hero image
Melissa O'Connor, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Melissa O'Connor, PhD Melissa O'Connor, PhD

Associate Professor | M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing | Villanova University

Villanova, PA, UNITED STATES

Melissa O'Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, is an expert in home health care, geriatric nursing and transitions in care.

Spotlight

Social

Areas of Expertise (6)

Telehealth

Transitions in Care

Geriatric Home Health

Geriatric Nursing

Applied Health Informatics

Geriatrics and Gerontology

Biography

Dr. Melissa O’Connor’s work aims to aid geriatric health care providers in clinical decision-making and care management and, in parallel, helps the elderly age in place in the community, thus avoiding hospitalization. She frequently uses large data sets in her studies. She is an excellent source on geriatric nursing and home health care, including the need to create a systemic, evidence-based mechanism to identify patients who are ready for discharge from hospital care and home health services.

Education (3)

University of Pennsylvania: PhD

Eastern University: MBA

Thomas Jefferson University: BSN

Select Accomplishments (4)

Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing (professional)

National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE) 2018

Rising Star Research Award (professional)

Eastern Nursing Research Society 2017

Excellence in Research Award

Alpha Nu Chapter, Villanova University College of Nursing Sigma Theta Tau International 2016

Geriatric/Gerontological Nursing Award (professional)

Springer Publishing Company 2015

Affiliations (4)

  • Board of Trustees, Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia
  • Eugenie and Joseph Doyle Research Fellow, Center for Home Care Policy & Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York
  • Associate Faculty, Center for Business Analytics, Villanova School of Business
  • Associate Faculty, NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Select Media Appearances (6)

Nursing is a hot degree. Philly-area undergrads can earn more than $70,000 out of college. | Does that Degree Pay?

The Philadelphia Inquirer  online

2020-04-01

“Villanova and Penn have opportunities for student scholarships, but you don’t know until you get in the door,” said Melissa O’Connor, associate professor of nursing at Villanova, and chair of the board of trustees of Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia. Pay attention to the school’s state board/licensing exam pass rate, O’Connor said. “Don’t go to a four-year college for nursing that doesn’t have a high pass rate” for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) test. Villanova’s is 96.7%, she said. “It should be in the 90s,” at least. “If you don’t pass, what’s the sense of getting the degree?”

view more

Swamped ERs Mean Opportunity and Danger for Home-Care Industry

Bloomberg  online

2020-03-24

Home-health agencies are telling workers to screen new patients by telephone for Covid-19 symptoms when they call for service and prior to each visit, said Melissa O’Connor, who chairs the board of trustees at the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia. “We’re also telling nurses, if you are not well do not go to work.”

view more

Nursing homes have unique challenge in limiting exposure to coronavirus

KYW NewsRadio 1060 AM, Philadelphia  radio

2020-03-13

"This is different because of how contagious it is and how scary and quickly it has been spreading," said Melissa O'Connor, director of the Gerontology Interest Group, and associate professor of nursing at Villanova University. She says nursing homes are limiting visits from the outside for the safety of patients. "Each nursing home or each long-term care facility will be different. The CDC is recommending certain things that they need to do, but then other facilities are taking it a step further, so they can really be sure that they are keeping the residents safe," she said.

view more

Being Treated at Home Can Help People Save Money and Heal Faster

Healthline  online

2019-12-17

“This study shows better outcomes for a lower cost in addition to a better use of resources. This is promising work and more and more attention is being paid to hospital care at home,” said Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, FGSA, and director, Geriatric Interest Group, Villanova University, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. “However, further work is needed to determine the type of patient this best works for related to their severity of illness,” she said. “Do they need a caregiver? Do they need to be cognitively intact? What type of home environment is required?”

view more

Blacks using home health care most likely to be rehospitalized

St. Louis American  online

2018-05-08

The study, “Relationships between race/ethnicity and health care utilization among older post-acute home health care patients,” was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology. Funding was provided in part by the National Institutes of Health (T32NR009356). Other researchers involved in the study were Liming Huang, Alexandra Hanlon and Kathryn H. Bowles of the University of Pennsylvania; David Russell of Appalachian State University; and Melissa O’Connor of Villanova University.

view more

How to Help Loved Ones Who Have Regular Doctor's Visits During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Parade  online

2020-03-19

For new or urgent issues, Melissa O’Connor, PhD, a registered nurse and an associate professor at Villanova University’s College of Nursing, recommends “calling a Medicare-certified home health agency to request an evaluation by a visiting nurse and/or a physician office that offers home visits.” You can also, she says, consider a telehealth visit, which many home health agencies and some retail pharmacies offer.”

view more

Research Grants (3)

The Feasibility of Electronic Home Health Record Data Extraction

Villanova University Summer Grant Program 

2017

Determining Readiness for Discharge from Skilled Home Health Services: A Mixed Methods Study

National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, John A. Hartford Foundation 

2014-2016

Identifying Critical Factors in Determining Readiness for Discharge from Skilled Home Health Services

Eugenie and Joseph Doyle Research Partnership Fund 

2013-2014

Select Academic Articles (5)

Identifying distinct risk profiles to predict adverse events among community-dwelling older adults Geriatric Nursing

O’Connor, M., Hanlon, A. L., Mauer, E., Meghani, S., Masterson-Creber, R., Marcantonio, S., Coburn, K., Van Cleave, J., Davitt, J., Riegel, B., Bowles, K. H., Keim, S., Greenberg, S. A., Sefcik, J. S., Topaz, M., Kong, D., Naylor, M. D.

2017

view more

Identifying critical factors in determining readiness from skilled home health: An interprofessional perspective. Research in Gerontological Nursing

O’Connor, M., Moriarty, H., Madden-Baer, R., & Bowles, K. H.

2016

view more

Innovations in gerontological nursing education: Exposing baccalaureate nursing students to transitional care Home Healthcare Now

O’Connor, M., Arcamone, A., Amorim, F., Hoban, M. B., Boyd, R. M., Fowler, L., Marcelli, T., Smith, J., Nassar, K., & Fitzpatrick, L. M.

2016

view more

Patient characteristics predicting readmission among individuals hospitalized for heart failure Medical Care Research and Review

O’Connor, M., Murtaugh, C. M., Shah, S., Barrón-Vaya, Y., Bowles, K. H., Peng, T. R., Zhu, C. W., Feldman, P. H.

2015

view more

The impact of home health length of stay and number of skilled nursing visits on hospitalization among Medicare-reimbursed skilled home health beneficiaries Research in Nursing and Health

O’Connor, M., Hanlon, A., Naylor, M. D. & Bowles, K. H.

2015

view more