Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Dean, Nursing Science, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Healthcare Quality

Division of Nursing Science


ACK 202C

(973) 353-1061

Specialty: Nephrology nursing workforce, patient safety, disparities in health care service use, health policy

A veteran of almost 30 years of clinical practice experience as a staff nurse, nurse manager, and advanced practice nurse in acute care and outpatient kidney dialysis settings. Dr. Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins serves as a tenured Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Healthcare Quality. Her funded program of research focuses on the effects of nephrology nursing systems (e.g., nurse staffing levels, workload, and work environment support) on nursing care processes and quality outcomes in dialysis settings. She was the first researcher to quantify the relationships among nursing structures (patient-to-RN ratios, workload), nurse practice environment support, missed care, and patient outcomes in outpatient dialysis units in the United States. That work helped to lead to policy changes in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Staffing Regulations in the CMS Dialysis Provider Conditions for Coverage. Recently, her work has been cited, in numerous media reports, as supporting the proposed California Dialysis Patient Safety Act (SB 349) aimed at requiring higher levels of registered nurse and patient care technician staffing in California outpatient dialysis units. Her current work is focused on a facility-level examination of the effects of nurse-sensitive indicators (RN staffing, RN and nurse manager workload, RN and nurse manager work environment support, missed care, nurse manager safety practices) on value-based patient outcomes, patient safety, adverse patient events, and nurse outcomes in outpatient dialysis facilities in three states.

In her role as Director of the Center for Healthcare Quality, she is also engaged in team science and research that focuses on patient characteristics, health system characteristics, care delivery models, nursing workforce patterns, quality outcomes, adverse events, and costs of care across hospital, ambulatory care, long-term care, and community-based settings.

Dr. Thomas-Hawkins has served on numerous local, regional, and national advisory boards and professional organization committees. Dr. Thomas-Hawkins has published in numerous interdisciplinary and nursing journals, is an editorial board member for the Renal Society of Australasia Journal and the Brazilian Journal of Nursing, and serves as a peer reviewer for several nursing research journals.       


PhD          University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA
MSN         University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA
BSN         Thomas-Jefferson University School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA
Diploma    Temple University Hospital School of Nursing


The Effects of Nurse-Sensitive Indicators on Value-Based Outcomes in Outpatient Dialysis Facilities: A Multi-Level Model Approach
Role: PI
Sponsor: American Nephrology Nurses’ Association ($10,000)

Exploring Daily Activity and Total Energy Expenditure in the Adult Hemodialysis Population

Role: Co-I (PI: Laura Byham-Gray)
Sponsor: Dean’s Intramural Grant Award, Department of Nutritional Sciences                                      School of Health Related Professions (Amount $35,000)

Dialysis Nurse Manager Safety Practices
Role: PI
Sponsor: American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (Amount $15,000)

Needs and concerns of caregivers of individuals with chronic kidney failure receiving home dialysis
Role: Co-I (PI: Janet Welch)
Sponsor: Indiana University School of Nursing (Amount: $8100)

A theory-based pilot exercise intervention for elders with end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
Role: PI
Sponsor: National Institute of Nursing Research (RO3) (Amount $154,000)

The work environment and nurse-reported outcomes in dialysis centers
Role: PI
Sponsor: American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (Amount $75,000)

Development and Testing of a Physical Activity Modeling Video for Elders with ESRD
Role: PI
Sponsor: Rutgers University Center for the Study of Health Beliefs and Behaviors, Institute of Health Care Policy and Aging Research (Amount $15,000)

Illness Representations in Elders with ESRD  
Role: PI
Sponsor: National Institute of Nursing Research (KO1) (Amount $261,188)

Bridges to the Doctorate
Role: PI
Sponsor: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (Amount $536,244)

Elderly hemodialysis patients symptom and functioning experiences
Role: PI
Sponsor: National Kidney Foundation (Amount $20,000)

Final revision and testing of the Inventory of Functional Status-Dialysis
Role: PI
Sponsor: Rutgers University Busch Biomedical Research Grant (Amount $19,402)


Weaver, S.H., Lindgren, T., Cadmus, E., Flynn, L., & Thomas-Hawkins, C. (in-press). Report from the off-shift: How Administrative Supervisors achieve nurse and patient safety. JONA.

