Valerie Gruss, PhD, APN, CNP-BC

  • Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Gruss, Assistant Professor, is a Clinical Associate Professor, and a board-certified Nurse Practitioner and Researcher. She has a broad range of clinical expertise and research experience working in primary care and with multidisciplinary teams in a variety of settings. Dr. Gruss’ position blends her roles as educator, clinician, and researcher.

Current Area of Teaching

EDUCATOR: Dr. Gruss teaches in the graduate nursing program. In pursuit of changing current nursing education to a more interdisciplinary model, she jointly founded the “Collaborative for Excellence in Interprofessional Education” (CEIPE). This group of volunteer faculty represents over 10 disciplines. Their goal is to provide students with interprofessional learning experiences. CEIPE has conducted student workshops and every spring semester hosts a campus wide initiative “IPE Immersion Day” for over 800 Chicago students and 150 regional students. As Co-investigator, she was awarded a HRSA grant: “Advancing Interprofessional Education and Clinical Expertise using Technology Initiatives in Advanced Practice Nursing”. She serves on the Vice Provost’s Strategic Planning Committee and Steering Committee for Interprofessional Education.

Student Opportunities

Primary Care, Geriatrics, and working with vulnerable populations. Scholarship through her program: Scholars and Leaders in Interprofessional Geriatrics; experiential learning opportunities through the Interprofessional Approaches to Health Disparities (IAHD) program. Students work in interprofessional teams with vulnerable populations (Homelessness; Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDs, Geriatrics, Immigrant/Refugees).  Other service/experiential learning opportunities include working with Homebound older adults through UIC’s House Calls program.

Service / Practice

PRACTICE/CLINICIAN: Dr. Gruss is Lead Clinical Consultant/research collaborator on a Federal Project for the State of Illinois, “Money Follows the Person”, which transitions eligible persons out of nursing homes and back to the community. To date this program has successfully transitioned over 2,700 persons out of nursing homes and back to the community, thereby improving their quality of life while rebalancing and restructuring the Medicaid long-term care system.

SERVICE: In Fall 2017, Dr. Gruss was an official delegate of the Chicago-Shanghai Services Exchange to Shanghai, China. This international exchange program is part of the Chicago Sisters Cities International Program. Dr. Gruss was part of an 8-person team of geriatric practitioners, academics, lawyers and future leaders traveling to Shanghai to "share best geriatric practices and policy experiences, educate and promote international collaboration and overcome cultural division and develop on-going projects which promote human potential and functioning".

Serving on Committees, Boards


2011 - Present
International Dementia Scholars Collaboration (IDSC),


2013 - Present
Center for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS),National Partnership To Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, Member


2014 - Present
Illinois Task Force, Reducing antipsychotic medications among the elderly,     Member


2016 - present
University of Illinois at Chicago, Center for Research on Health and Aging

2016 - present
Vice Chancellor’s, Interprofessional Education Steering Committee

2014 - 2015
Member, UIC Vice-Provost’s Strategic Planning Committee for Interprofessional Education. Inaugural committee.

2009 - present
Co-Coordinator, Core Founding Member, Pilot Workshop Faculty, Member of Planning Committee, Simulation Committee, Curriculum Committee, and
Evaluation Committee of the University of Illinois Chicago, Collaborative for Excellence in Interprofessional Education (CEIPE) faculty group

Co-Chair, UIC Medical Center, Advance Practice

Nursing Council

Member, UIC Medical Center, Coordinating Council Shared Leadership

Member, University of Illinois Chicago, College of Nursing, Evidence Based Practice Committee                                          

Facilitator, UIC Medical College, Interprofessional Training for M2 Student                          


Liaison, The National Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence

2009 - 2012
University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Evidence Based Practice Committee, Member

2011 - 2011
University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Instructional Delivery Methods Task Force, Member


2015 – Present
Department Faculty Search Committee, Biobehavioral Science Department, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Member

Member, Clinical Peer Review Committee, Biobehavioral Sciences Department, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing

Professional Organizations

Geriatric Advance Practice Nurses Association, Research Committee, Co-Presenter Research  Workshops: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Chair and Member Nominating Committee of Chicagoland Gerontological Advance Practice Nurse


Selected Honors & Awards

Judith Storfjell Distinguished Award for Scholarly Practice
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2017

Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association
Excellence in Research Award, 2016

Teaching Recognition Program Award
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 2015-2016

Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association          
Research Award “Antipsychotic medication use among the elderly” 2015

Council on Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Award
2009 Departmental Teaching Excellence Award
Interprofessional Education and Simulation

University of Illinois Chicago
Nursing Service Plan
2010 Faculty Practice Award       

‘Best Career in Long Term Care’ Award Winner       
Florida Medical Directors Association/
American Medical Directors Association

The John A. Hartford Foundation                                                   
Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
“Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity”

Selected Publications
Selected Publications (last five years only)

Kottorp, A., Keehn, M., Hasnain, M., Gruss, V., Peterson, E. Instrument Refinement for Measuring Self-Efficacy for Competence in Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Long and Short Forms of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Competency Self-Efficacy Tool (IPECC-SET). Journal of Interprofessional Care. (under review)

Hasnain, M., Keehn, M., Gruss, V., Koronkowski, M., Altfeld, S., Mitchell, C., Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, APTR/CDC IPE Small Grant Program, UIC Transforming Health Disparities through Interprofessional Education, Research and Service.  APTR Academic Innovation Models website.

