Dr. Ruth Palan Lopez is Professor and Associate Dean of Research, Jacques Mohr Chair, and Director of the Office of Nursing Research and Scholarship in the School of Nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Dr. Lopez is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) and the Gerontological Society of America, and currently serves as a reviewer for the National Institute of Health (NIH). She has served on several international scientific review panels in countries such as the Netherlands, Israel and the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom.

With more than 25 years of experience as a gerontological nurse practitioner, Dr. Lopez has achieved international recognition as a visiting expert in geriatric nursing and is published widely in numerous prestigious journals. Additionally, Dr. Lopez has served as Vice-President of the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and was inducted to Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

She received several awards for her accomplishments in research, education, and clinical practice including the Partners in Excellence Award for Outstanding Community Service and an established researcher award from the Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association.

Dr. Lopez is dedicated to developing and implementing innovative programs to improve the care of older adults in both hospitals and long-term care facilities and is pioneering a nurse-led movement to ensure accessibility of Intensive Individualized Comfort Care.

  • 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
  • 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

Dr. Lopez has published numerous papers - some titles are highlighted below. You can view a complete listing of Dr. Lopez's publications on Google Scholar or in her CV. 

Association of Nursing Home Organizational Culture and Staff Perspective with Variability in Advanced Dementia Care: The ADVANCE study. 

Assessing the Acceptability of a Humanoid Robot for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia Care Using an Online Survey. 

ADVANCE-C: A qualitative study of experiences caring for nursing home residents with advanced dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nursing home staff perceptions of end-of-life care for residents with advanced dementia: A multi-site qualitative study.

Trust of Nursing Home Staff Caring for Residents with Advanced Dementia: A Qualitative Descriptive Study of Family Caregivers’ Perspectives.


see google scholar profile


In addition, Dr. Lopez regularly presents at conferences and industry events. Please see her CV for a complete list of presentations.

Impact of Race on Decision Making for Nursing Home Residents with Advanced Dementia: Can We Disrupt and Transform? at Innovation in Aging.

Facility Characteristics Associated With Intensity of Care of Nursing Home Residents With Advanced Dementia at Innovation in Aging.

Aging and Advanced Dementia Matters: End-of-Life Care in Nursing Homes at Innovation in Aging.

The Impact of Dementia Stigma in Recruiting Participants into Research Studies at The Gerontological Society of American 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Innovative Data Collection Methods for Family Caregiving Research at the 14th International Family Nursing Conference Social Determinants of Family Health.