Wanda Thruston

IU School of Nursing IUPUI

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Areas of Expertise

K-12 school health care and health promotion; social and emotional health of students and school personnel; child and adolescent trauma; secondary traumatic stress of school personnel; health and educational disparities; diversity, equity and inclusion in schools and school health; adolescent sexuality; adolescent students who are pregnant or parenting; school health administrative consultation; using implementation science to implement evidence-based practices.

Expert Bio

Wanda Thruston’s research focuses on the social and emotional health of K-12 schoolchildren and school personnel, their trauma and secondary trauma, students who are pregnant and parenting, and using implementation science to implement evidence-based practices. She is the primary investigator on "Preventing and Mitigating Secondary Traumatic Stress on School Personnel and the Social and Emotional Health of School Personnel," a grant-funded project under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation related to reopening schools after the COVID-19 pandemic.

For nearly 40 years, Thruston has been a maternal and child health nurse, nurse practitioner, public health administrator, and educator. She opened school-based health clinics; developed school-based health promotion programs for students who are pregnant or parenting; and provided health care in inner-city nurse practitioner clinics serving women, children and adolescents living in low-income neighborhoods, homeless shelters and the streets.

Currently, she serves on the board of the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School and Nurse Family Partnership. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar fellow and a Charles A. Bantz Community Engaged Scholar.

Thruston holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the IU School of Nursing and a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University.

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Updated on: May 1, 2020