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Ruth Palan Lopez, PhD, GNP-BC

Office Location:

Shouse - 265

Phone: (617) 726-1015

Professor, Nursing

Full-Time Faculty

Dr. Ruth Palan Lopez is Professor in the School of Nursing. She received her PhD from Boston College William F. Connell School of Nursing in 2004, and completed a John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009.

She has more than 25 years of experience as a gerontological nurse practitioner during which time she has developed and implemented innovative programs to improve the care of older adults in both hospitals and long-term care facilities. In addition, she has had a long standing commitment to nurse practitioner practice and has served as Vice-President of the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.

Dr. Lopez has received several awards for her accomplishments in research, education, and clinical practice including, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Partners in Excellence Award for Outstanding Community Service, and an established researcher award from the Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association. In addition, Dr. Lopez was a 2007-2009 Claire M. Fagin Fellow.

Dr. Lopez has achieved international recognition as a visiting expert in geriatric nursing by the Ministry of Health in Singapore. She published significant work in prestigious journals and numerous national and international presentations.


BS, Nursing, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
MS, Gerontological Nursing, Boston University, Boston, MA
PhD, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interest:

  • The needs of nursing home residents with advanced dementia and their family caregivers
  • Nurses’ perceptions of end-of-life care in nursing homes
  • Family caregivers’ perceptions of treatment decision making
  • The influence of nursing home culture on feeding decisions in advanced dementia
  • Uncertainty among family caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia

Publications & Presentations:

*Lopez, R.P. & Guarino, A.J. (2013) Psychometric evaluation of the surrogate decision making scale. Research in Gerontological Nursing. 6(1) 1-6.

*Lopez, R.P. Mazor, K.M., Mitchell, S.L, & Givens, J.L. (2013) What is Family-Centered Care for Nursing Home Residents with Advanced Dementia? American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.

Lopez, R. P., & Amella, E. J. (2012). Intensive individualized comfort care: Making the case. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 38(7), 3-5. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20120605-02

Rose, K. & Lopez, R.P, (May 31, 2012) "Transitions in Dementia Care: Theoretical Support for Nursing Roles" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 17, No. 2, Manuscript 4. DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol17No02Man04

Givens, J.L., Lopez, R.P., Mazor, K.M., & Mitchell, S.L. (2011) Sources of stress for family members of nursing home residents with advanced dementia. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e31823899e4 

See Curriculum Vitae for complete list.

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