Mark Toles, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor
Gerontology, Systems/Policy/Informatics


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Office: 5104

Currently Accepting PhD Students

Mark Toles, PhD, RN is an assistant professor with expertise in nursing care of older adults, the quality of care in nursing homes, and transitional care of older adults as they transfer between settings and providers of healthcare.  His prior studies have used epidemiological and case study approaches to describe health outcomes and services for transitioning older adults. In his current research, Dr. Toles continues to develop and test “Connect-Home,” a transitional care intervention for older adults as they transition from skilled nursing facilities to home.  Dr. Toles is also a co-investigator in studies of comfort care of older adults in nursing homes and cardiac rehabilitation for adults transferring from hospital-based to home-based care.

Teaching: N 962 Systematic Literature Review & Developing Specific Aims and N 874 Improving Quality, Safety, and Outcomes in Healthcare Systems

2016    Practice Change Leader Award, John A. Hartford Foundation/Atlantic Philanthropies
2013    Gordon H. DeFriese Career Development in Aging Research Award
2012    Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
2011    Distinguished Dissertation Award, Duke University School of Nursing
2007    Fabulous Fifty Nurses of Hawaii, Awarded by the State of Hawaii

Selected Publications

Toles, M. & Barroso, J. (2016) Introduction to Qualitative Research.  In G. LoBiondo-Wood & J. Haber (Eds.), Nursing Research:  Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice (9th ed.).  St. Louis, MO:  Mosby Elsevier

Toles, M. & Barroso, J. (2016). Qualitative Approaches to Research. In G. LoBiondo-Wood & J. Haber (Eds.), Nursing Research:  Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice (9th ed.).  St. Louis, MO:  Mosby Elsevier.

Naylor, M.D., Hirschman, K.B., Toles, M., Jarrín, O.F., Shaid, E., Pauly, M.V. (2018). Adaptations of the evidence-based Transitional Care Model in the U.S. Social Science and Medicine. Jul 17;213:28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.07.023. [Epub ahead of print]

Toles, M., Song, M., Li, F.C., and Hanson, L.C. (in press). Perceptions of family decision-makers of nursing home residents with advanced dementia regarding the quality of communication around end of life. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

Toles, M., Leeman, J., Colon-Emeric, C., Hanson, L.C. (2018). Implementing a Standardized Transition Care Plan in Skilled Nursing Facilities. Journal of Applied Gerontology [epub ahead of print]

Toles, M., Colón-Emeric, C., Naylor, M.D., Asafu-Adjei, J., Hanson, L.C. (2017). Connect-Home: Transitional care of skilled nursing facility patients and their caregivers.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Oct;65(10):2322-2328.

Toles, M., Colón-Emeric, C., Naylor, M.D., Barroso, J. & Anderson, R.A. (2016). Transitional care in skilled nursing facilities: A multiple case study. BMC Health Services Research, 16:186.

Toles, M., Colón-Emeric, C., Asafu-Adjei, J., Moreton, E., Hanson, L.C. (2016). Transitional care of older adults in skilled nursing facilities: A systematic review. Geriatric Nursing, 37(4):296-301.

Toles, M., Anderson, R.A., Massing, M., Naylor, M., Peacock-Hinton, S., Jackson, E., Colón-Emeric, C. (2014). Restarting the cycle: incidence and predictors of acute-care use after nursing home discharge. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 62(1), 79-85.

Toles, M., Young, H. & Ouslander, J. (2013). What can be done about care transitions in


2018 Lutheran Services of America, The Connect-Home Collaborative, Role: PI

2018-2020 The Duke Endowment, Grant number, 6748-SP, “HeartHome: A Nurse-Driven, Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Program to Reduce Health Disparities for Cardiac Patients Living in Rural and Underserved Areas of the Carolinas.” Role: Co-I

2018-2022, National Institutes of Health (1R01NR017636-01). “Connect-Home: Testing the Efficacy of Transitional Care of Patients and Caregivers,” Role: PI

2019-2021 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Civil Money Penalty Fund, “Disseminating Comfort Matters: A Web-based Training Toolkit for Comfort-focused Dementia Care.” Role: Co-PI

Past (selected)

2014-2017 National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Grant #: 1KL2TR001109. Project Title: Connect-Home: Transitional Care in Nursing Homes. Role: PI

2013-2015 University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, Small Grant Program. Project Title: Mapping Care Transitions among Long Term Services and Supports Recipients. Role: Co-PI

  • Care of older adults
  • Quality of care in nursing homes
  • Transitional care of older adults