Liza Behrens PhD, RN is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health. Dr. Behrens’ research interest is in the implementation of preference-based, person-centered care in the nursing home to improve the physical and psychological well-being of residents living with dementia.
Dr. Behrens completed her PhD in Nursing Science with a minor in Gerontology at the Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Behrens earned her Associates in Science and Bachelor of Science in Biology from Norwich University in Northfield, VT. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, and her Master in Nursing Science with a focus on Clinical Research Administration from The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.
During her PhD training she completed a fellowship at the Rock Ethics Institute and was the first nursing student to complete an interdisciplinary fellowship at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She received the 2019 The Eastern Nursing Research Society /Council for Advancement of Nursing Science Dissertation Award, for her dissertation exploring how nursing home staff perceive risks associated with honoring residents’ preferences for activities of daily living and care. She was also awarded the 2019 Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence Student Champion Award for her support and partnership to improve the lives of older adults in positive and person-centered ways.
Dr. Behrens has more than 20 years of progressive experience providing nursing care to older adults in multiple care settings including psychiatric and medical hospitals, out-patient clinics, nursing homes, and home-based care. She has held many leadership positions in nursing and in clinical research.