Faculty Sketch

Nancy Wells, DNSc, RN, FAAN

Research Professor
Director, Nursing Research, Vanderbilt Medical Center



Current Research Interests

Pain management symptom control, alternative therapies



Pain Assessment & Intervention Needs (AHRQ 1R03HS019069-01; 07/01/2010 - 06/30/2012; Fern Firtzhenry, RhD, RN PI)


Use of Opioid Titration Orders in Cancer Pain Treatment; NCI R-01; 08/01/04 - 05/31/10. Barbara Murphy, MD (Co-PI).


Representative Publications

Wells NL, Sandlin V. Expectations of Pain and Accompanying Symptoms during Cancer Treatment. Current pain and headache reports. 2012. Epub 2012/05/15. doi: 10.1007/s11916-012-0272-0. PubMed PMID: 22580764.

Wells N, McDowell MR, Hendricks P, Dietrich MS, Murphy B. Cancer pain management in ambulatory care: can we link assessment and action to outcomes? Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 2011;19(11):1865-71. Epub 2010/11/06. doi: 10.1007/s00520-010-1030-7. PubMed PMID: 21052733; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3103757.

Murphy BA, Dietrich MS, Wells N, Dwyer K, Ridner SH, Silver HJ, et al. Reliability and validity of the Vanderbilt Head and Neck Symptom Survey: a tool to assess symptom burden in patients treated with chemoradiation. Head & neck. 2010;32(1):26-37. Epub 2009/07/25. doi: 10.1002/hed.21143. PubMed

Wells, N. & Ridner, S. (2008). Examining pain-related distress in relation to pain intensity and psychological distress. Research in Nursing & Health, 31, 52-61.

Clark, M., Isaacks-Downton, G. Wells, N. Redlin-Frazier, S., Eck, C., Hepworth, J. T., & Chakarvanthy, B. (2006). Use of preferred music to reduce emotional distress and symptom activity during radiation therapy. Journal of Music Therapy, 43 (3), 247-265.

Wells, N. Murphy, B., Douglas, S., & Yelton, N. (2004). Establishing the safety and efficacy of an Opioid titration protocol. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 21, 373-380.

Wells, N., Hepworth, J. T., Murphy, B. A., Wujcik, D. Johnson, R. (2003). Improving cancer pain management through patient and family education. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management, 25, 344-356.


Experience as a Pre-, Post, K Award (or like) Mentor

Dissertations chaired: 7 completed

Dissertation committee member: 8 completed; 1 in progress

Post-doctoral fellows: 2 (Ridner; Deng)