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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Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FNP-C, CS, has been appointed as Chair of the VCU School of Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health Nursing. She has been on faculty at VCU School of Nursing since 2004.
“Dr. Lyon is a true star in nursing education and research. After conducting a national search to fill the department chair position, we found that there was no one better qualified to serve in this critical leadership role. I know she will excel in this new position and use her abilities and knowledge to advance the mission of the VCU School of Nursing,” said Nancy Langston, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, dean of the VCU School of Nursing.
A VCU alumna, Dr. Lyon earned her B.S., M.S., post-master’s certificate and Ph.D. from the VCU School of Nursing. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship while on faculty at University of Virginia. Previous academic appointments include serving as a Centennial Fellow and Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. Dr. Lyon is dually-certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Nursing. She currently practices as a family nurse practitioner in a corporate wellness practice. Her teaching focuses on professional issues for advanced practice and quantitative research design.
Lyon’s research focuses on symptom management in women with breast cancer, specifically complementary and alternative therapies for symptom management. In February 2009, she was awarded a five-year, $1.5 grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the impact of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) on chemotherapy symptoms in breast cancer patients. CES involves the use of mild pulses of electric current to treat anxiety, stress, pain, depression and other symptoms common during chemotherapy.
In addition to her independently funded research, Lyon serves as the Science Core Co-Director for the VCU School of Nursing’s Center of Excellence for Biobehavioral Approaches to Symptom Management. She is active in a number of professional organizations including the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS), the Oncology Nursing Society and others. She is an associate editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.
Lyon’s accomplishments have earned her numerous honors including the 2010 D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award, presented by SNRS, and induction into the National Academies of Practice. In 2009, Dr. Lyon was appointed to a three year term as a core reviewer for the Oncology Nursing Society Major Research Grant Program. She starts a four-year term in July 2010 as a standing member of the Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section, Center for Scientific Review.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to become the Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing at VCU School of Nursing. Our department has dedicated faculty members who strive for excellence in teaching, research and service focused on women, children, families and communities,” Lyon said.

Categories Research