Elizabeth Dickson, PhD, RN is an assistant professor and public health nurse at the University of New Mexico College of Population Health (COPH), with a secondary appointment to the College of Nursing (CON).  Her research focuses on investigating ways to improve access and quality of school health education and health services for young people with the goal of improving adolescent health outcomes. Dr. Dickson’s doctoral and post-doctoral work has focused on exploring implementation of school policies related to school-based sexual health education in communities across New Mexico.  As faculty with the UNM Center for Participatory Research since 2018, she has worked with COPH colleagues to build the science supporting community-based participatory research (CBPR) as an evidence-based research approach.

Dr. Dickson joined UNM as faculty in 2018, teaching across undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs at the CON. Her courses have focused on evidence-based practice, health policy, qualitative research methods, and mixed methods. She earned a PhD from the UNM College of Nursing focused in health policy and was a doctoral fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative.

Areas of Specialty

Public Health Nursing

School-Based Health Services and Sexual Health Education

Health Policy


PhD, The University of New Mexico, 2018 (Nursing)
MSN, Samuel Merritt College, 2000 (Nursing)
BS, California State University, 1991 (Business Administration)


RN: Registered Nurse

PHN: Public Health Nurse

Achievements & Awards

Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Leaders and Innovators (U.C. Davis), 2023 – 2026

Key Publications

  • Dickson, E., Rishel Brakey, H, Wilson, P, Hackett, J., & McWethy, M. (2023). Classroom voices: Youth perspectives to direct school-based sexual health education. Sex Education Journal. 1-18.
  • Shattuck, D., Hall, J.L., Dickson, E., Green, A., & Ramos, M. (2021). Implementing evidence‐informed practices to make schools safer and more supportive of sexual and gender minority youth. Journal of School Health, 91, 258-261. doi: 10.1111/josh.12996
  • Boursaw, B., Oetzel, J., Dickson, E., Thein, T., Sanchez Youngman, S., Peña, J., Parker, M., Magarati, M., Littledeer, L., Duran, B., & Wallerstein, N. (2021). Scales of practices and outcomes for community-engaged research. American Journal of Community Psychology,1-15.
  • Dickson, E. & Brindis, C.B. (2020). The double bind of school nurses and policy implementation: Intersecting the street level bureaucracy framework and teaching sexual health education. The Journal of School Nursing.
  • Wallerstein, N., Oetzel, J., Sanchez-Youngman, S., Boursaw, B., Dickson, E., Kastelic, S., Koegel, P., Lucero, J., Magarati, M., Ortiz, K., Parker, M., & Pena, J. (2020). Engage for equity: A long-term study of community based participatory research and community engaged research practices and outcomes. Health Education & Behavior, 47(3), 380-390.
  • Dickson, E., Magarati, M. Boursaw, B., Oetzel, J., Devia, C., Ortiz, K., & Wallerstein, N. (2020). Characteristics and practices within research partnerships addressing health and social equity. Nursing Research. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000399
  • Dickson, E., Parshall, M., & Brindis, C. (2019). Isolated voices: Perspective of teachers, school nurses, and administrators regarding implementation of sexual health education policy. Journal of School Health. doi:
  • Dickson, E. & Lobo, M. (2017). Critical caring theory and public health nursing advocacy for comprehensive sexual health education. Public Health Nursing, 35(1), 78-84. doi: 10.1111/phn.12369.
  • Traeger, M., Thomson, A., Dickson, E., & Provencio, A. (2006). Bridging disparity: A multi-disciplinary approach for influenza vaccination in an American Indian community. American Journal of Public Health, 96(5), 921-925. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.049882




  • English
  • Spanish


  • Principal Investigator, “Advancing Sexual Health Education Through Youth Engagement”, Moore Foundation, 2023 – 2026
  • Principal Investigator, “COVID-19 Impact on School Nurses and Delivery of School Health”, National Association of School Nursing Endowed Research Award, 2021 – 2023
  • Principal Investigator, “Advancing Sexual Health Education to Improve Adolescent Health in New Mexico: Staff and Student Perspectives,” University of New Mexico, Clinical Translational and Science Center, 2019 – 2020
  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Virtual Communities of Practice: Measuring the Impact” University of New Mexico, 2021 – 2022.
  • Co-Investigator, “Enhancing Structural Competency in School-Based Health Centers to Address LGBTQ+ Adolescent Health Equity”  (PI: Willging, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation), National Institutes for Health, National Institute for Nursing Research, 2023 – 2026
  • Co-Investigator, “Engage for Equity: Advancing Research Support for Institutional, Patient & Stakeholder Partnering” (PI: Wallerstein), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), 2021 – 2023

Courses Taught

  • Health Care Policy, Systems, and Financing
  • Introduction to Qualitative Methods
  • Mixed Methods
  • Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) Institute: Indigenous and critical methodologies