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Darlene E. Acorda

PhD, RN, CNE, CPNP-PC

Assistant Professor

Department of Undergraduate Studies

Darlene E. Acorda, PhD, APRN, CNE, CPNP-PC, is an Assistant Professor in the Undergraduate Department at Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston). She earned her BSN, MSN, and PHD at Cizik School of Nursing. She maintains her certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care through her urgent care practice. Dr. Acorda’s pediatric experience spans over 19 years and includes neonatal intensive care, pediatric intermediate and critical care. Prior to joining the faculty at Cizik School of Nursing, she served as a Clinical Specialist and Nurse Scholar in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital. Her research program focuses on the experience of family caregivers of children with medical complexity, especially those who are tracheostomy and ventilator dependent. Her other interests include investigating disparities in pediatric urgent care and critical care outcomes and exploring how ethnocultural factors impact pediatric care experiences. Aside from her research, Dr. Acorda is well-versed in quality improvement methods and continues to guide and mentor bedside nurses in conducting nurse-led QI and research studies in the PICU at Texas Children’s Hospital. She has been awarded several grants, presented at local, national, and international conferences, and published both research and QI manuscripts in nursing and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journals. She also serves as the current Chair of the Clinical Practice and Research Committee of the Society of Pediatric Nurses.

Education

Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
May 2020

Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education
May 2018

Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
Master of Science in Nursing, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
May 2009

Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
May 2004

Clinical/Research Focus

Pediatrics, Pediatric Critical Care, Pediatric Urgent Care, Family-Centered Care, Quality Improvement, Children with Medical Complexity and their Caregivers, Disparities in Pediatric Hospital Outcomes

Publications

PubMed