VCU School of Nursing

Educating nurses from entry-level through the doctorate. Ranked in the top 4% of undergraduate nursing programs nationally.

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Pickler headshot_web.jpgOn June 30, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) presented its Award of Excellence in Research to Rita H. Pickler, Ph.D., RN, PNP-BC, FAAN, for her excellence in clinical practice and continued innovation in the delivery of care for women and newborns. The award was presented at AWHONN’s annual convention in San Diego, Calif.
Dr. Pickler is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). In addition, she serves as the pilot director for the Center for Biobehavioral Clinical Research, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). Dr. Pickler is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and has received numerous awards, including the Senior Researcher Award from the VCU School of Nursing, Alumni Star Award from VCU, the Shining Star Nurse Practitioner of the Year from the Fan Free Clinic and the Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
AWHONN presents its Award of Excellence in Research to an AWHONN member who demonstrates a history of conducting federally funded research, published research in peer refereed journals, reflects AWHONN’s goals and standards in their contributions to women’s and newborns’ health nursing research, and demonstrates clinical applications in research.
Dr. Pickler’s current research, funded through a grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), investigates feeding care for preterm infants to reduce hospital stays and prevent developmental delays. Her research has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, Advances in Neonatal Care, Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, and Journal of Perinatology.
“Dr. Pickler’s research is vital to learning more about preterm infants and providing quality care to this vulnerable population,” said AWHONN Executive Director Karen Peddicord, RNC, Ph.D. “Her distinguished research improves not only the nursing care, but also the future for preterm infants.”
Dr. Pickler holds a B.S. and M.S. in Nursing from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, the International Council of Infant Studies, Sigma Theta Tau, the Southern Nursing Research Society and many other organizations.

Categories Research