Department of Health Systems Science

Department Overview

Photo of Colleen
Colleen Corte
  • Associate Professor
  • Department Head, HSS
  • Director of the PhD Program

The Department of Health Systems Science (HSS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing (UIC CON) advances research/scholarship on multilevel determinants (psychosocial, behavioral, environmental, systems) of health and translates this research/scholarship into practice, care delivery, and policy to improve the health of individuals, families, communities, organizations, and populations.

The HSS Department offers Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs to prepare family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and health systems leaders (advanced population health and health systems leadership and informatics) as well as a PhD program in Nursing Science to prepare the next generation of nurse scientists.

The HSS faculty is dedicated to excellence in our undergraduate, masters and doctoral educational programs. As early innovators of distance-learning modalities, we carefully balance online learning with face-to-face instruction. We are on the forefront of creating new knowledge as well as translating science to practice.


Cutting-Edge Research & Scholarship

The HSS faculty and students receive funding from the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Resources and Services Administration, and other foundations and funding agencies that support the conduct of leading-edge research in the following areas:

  • Social determinants of obesity in urban populations, particularly neighborhood environments
  • Identity impairments and risk behaviors
  • Health disparities among sexual minority women
  • Smoking cessation in LGBT populations
  • Symptoms and health behaviors in cancer survivors
  • Benefits and unintended consequences of communication technology between nurses and physicians
  • Multilevel determinants of children’s chronic conditions, such as asthma, in ethnic minority and immigrant populations
  • Parenting, with special emphasis on how families negotiate father involvement
  • Developing and testing new models of care delivery 
  • Technology interventions and to improve and measure care coordination and clinical efficiency
  • Evidence-based practice in public health nursing
  • Competency and image of the public health nursing workforce
  • Social media as a health promotion and disease prevention strategy
  • Accurately representing nursing care in patient electronic health records (EHRs)
  • Data mining and statistical analysis of  EHR data to generate new nursing knowledge
  • Transforming evidence-based nursing knowledge into clinical decision support tools for use at the point of care
  • Inter-professional education, simulation and technology to enhance chronic care population management 

Academic Programs

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs - Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Our NP programs are fully aligned with the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties Competencies for Nurse Practitioners and the APRN Consensus Model.  Upon completion of the NP programs, graduates are eligible to obtain APRN Board Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center  (FNP or PMHNP) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FNP).

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Health Systems Leadership Programs

  • Advanced Population Health
  • Health Leadership and Informatics

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Options


The HSS faculty are dedicated to the integration of practice, teaching, and scholarship. Many of our faculty have joint appointments with the Institute for Health Care Innovation. Integrated Health Care (IHC) is a nurse-managed faculty practice that was developed by HSS family nurse practitioner and mental health faculty to provide integrated, ongoing primary and preventive care, education, behavioral and mental health care to individuals with serious mental illnesses. This innovative HSS faculty practice has won numerous awards, including the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties Outstanding Faculty Practice Award, the Illinois Health Connect - Your Healthcare Plus Top Performer “Excellence in Diabetes Management Award” 2011, and designation as an Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing.

HSS Faculty

HSS Regional Faculty

HSS Faculty Emerita

  • Shu-Pi Chen, MS, MPH, DrPH – Professor Emerita
  • Barbara Dancy, PhD, RN  FAAN – Professor Emerita
  • Gloria Henderson, MS, RN – Associate Professor Emerita
  • Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN - Professor Emerita
  • Judith McDevitt, PhD, APN, CNP – Clinical Associate Professor Emerita
  • Arlene Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN - Professor Emerita
  • Judith Storfjell, PhD, RN, FAAN –Clinical Professor Emerita   
  • Marie Talashek, EdD, RN - Professor Emerita 
  • JoEllen Wilbur, PhD, RN, FAAN - Professor Emerita