McCann, P, Lewis, A., Gruss, V., (2017) Antipsychotic Medication Use in Illinois Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Rational Approach to Change, The Director, Patient & Resident Safety Issue, 2017

Hasnain, M., Gruss, V., Keehn, M., Peterson, E., Valenta, A. L., & Kottorp, A. (2017). Development and Validation of a Tool to Assess Self-Efficacy for Competence in Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care31(2), 255-262.

Lee, C. H., Gruss, V., Stuercke, M., & Ryan, C. J. (2016). Relation of Stop and Watch Tool Use in a Skilled Nursing Facility to 30-Day Hospital Transfer Rates. Jour Nursing Home Res2, 104-109.

Oosterhouse, K. J., Vincent, C., Foreman, M. D., Gruss, V., Corte, C., & Berger, B. (2016). Intensive Care Unit Nurses’ Beliefs About Delirium Assessment and Management. AACN Advanced Critical Care27(4), 379-393.

Koplow, S., Gallo, A., Knafl, K., Vincent, C., Paun, O., Gruss, V. A Case Study Approach to Nursing Home Placement: Smooth and Difficult Cases and Implications for Nursing, Journal of Gerontological Nursing (2015), 1-7. DOl: 10.3928/00989134-20150413-08

Koplow, S., Gallo, A., Knaft, K., Vincent, C., Paun, O, Gruss, V. (2015) Family Cargivers Define and Manage the Nursing Home Placement Process. Journal of Family Nursing, DOI:10.1177/1074840715571365

"Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care" (3rd Edition) Chapter 36: Using Current System Models to Guide Care”, 2012.

“Toward Healthy Aging” 2012: Touhy & Jett, 8 e. (edited) 4 chapters:
Chapter 11: Basic Needs
Chapter 13: Environmental Safety & Security
Chapter 14: Nutrition and Hydration
Chapter 15: Wellness and Function

Selected Publications: Technological Innovations & Discoveries

Gruss, V. (PI), Hasnain, M. (Co-PI),, Online Accredited Learning in Interprofessional Geriatrics training modules for healthcare professionals.  

Gruss, V. (PI), Hasnain, M., Koronkowski, M. Mobile Software Application: “Dementia Guide Expert for families”. Mobile App available in iOS Apple App Store and for Android in December 2016. Also available through website:

Gruss, V. (PI). Mobile Software Application Patent: “Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia” downloadable App. Software registered at the Library of Congress by UIC Office of Technology Management. Invention Identification number DF092.   App is available in iOS Apple App Store and for Android.  Also available through my website: (2012)

Gruss, V., Raszewski, R., Prater, V., Valenta, A., Keehn, M. et. Al. Resource Guide Portal for Interprofessional Education: (Available on-line) 2012

Current Research

Gruss, V. (PI), Hasnain. M. (Co-PI). HRSA Grant, Principal Investigator “Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), 2015-2018 ($2,500,000.00)

Leathers, S., (PI), Gruss, V., (Co-Investigator) HRSA grant 17-070 Integrated Behavioral Health Care Training for Social Workers 9/14/2017 Award #1M01HP31358-012-00, Jane Adams College of Social Work. 2017-2020 ($1,919,894)

Hasnain, M., Gruss, V., (Co-PI) Innovative Geriatrics Program and Approaches to Care, HRSA, GWEP-CC $7,500

Gruss, V., Hasnain, M, (Co-PI), GWEP Funding Educational Resources, HRSA $2,000.

Berry, J. (PI), Gruss, V.  (Co-Investigator) Advancing Interprofessional Education & Clinical Expertise Using Technology Initiatives in Advanced Practice Nursing. Health Resources & Service Administration, 2012-2015, $980,000

Gruss, V. (PI), Examining nursing home staff attitudes towards residents’ sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association Foundation, 2015, $2,000.

Gruss, V. (Co-PI), Antipsychotic Medication Use Among the Elderly, Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association, Chicago Chapter. 2010, $500.

Gruss, V. (Principal Investigator).  Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (Pre-Doctoral Fellowship).  The John A. Hartford Foundation, 2001-2003, $100,000


Gruss, V. (Co-Investigator), C. Mitchell (PI).  Development of a Video Library for Team-Based, Patient-Centered Interprofessional Education.  Council on Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2012-2015, ($5,000)