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Kay Swartzwelder, PhD, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE

Contact Information

Kay Swartzwelder


Associate Clinical Professor

Graduate Nursing

Kay Swartzwelder, PhD, joined Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions in 2011. She is a native of Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Marshall University with a Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner and Capella University with a PhD in Education.

Her areas of interest are how students learn and methods to enhance online student learning. Swartzwelder frequently has the opportunity to present and train on successful techniques for teaching online courses. She has held faculty appointments at Ohio University, Collins Career Center and Marshall University Schools of Nursing and was a visiting professor for Chamberlain College of Nursing for four years. Her research on "Examining the Effect of Texting on Students' Perceptions of Learning," was published in the Nursing Education Perspectives. She has published for multiple nursing and healthcare journals.

Swartzwelder is active in the community and profession by serving as a volunteer for the American Red Cross and served as past Chairperson for the Mental Health Board of Directors. She volunteered as a Family Nurse Practitioner for indigent clients for many years. She has served as ambassador for National League for Nursing (NLN) and is a member of NLN, Ohio League for Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau. She serves as a peer reviewer for three nursing journals and has been involved at the state level in developing smooth educational pathways for nursing students.

Professional Society

National League for Nursing, Ohio League for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau

Selected Publications

Murphy, J., Swartzwelder, K., Roch, S., Serembus, J., Maheu, S., Rockstraw, L., & Leggieri, A. (2020). Promoting a Sense of Community in the Online Learning Environment: An International Mixed-Methods Study. Accepted by Journal of Educators Online-September 4, 2020.

Mazzarisi, E. Swartzwelder, K., & Clements, P. (2020). Medical Use: Implications for Health Care Providers. Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice. In press.

Swartzwelder, K., Clements, P.T., Holt, K.E., & Childs, G. (2019). Spiritual foundations for confronting incivility in the online classroom. Journal of Christian Nursing, 36(2). 104-111.

Swartzwelder, K., Murphy, J., & Murphy, G. (2019). The impact of text-based and video discussions on student engagement and interactivity in an online course. Journal of Educators Online, 16. doi:10.9743/jeo.2019.16.1.13

Swartzwelder, K. (2014). Examining the effect of texting on students’ perceptions of learning. Nursing Education Perspectives, 35(6), 405-407. doi: 10.5480/12-1012.1

Editorial review board membership:

Peer reviewer for Journal of Nurse Practitioners, Journal of Educators Online, and Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice

Research Interests

  • Online learning
  • Student engagement
  • Generational learning
  • Using technology to enhance online learning
  • Incivility in the online learning environment


Swartzwelder has an extensive clinical background in medical surgical nursing and is now a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has substantial experience and education in both online learning and face to face. She has developed online nursing courses and pathways for easier access to nursing education. She has worked extensively to achieve program accreditation for various health profession programs.

Doctor of Philosophy, in Education • March, 2011
With a specialization in Professional Studies
Majority of Course work in Instructional Design Online Learning
Dissertation title: Examining the Effect of Texting and Blogging on
Nursing Students’ Perception of Learning
Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Master of Science, Family Nurse Practitioner • May, 2000
With additional course work in nursing curriculum and instruction
Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia

Methods of Instruction courses • Aug 1993 – June 1996
Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky

Bachelor of Science, Nursing • June 1991
Minor in Psychology
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio