presenters here.
  • The hotel for the conference will be The Westin Poinsett located at 120 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601. There is also a complimentary airport shuttle to the hotel and complimentary shuttle service from the hotel to the conference venue. If you would like the airport shuttle to pick you up from Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP), please mention this to the hotel at the time of your reservation. If you would like to stay at The Westin Poinsett outside of the conference dates, please directly contact Kristin Munafo at
  • More information about the City of Greenville can be found here

We hope you will join us for this exciting new conference. Please check back for a more detailed schedule at a later date. 

Thank you to our conference sponsors!

Diamond Level

  • International Facility Management Association (IFMA)
  • The McMorrow Reports/Healthcare


  • Nexxspan Healthcare, LLC
  • Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design
  • Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.


  • HKS Architects
  • nora by Interface


  • Atreo Group
  • Blue Cottage of Cannon Design
  • Ecore, Intl.
  • EYP Architecture & Engineering
  • Mazzetti
  • Midmark Corp.
  • NBBJ
  • rlf

Kathleen Valentine, Ph.D. MS, RNKathleen Valentine, Ph.D. MS, RN

Dr. Valentine has been a leader in nursing with a focus on population health, rural sites, and diverse populations. Her scholarly focus has been centered on the study of human caring within healthcare systems and its relationship to cost, quality, and satisfaction outcomes. Dr. Valentine is currently leading research efforts in the re-design of healthcare services for the aging population in both rural and urban settings. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Susan O’Hara, Ph.D., MPH, RNSusan O’Hara, Ph.D., MPH, RN

Susan O’Hara, PhD, MPH, RN is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. She was appointed following a post-doctoral faculty position with the Schools of Nursing and Architecture, and as a Clemson University School of Health Research embedded scholar. Dr. O’Hara provided critical, emergent, and outpatient care and management before founding O’Hara HealthCare Consultants, LLC. and has led teams of computer simulation engineers and architects planning over 40 health care design projects. Her current research is focused on Macrocognition in the Health Care Built Environment (mHCBE) – how the layout of an ICU affects interprofessional cognitive adaptation to com¬plexity, patient care quality and safety, and design; as well as the research around the relationship between community health nursing and home assessment. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design, the chair of the Inaugural International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design: History, Design, and Innovation conference (August 2019), and has lead the development of the certificate program with David Allison, under the direction of Dr. Kathleen Valentine.

Debbie Gregory, DNP, RNDebbie Gregory, DNP, RN

Dr. Debbie Gregory is a national leader in healthcare design, innovation, and trans¬formation. As a nurse executive and interior designer, Dr. Gregory is passionate about “Intentional Design” that aligns People, Place, and Process. She creates and transforms environments into functional ecosystems using complex systems science and strategic thinking. Dr. Gregory has Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership with a focus on clinical transformation and reengineering the care delivery model of the future. She is the co-founder and past president of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD) and current President of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design Foundation. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Jaynelle Stichler, DNS, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAANJaynelle Stichler, DNS, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN

Jaynelle F. Stichler is Professor Emerita of Nursing at San Diego State University, founding Co-Editor of HERD Journal, and founding member of NIHD. Dr. Stichler has experience as a healthcare executive and nurse consultant in the healthcare design industry and has consulted with over 150 hospitals nationally and internationally. Dr. Stichler has a passion for the built environment, the clinical voice, and the dissemina¬tion of design research. She spanned the boundary for the clinical voice to be present at the design table and paved the way for nurses to develop a vital role in the design and construction of the healthcare environment. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Joyce Durham RN, AIA, EDACJoyce Durham RN, AIA, EDAC

