Associate Professor, Informatics Specialty Program Director
Division of Advanced Nursing Practice
Newark Health Sciences
Specialty: Clinical and consumer informatics, data quality, primary care, access to care, quality of care
Duties of the Associate Professor & Informatics Specialty Program Director
- Admit, advise, and approve graduation of nursing informatics students
- Collaborate with Advanced Practice Division faculty on DNP curriculum evolution
- Direct the foundational graduate Information Technology course
- Collaborate with interdisciplinary colleagues in research and writing projects
- Contribute to national and international nursing informatics activities
An experienced primary care nurse practitioner and administrator
with exceptional credentials in clinical and consumer informatics, Dr.
Melinda Jenkins serves as an Associate Professor, Clinical Scholar
track, and Informatics Program Specialty Director, in the Division of
Advanced Nursing Practice at the Rutgers School of Nursing.
Leveraging her background in research, education (including online
teaching), and clinical practice, Dr. Jenkins works to assure that
advanced practice nurses educated at Rutgers develop strong
evidence-based decision-making with an informatics foundation – using
information science to acquire, store, and use patient information in
electronic form to guide and improve care. She focuses on use of
standardized terminology in electronic nursing documentation to develop
systems for high-quality, coordinated care and improved outcomes. In
addition to teaching, Dr. Jenkins plans to participate as a family
nurse practitioner in the Rutgers Community Health Center.
For five years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Center
for Scientific Review, Dr. Jenkins managed regular meetings for
scientific merit peer review of multidisciplinary clinical informatics
research and related small business applications. The interdisciplinary
group of expert reviewers included nurses, physicians, engineers,
computer scientists, economists, statisticians, and others. Dr.
Jenkins received two NIH Director’s Awards. In addition to managing
NIH expert review, Dr. Jenkins oriented 60 patient and family
stakeholder reviewers for the initial peer review for the Patient
Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), established under the
Affordable Care Act.
Earlier, as Coordinator of Consumer Informatics for the Primary
Care Information Project at New York City’s Department of Health and
Mental Hygiene, Dr. Jenkins implemented and evaluated a patient portal
tethered to the electronic health record promoted citywide.
She worked with the National Library of Medicine to develop
MedlinePlus Connect. Available as a free web application or as a web
service, the tool will link a patient portal or an electronic health
record to MedlinePlus.gov, NIH’s online encyclopedia, featuring
information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in lay
language. The web site has reputable up-to-date information in over 40
languages, to enhance patient knowledge about a diagnosis, medications
or laboratory tests.
Dr. Jenkins’ experience also includes directing the University of
Pennsylvania’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program (FNP) while providing
primary health care at a federally-funded, nurse-managed health center
in a Philadelphia public housing complex. While in Pennsylvania, she
led a state-wide consortium to obtain prescriptive authority for
advanced practice nurses. At Columbia University, she taught advanced
practice nurses and informatics, and co-directed Dr. Suzanne Bakken’s
HRSA-funded training program to integrate informatics content into
advanced practice education – developing, implementing and evaluating a
mobile encounter log for each of the nurse practitioner specialty
programs to use.
Since 2005, in addition to her academic and research work, Dr.
Jenkins is an independent consultant working to advise applicants for
NIH funding and to integrate consumer informatics into primary care.
Dr. Jenkins earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at the University of Missouri-Columbia and her PhD in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. She also conducted post doctoral study in informatics at Columbia University.