Dr. Abell is a Professor in the School of Nursing at WKU. She earned an AS in Nursing from Somerset Community College and a BSN and MS from WKU. She also was awarded a MSN in Nursing Education from WKU in 2002 and received her PhD from the University of Louisville in 2006 with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development.
Dr. Abell has taught in the School of Nursing since 2002 and currently teaches in the MSN and DNP programs. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, Kentucky Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, Kentucky League of Nursing, National League of Nursing, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, and Faith Community Nurses International.
Prior to teaching, Dr. Abell had clinical nursing experience in acute care, urgent care, and public health. She also had extensive experience in long-term care including Director of Nursing, Regional Nurse Consultant, Regional Quality Improvement Specialist, and Administrator. She maintains her Nursing Home Administrator License.
Dr. Abell’s awards include the College of Health and Human Services’ Outstanding Faculty Award in 2004 and 2006. In 2006 she also was the recipient of the Innovative Teacher of the Year Award presented by the Kentucky Nurses Association; in 2007 she received the Student Government Association Professor of the Year Award; and in 2004 and 2015 she received the Kappa Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Excellence in Nursing Education Award. In 2006, 2008, and 2017 Dr. Abell was presented with the Kappa Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Outstanding Nursing Leadership Award and was also the recipient of the Kappa Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Outstanding Research Award in 2012.
Her research interests include issues related to nursing education, use of technology, faith community nursing, occupational health, and the care of older adults. Dr. Abell has Regular Graduate Faculty Status with the Graduate School.