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Faculty - Keela Herr

Keela Herr
Professor, Associate Dean for Faculty
306 CNB

PhD in Nursing, University of Texas at Austin
MSN in Medical-Surgical Nursing, University of Texas at Austin
BSN, Northeast Missouri State University 

Research Focus/Clinical Interests: 
  • Pain in older adults
  • End of life care
  • Promoting evidence-based practice

Keela A. Herr, PhD, RN, AGSF, FAAN is Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Herr has been engaged in a program of research, scholarly, and professional activities focused on the problem of pain in older adults, with emphases in assessment strategies, improving practices through translation research and end of life care. Dr. Herr is the Co-Director of the Iowa John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Most recent funding includes PI on recently completed NCI R01 on “Facilitating Evidence-based Pain Management Practices in Older Adults with Cancer Pain in Hospices” and co-PI of NINR T32 training grant focused on Pain and Associated Symptoms. She presents nationally and internationally on strategies for improving assessment and management of pain in elders and has published extensively on the topic of elder pain. She served on the 1998, 2002 and 2009 American Geriatric Society persistent pain guideline expert panels. She provided national professional leadership in service on the Board of Directors for the American Geriatrics Society, the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN), and the American Pain Society (APS). She consults with national and federal groups regarding effective pain care for older persons, including the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Health Pain Consortium, and the FDA, and is leading a national effort to provide best practice tools and resources to improve pain care for older adults in long term care settings (

Dr. Herr has received numerous awards for her contributions to geriatrics and pain care for older adults. She was honored with the Nurse Exemplar Award from the ASPMN (2003) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of pain management nursing, was recipient of the Elizabeth Narcessian Award for Outstanding Educational Achievements in professional education in the field of pain by the APS (2005),  received the award for Nurse Excellence in Pain Management of the Older Adult from the ASPMN (2006), the Distinguished Contribution to Research in the Midwest Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society (2009),  the John A. Hartford Foundation/MNRS Award for Leadership in Geriatric Nursing Research (2011), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Gerontological Nurses Association (2012). She is an Robert Woods Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow alumni and Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the American Geriatric Society.

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