Ruth Palan Lopez PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN

Photo of Ruth Palen-Lopez , PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean of Research, Jacques Mohr Chair
(617) 726-1015
Office Location: 
Shouse 216

Dr. Ruth Palan Lopez is Professor and Associate Dean of Research, Jacques Mohr Chair in the School of Nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions. 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. In 2015 she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) and of the Gerontological Society of America.

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.

Research Interests

  • 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


Webb, J., Lopez, R. P., & Guarino, A. J. (2015) Incentives and barriers to precepting nurse practitioner students. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 11 (8) 782-789 doi 

Bell C, Palan R, Mahendra N, Tamai A, Davis J, Amella EJ, Masaki K. Person-centered feeding care: A protocol to re-introduce oral feeding for nursing home patients with tube feeding. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. [in press]

Franklin, C.M., Bernhardt, J.M., Lopez, R.P., Long-Middleton, E.R. & Davis, S. (2015). Interprofessional teamwork and collaboration between community health workers and healthcare teams: An integrative review. Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology DOI: 10.1177/2333392815573312

Tyer-Viola, L. & Lopez, R.P. (2014) The lived experience of pregnancy and chronic illness. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 43 (1) 25-37. DOI: 10.1111/1552-6909.12275

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 PubMed # 24085250 NIHMSID #594392.


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