Heather Brom, PhD, RN

Research Assistant Professor

Heather Brom’s research interest is in improving health outcomes of individuals with complex health and social needs as well as promoting healthy practice environments for nurses and nurse practitioners.

As a nurse practitioner caring for high-risk oncology patients undergoing blood and stem cell transplants, I experienced firsthand the importance of providing care that was inclusive of all their health conditions. However, without proper system-level support, such as supportive work environments and adequate staffing levels, this tailored care could not be completed. I saw the larger impact of this as a hospital administrator on how staffing levels and the practice environment affect patient outcomes; and examining how variations in the healthcare workforce affect outcomes of care for hospitalized patients.


  • PhD, The Ohio State University College of Nursing, 2017
  • MS, The Ohio State University College of Nursing, 2006
  • BS, The Ohio State University, 2002


Dr. Brom is a health services researcher focused on improving the health outcomes for individuals with complex medical and social needs. She accomplishes this by (1) examining how variations in organizational factors and policies impacting nurses and nurse practitioners (such as scope of practice, and health system practices and policies) influence outcomes of care and (2) by collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to develop and implement multi-level solutions (such as system-level interventions and employing best practices) to achieve health equity. She has conducted this research through multi-level, mixed methodologies that leverage data from a range of sources (e.g., large-scale surveys, interviews, electronic health records (EHR), clinical registry data, hospital discharge files, and ambulatory claims data).

Dr. Brom’s work has added to the evidence-base that investments in nurses and nurse practitioners, particularly through their work environments, have important implications for a variety of patient outcomes. For example, her work is among the first to demonstrate a relationship between the nurse work environment and 7-day readmissions and length of stay for ischemic stroke patients.

Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing

As a member of Penn Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, Dr. Brom collaborates with faculty and students interested in nursing health services research. Dr. Brom is a founding member of an interdisciplinary workgroup that developed the THRIVE intervention to support the post discharge needs of patients insured by Medicaid. In this role she collaborates with academic and health system partners.

Featured Publications

View all publications