McMullan, S. & Thomas-Hawkins, C. (2017). Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) perceptions of factors impacting patient safety. Nursing Administration Quarterly41(1), 56-69.

Flynn, L., Thomas-Hawkins, C., & Bognar, L. (2017). Work environment characteristics valued by nurse managers in hemodialysis units. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 43(5), 403-408,446.

Fountain, D. & Thomas-Hawkins, C. (2016). A pilot study: Testing of the Psychological Conditions Scale among hospital nurses. JONA, 46(11), 586-591. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000409.

Thomas-Hawkins, C., Flynn, L., Lindgren, T., & Weaver C. (2015). Nurse manager safety practices in outpatient hemodialysis units. Nephrology Nursing Journal. 42(2), 125-133,147.

Cox, J., Thomas-Hawkins, C., Pajarillo, E., Degennaro, S., Cadmus, E., & Martinez, M. (2015). Factors associated with falls in hospitalized patients. Applied Nursing Research, 28, 78-82.

Thomas-Hawkins, C., & Flynn, L. (2015). Patient safety culture and nurse-reported adverse events in outpatient hemodialysis unit. Research and Theory in Nursing Practice. 29(1), 53-65.

Thomas-Hawkins, C. (2014). Culture of patient safety in dialysis care. Renal Society of Australasia Journal, 10(2), 89-90.

Welch, J.L., Thomas-Hawkins, C., Bakas, T., McLennon, S.M., Byers, D.J., Monetti, C.M., & Decker, B.S. (2014). Needs, concerns, strategies, and advice of daily home hemodialysis caregivers. Clinical Nursing Research, 23(6), 644-663. First published online July 21, 2013.


Thomas-Hawkins, C., Dinwiddie, L., & Payne, G. (2017). Research priorities for nephrology nursing: Challenges and recommendations (pp. 825-840). In S. Bodin (Ed.). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing (3rd edition). Pitman, NJ: Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.

Thomas-Hawkins, C., Latham, C., & Hain, D. (2017). Nursing sensitive quality indicators (pp. 979-992). In S. Bodin (Ed.). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing (3rd edition). Pitman, NJ: Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.

Flynn, L., Thomas-Hawkins, C., & Bodin, S. M. (2008). Using research to influence federal policy: The nephrology nurses’ experience. In G.L. Dickson & L. Flynn (Eds.), Nursing Policy Research (pp. 343-348). New York: Springer Publishing.

Thomas-Hawkins, C., & Mapes, D. (2008). The Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study. In C. Counts (Ed.). Core Curriculum for Nephrology Nursing, 5th ed (pp. 473-494). Pitman, NJ: Janetti Publishers.

Thomas-Hawkins, C. (2006). Chronic illness management and outcomes: A theory-based approach. In A. Molzahn & E. Butera (Eds). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing: Principles and Practice. Pitman, NJ: Janetti Publishers.


Cutaia-Clark, M., Thomas-Hawkins, C., Jarrin, O. Improving Nursing Care and Outcomes for Patients Living with End-Stage Renal Disease. Symposium podium presenter. Sigma Theta Tau International’s 28th International Nursing Research Congress, Dublin, Ireland, July 27-31, 2017.

Thomas-Hawkins, C. & Flynn, L. Nurse staffing, workload, and the dialysis work environments: Do they matter? Podium Presentation. Nephrology Caregivers Conference. Anaheim, CA, June 11, 2017.

Thomas-Hawkins, C., & Flynn, L. Effects of nurse staffing, workload, practice environment support, and missed care on patient transition safety in outpatient hemodialysis unit. Podium Presentation. Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science 2016 State of the Science Congress, Washington, DC, September 15, 2016.

Thomas-Hawkins, C., Flynn, L., Lindgren, T., Weaver, T. Nurse manager safety practices in outpatient hemodialysis units. Poster Presentation. American Nephrology Nurses Association National Symposium, Orlando, FLA. April 21-22, 2015.

Thomas-Hawkins, C., Flynn, L., & Bognar, L. Nurse manager descriptions of their outpatient hemodialysis work environment. Poster Presentation. American Nephrology Nurses Association National Symposium, Orlando, FLA. April 2015.