Debra Jeffs, PhD, RN

Debra JeffsEmail: JeffsDA@archildrens.org

Deb Jeffs is a member of Excelsior College’s Nursing Faculty Committee and the RN BS Curriculum Committee. She is also a former faculty member of the College.

Dr. Jeffs is currently the Director of Academic Nursing Education at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where she serves on the nursing leadership team. To strengthen the relationship between academic education and clinical practice, she oversees all schools of nursing affiliations and student nurse placements within the hospital, serves on schools of nursing advisory boards, and provides guidance to other hospital departments and disciplines with college students and interns. She advises nurses about returning to school for an advanced nursing degree and provides mentorship and tutoring. She provides education on research and evidence-based practice and was a co-developer of the EBP Academy, a 6-month, mentored education program for nurses. She was a member of the team that received the 2012 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Staff Development for the education program on improving capacity for EBP using interactive e-learning. Dr. Jeffs holds a faculty appointment in the UAMS College of Nursing. She has more than 25 years of nursing education experience as a faculty member in traditional and distance education at the associate degree, diploma, baccalaureate and master’s degree levels.

Dr. Jeffs’ research has focused on pediatric pain management and professional development for nurses. She conducted a randomized controlled clinical study funded by the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute/Arkansas Biosciences Institute to compare types of distraction including virtual reality on pain perception during burn wound care among adolescents in the ACH Burn Clinic. The study was presented at the international American Burn Association meeting and published in the Journal of Burn Care and Research. Dr. Jeffs served on the teams with other nurse leaders to establish the Nursing Research Alliance of the Capital Region in New York and the Arkansas Nursing Research Alliance. She has been appointed to the role of Primary Peer Nurse Reviewer for Arkansas in the newly formed South Central Multi-State Accreditation Program for continuing nursing education. Additionally, she serves as Education Pillar Co-Chair and Program Co-Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation State Implementation Program grant for the Arkansas Action Coalition to advance nursing leadership and education in Arkansas in achievement of the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing goals.

Selected Publications:

  • Jeffs, D.A., Dorman, D., Brown, S., Files, A., Graves, T., Kirk, E., Meredith-Neve, S., Sanders, J., White, B., Swearingen, C. J. (2014). Effect of virtual reality on adolescent pain during burn wound care. Journal of Burn Care & Research. 35(5), 395-408.
  • Jeffs, D.A., Brown, L. (2014). Transforming the academia-practice partnership through an innovative role design. Journal of Nursing Administration. 44(7/8), 378-380.
  • Green, A. L., Jeffs, D.A., Huett, A., Jones, L.R., Scott, A., Walker, L., Schmid, B. (2014). Increasing capacity for evidence based practice through the EBP Academy. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(2), 83-90.