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Donna Helen Crisp, JD, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC

Retired Faculty Ethics, Psychiatric/Mental Health, Suffering/Quality of Life

Donna Helen Crisp, JD, MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, became a nurse in 1992, after working in social work, law, and music.  After earning her BSN and MSN degrees, she became a board certified mental health Clinical Nurse Specialist in adult psychiatry.  She has worked with clients of all ages in various hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, homes, and private practice.  Whether in the role of staff nurse, supervisor, administrator, consultant, or teacher, her nursing practice focuses on compassionate care.

After teaching in the community college system for five years, Crisp became an assistant professor at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing, where she taught for six years in the undergraduate and graduate programs.  Her favorite course to teach was the annual Ethical Issues in Nursing Practice.  Her nursing research has focused on chronic illness, suffering, quality of life, advance directives, ethical decision-making, and forgiveness.  She has taught on these topics at numerous conferences. Her abiding passion continues to focus on the recognition and amelioration of suffering, wherever it exists.

Crisp lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she works as a psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist for a major medical center.

Crisp’s memoir about surviving medical errors was published by Sigma Theta Tau International in 2016: Anatomy Of Medical Errors: The Patient In Room 2.

  • 2008 Most Influential Leader Award – presented by the UNC School of Nursing BSN class of 2008 “in recognition of outstanding guidance, inspiration, and nursing excellence”
  • 1994-1996 Johnston Scholar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, MSN Program
  • 1992 Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing
  • 1991-1992 Johnston Scholar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, BSN Program
  • Crisp, Donna Helen.  (2017).  Anatomy of Medical Errors:  The Patient in Room 2. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.
  • Crisp, Donna Helen.  Letter to the Editor regarding “Hospital Errors that Put Lives at Risk.”  New York Times 15 September 2015:  A22.  Print.
  • Crisp, D.H.  (2008).  Healthy older adults’ execution of advance directives:  A qualitative study of decision-making.  Journal of Nursing Law, 11(4), 180-190.
  • Donna Helen, North Carolina.  (2007, June 10).  Nursing Diaries (personal entry).  New York Times, Special Supplement, Sunday Business, Section 3, p.19.
  • Crisp, Donna Helen.  (2004).  Follow Your Heart  (poem).  Victoria Press, Literary Journal, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.  Vol. 10.  Asheville, NC.
  • Crisp, D.H.  (1999).  A Care Package for Caregivers:  A Gift of Information for People Affected by Memory Loss.  Publication from work of Dementia Community Path Team for the Western N.C. Healthcare Provider Council, Asheville, NC 
  • Crisp, D.H.  (1995).  What are Advance Directives? Learning About Living Wills and Health Care Power of Attorney (booklet).  University of North Carolina Hospitals, Division of Education and Research. Chapel Hill, NC. 
  • Crisp, Donna Helen.  (1976-1993).  Editor and writer for NRECA*APPA Legal Reporting Service. Edited and briefed utility law cases for monthly publication of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Washington, DC.
  • Crisp, D.H.  (1976).  Music-the universal healer: First amendment protection – real or illusory? North Carolina Central Law Journal. Vol. 7, No. 2.  Spring Issue, Durham, NC.
  • Crisp, Donna Helen.  (1968).  Nor Serve The Snowman’s Brain (short story). Windhover, Literary Journal, North Carolina State University. Raleigh, NC.