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Amber Vermeesch PhD

School of Nursing, Associate Professor

Amber Vermeesch PhD



Buckley Center 315

Title IX Responsible Employee

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Amber Vermeesch, PhD, MSN, FNP-C, RN, has been a practicing family nurse practitioner for over 10 years. She has spent the majority of her practice serving underinsured and vulnerable populations. She completed her master’s in nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and earned her PhD in nursing science from the University of Miami where she focused on the reduction of healthcare disparities among Latino populations. She joined the University of Portland as an associate professor in 2014 teaching in both graduate and undergraduate programs. Amber currently teaches nursing of families. When not in class, she conducts site visits for the doctor of nursing practice program, works with seniors in their last semester during their capstone experience and is involved in the undergraduate program curriculum revision. Her overall area of expertise is wellness, both physical and emotional. Her investigations have concentrated on physical activity as a means of obesity prevention among vulnerable populations, stress reduction and health promotion among undergraduates and graduate students as well as faculty and staff, and developing cultural sensibility among nursing students of all levels.


  • Doctorate of Philosophy, University of Miami
  • Master of Science, Nursing, Vanderbilt University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, Davidson College


  • Vermeesch, A. (PI), Potter, P. (PI). Developing Cultural Sensibility as a Response to Patient
  • Diversity. Funded by Misener Fund for Innovation, (11/29/2016-12/10/2017), Total award: $2,000 Status: Ongoing
  • Barber, H. (PI), Vermeesch, A. (PI). Road Less Traveled: Stressors & Coping Strategies Unique to Undergraduate Nursing Students. Funded by University of Portland, Butine Awards, (11/10/2016-12/10/2017), Total award: $1,776 Status: Ongoing
  • Potter, P. (PI), Vermeesch, A. (PI). Diversity and Inclusion Grant for Course Enhancement and Diversity/Inclusion Training for NRS 310, Multicultural Population Health Promotion. (11/22/2016 -11/30/2017), Total amount: $500 Status: Ongoing
  • Vermeesch, A. (PI). Workplace Related Quality of Life: Effect of Available Recreation Facilities. Funded by University of Portland, Butine Awards, (11/10/2014-12/10/2015), Total award: $2,888 Status: Completed
  • Huh, J. (PI), Vermeesch, A., (Key Personnel), Huebner, M., Given, B., Chai, J. InfoMediator:
    • Weaving Clinical Expertise in Online Health Communities.Total amount requested:
    • $519,778. Submitted to NIH for K01 award on October 16, 2013. Status: Ongoing

Professional Affiliations

  • 2015 – present - Western Institute of Nursing
  • 2015 – present - Oregon Nurses Association /Nurse Practitioners of Oregon
  • 2013 – present - American College of Sports Medicine (Minority Health and Interest Research Group, Faculty Network Member, Northwest Chapter)
  • 2013 – present - American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • 2011-2013, 2015 – present - National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
  • 2006 - 2012 - American College of Nurse Practitioners
  • 2006 - present - Omicron Upsilon Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2010/2012 – present - Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • 2008 - present - American Nurses Association

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016 - University of Portland 2017 Spring Provost's Initiative for Undergraduate Research Collaboration Award for Health Disparities in Vulnerable Populations Manuscript Experience: Exercise, Cultural Communication, and the Use of Multi-methods in Health Disparities research. Total award: $1,500
  • 2016 - Selected to participate in Sigma Theta Tau International’s Institute for Global Healthcare Leadership Inaugural Emerging Global Leader Institute, September 7-10, Washington, DC
  • 2016 - University of Portland, Butine Award, Vermeesch, A.  Conference funding to present Workplace Related Quality of Life: Effect of Available Recreation Facilities on Physical Activity and Nutrition, Podium presentation at Sigma Theta Tau International's 27th International Nursing Research Congress, Cape Town, South Africa, July 21-25, 2016. Total award: $2,000
  • 2016 - American Association of Colleges of Nursing Faculty Policy Fellow
  • 2015 – present - University of Portland Dexheimer Leadership Fellow as a Leadership Coach in the Franz Center Leadership Programs. Coaches work with students through their developmental leadership journey as part of the Leadership Certificate Program and the Faith-Based Leader Program.
  • 2015 - Selected to participate in the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA)’s inaugural Nurses Leadership Institute (NLI). The NLI is designed to assist participant in gaining knowledge and skills for a leadership position in ONA focusing on advocating for the nursing profession.
  • 2015 - Dundon-Berchtold Institute Fellowship 2015 – 2016 for “Investigating Current Issues Prohibiting Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduate Students from Voicing Their Values During Ethical Dilemmas in the Clinical Environment.” University of Portland, Dundon-Berchtold Institute, $2,500
  • 2013 - Marjorie Holmes Faculty Enrichment Award, Michigan State University College of Nursing, $2,500

Recent Publications

  • Kanthawala, S., Vermeesch, A., Given, B. & Huh, J. (2016). Answers to health questions: Internet search results versus online health community responses. Journal of Medical Internet Research
  • Vermeesch, A., Barber, H., Howard, L., Payne, K., & Sachash, C. (2016). Road Less Traveled: Stresses and Coping Strategies of Nursing Students. Nurse Educator, 41(3), 117. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000224
  • Vermeesch, A., Ling, J., Voskuil, V., Bakhoya, M., Wesolek, S., Bourne, K., Pfeiffer, K., & Robbins, L. (2015). Biological and Sociocultural Differences in Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity among 5th– 7th Grade Urban Girls. Nursing Research, 64(5), 342-350. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000113
  • Vermeesch, A., & Stommel, M (2014). Physical Activity and Acculturation among U.S. Latinas of Child-bearing Age. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 36(4), 496-512. doi: 10.1177/0193945913507341

Curriculum Vitae