Ruth Anderson, RN, PhD, FAAN

Professor Emeritus

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
The Office of Research Support and Consultation (RSC)
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Office: 2007
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Dr. Anderson served as the Associate Dean for Research in the UNC School of Nursing until July 2021. Her research focuses on chronic illness and care outcomes for older adults. Her research expertise includes using complexity science and the adaptive leadership framework in research about trajectories of chronic illness and care systems. She employs quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method study designs in her research program. She has been funded by numerous agencies to support her work and is in her 13th year of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health. Her major accomplishments have been to:

  • Pioneer use of complexity theory and management science in nursing for analysis of relationships and management practices needed to provide high quality care to older adults in long-term care.
  • Develop and test the CONNECT for Quality intervention to reduce falls in nursing homes (NIH/NINR; R01NR003178 ).
  • Pioneer application of adaptive leadership theory, derived from complexity science, in studying the intersection of chronic illness and care systems to improve symptom management in chronic illness, particularly for older adults and their families.

Dr. Anderson has significant experience developing research infrastructure for supporting research development. She was Director of the Pilot-Feasibility Core of the NINR funded P20 Center (P20NR07795, Clipp PI) from 2001-2007, Trajectories of Aging and Care and was MPI (with Docherty) and Director of the NINR funded P30 Center (P30NR014139), Center for Adaptive Leadership in Symptom Science from 2012 – 2015.