Joyce Durham is the Principal and Senior Clinical Advisor at SmithGroupJJR, and has 30 years of clinical, healthcare consulting, and architectural experience. Her areas of expertise include clinical planning, needs analysis, operational planning, programming, master planning, design support, and post-occupancy evaluation. She is committed to using the physical environment to positively impact the delivery of care particularly in the areas of safety, efficiency, and patient and staff satisfaction. Durham is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Yolanda Keys, RN, MSN, DHA, NE-BC, EDACYolanda Keys, RN, MSN, DHA, NE-BC, EDAC

Dr. Keys is an associate professor for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Leveraging her past experiences as an In-tensive Care Unit nurse, nurse manager and nursing director, she teaches leadership concepts and is using her work with nurse leaders to prepare students to be informed contributors to decisions related to the nurse work environment. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Kathy Okland, RN, MPH, EDACKathy Okland, RN, MPH, EDAC

Kathy Okland has been a nurse for decades and in diverse roles. Kathy is the Past President of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (2015), member of the Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives and serves on the Ed¬itorial Advisory Board for the Health Environments Research and Design Journal (HERD). As Co-Editor and contributing author for “Nurses as Leaders in Health¬care Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners” Okland bridg¬es the clinical and business case for healing environments to enhance the human experience and drive performance outcomes. Kathy is employed by Herman Miller Healthcare as a Senior Healthcare Consultant. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Susan Silverman, MSN, MBASusan Silverman, MSN, MBA

Susan has over 35 years’ experience in healthcare and is highly skilled in the plan¬ning and design of healthcare projects. She is a Vice President at CannonDesign, a global architectural firm where she focuses on strategic planning, business model innovation, care model optimization, operational planning, operational optimi¬zation, and functional and space planning. Susan is also on the board of the New York Society for Health Planning and CANCER101. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Christine Staples, RNChristine Staples, RN

Christine Staples is a Clinical Planner with the Defense Health Agency (DHA). She also has additional experience as a Facility Planner with the Army Health Facil¬ity Planning Agency (HFPA). Prior to her work with the Military Health System (MHS) Christine gained extensive experience as an RN. Most recently, she worked in the Perioperative setting as an RN circulator. Other nursing experience consists of Med. Surg., ICU and Home Healthcare to include Hospice care. She also served in the Navy as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman with the Marines at Camp Pendle¬ton. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Terri Zborowsky, PHD, MSc, RNTerri Zborowsky, PHD, MSc, RN

Terri Zborowsky was a former registered nurse in Canada prior to getting her BID (University of Manitoba), MSc and PhD in Interior Design from the University of Minnesota. She is the Research Co-chair of the Nurs¬ing Institute for Health Care Design (NIHD) and teacher specialist in the Healthcare Design & Innovation Certificate at the University of Minnesota. She is currently a Design Researcher at HGA Architects and Engineers. She has published book chapters, peer reviewed articles and has a list of both national and international presentations all dealing with the impact the built environment has on users of healthcare facilities. She is also a founding member of the Clemson University Academy of Nursing Excellence in Design.

Jennie EvansJennie Evans

Past-President of the Nursing Institute of Healthcare Design and award winner of the HCD 10 in 2014, Jennie is passionate about the health of environments in cities, homes, and workplaces. Her healthcare career has ranged from pediatric intensive care nursing, planning, design and activation project manager, design strategist and planner at a leading architecture firm and a health designer for population health. She is the current National Director of Business Development at Mazzetti, an international engineering firm where she develops strategies for MEP and other services such as technology and sustainability to improve the quality of workplace environments.

Susan E. Ziel, BSN MPH JDSusan E. Ziel, BSN MPH JD

Susan is a health care coach and consultant with Integrity Health Strategies which allows her to use her 40+ years of experience as a registered nurse, nursing administrator, consultant and health care attorney. Susan serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD). She has completed the Health Care Design and Innovation Certificate Program at the University of Minnesota where she also serves as Affiliate Faculty with the School of Nursing and teaches the Health Care Law and Ethics course in the Health Services Management Program. Susan also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Clemson University’s School of Nursing.


Academy of Nursing

Clemson University School of Nursing