Esther H. Bay, PhD, ACNS-BC

Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 2351 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 764-1391
Fax: (734) 936-5525


  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Depression
  • Hypothalamic pituitary axis changes
  • TBI symptoms, including fatigue
  • Psychological or cognitive functioning after TBI

The long-range goal of Dr. Bay’s research is to advance our understanding of mechanisms upon which to base interventions that will prevent the development of chronic stress or psychiatric disorders after traumatic brain injury. Specifically, Dr. Bay’s work has shown that persons who sustain mild-to-moderate TBI and live in the community report increased psychological stress, depressive symptoms, fatigue, hypocortisolemia, and deficits in cognition, interpersonal relatedness and psychological function, even in the more chronic phase of recovery. In addition, according to survey findings from ED nurses in the Midwest, there is a need for more emphasis on using evidenced-based guidelines in delivering post-ED discharge teaching following mild TBI. Research on older adults who sustained TBI and are community-dwelling is the most recent focus of Dr. Bay’s research and continues to center on the prevention of depressive symptoms by limiting symptoms of stress and improving social relationships.


Dr. Bay’s teaching mission is to cultivate leadership development, critical thinking, and the basis for using evidenced-based practice with undergraduate nursing students and clinical staff as they work with hospitalized persons experiencing acute medical-surgical illnesses. Dr. Bay has decades of experience in working with non-traditional and traditional nursing students as they pursue their AD, BSN, MSN or PhD degrees. Incorporated in these experiences is the ever-present intent to empower the student or staff nurse to be a life-long learner and to help them develop skills in seeking knowledge, advancing knowledge, and analyzing existing knowledge and practices, particularly in the hospitalized adult patient. Her theoretical foci includes building human relationships and basing nursing decisions on presenting physiological changes or potential changes as well as patient preferences, values, and existing evidence.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, University of Michigan's Faculty Scholars Program for Integrative Medicine, Fall 2012 through Spring 2013
  • Member, Society of Neuroscience
  • Member, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • Member, American Association of Neuroscience Nursing
  • Member, American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • Member, Sigma Theta Tau, Lambda Chapter
  • Nurse consultant, Michigan State Board of Nursing
  • Director of Continuing Education, Michigan Brain Injury Association

Notable Awards / Honors

  • NICHD's Center for Medical Rehabilitation and Research (NIMRR) research post-doctoral fellowship, 2010-2011
  • McDevitt Scholars Award for research, Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield, 2008
  • Invited grant reviewer, Department of Defense, 2007-2010


  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 2001
  • MSN, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 1982
  • BSN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 1976

Publication Highlights

  • Bay E., Chan, R., & Grim, C. Development & testing of two lifestyle interventions for persons with chronic mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury: Acceptability & feasibility. Applied Nursing Research, (In Press).

  • Bay, E., Binder, C. Lint, C. & Park, S. (2015) Mentoring the next generation of neuroscience nurses: A pilot study of mentor engagement in an academic-service partnership. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 47 (2), 97-104.

  • Bay, E. & Chartier, K. (2014) Chronic morbidities after traumatic brain injury: An update for the advanced practice nurse. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 46(3) 142-152, DO1:10.1097/JNN.

  • Tschannen, D., Anderson, C., Strobbe, S., Bay, E., Bigelow, A., Dahlem, C.H.Y., Gosselin, A.K.., Pollard, J., & Seng, J. (2014) Scholarly productivity for nursing clinical track faculty.Nursing Outlook, 62(6), 475-481. DOI: 10.1016/j.outlook.2014.05.006

  • Bay, E. & Covassin, T. (2012) Chronic stress, somatic and depressive symptoms after mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury. Archives Psychiatric Nursing, December 26, 477-486. PMID 23164404.

  • Bay, E., Blow, A. & Yan, Xie. (2012) Interpersonal relatedness and psychological functioning following traumatic brain injury: Implications for marital and family therapists, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38 (3) 556-557 DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00231.

  • Bay, E., Kalpakjian, C & Giordani, B. (2012) Determinants of subjective memory impairment after mild to moderate TBI. Brain Injury 1-9 (early on line, May, 1) DOI: 10.3109/02699052.2012.666365.

  • Covassin, T. & Bay, E. (2012) Are there gender differences in cognitive function, chronic stress and neurobehavioral symptoms after mild-to-moderate TBI? Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 44(3) 124-133. PMID: 22555349.

  • Bay, E. & Strong, C. (2011) Mild traumatic brain injury: A Midwest survey of discharge teaching practices of Emergency Department nurses. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal 33(2) 181-192.PMID: 21543914.

  • Bay, E., Blow, A. & Yan, Xie. (2011) Interpersonal relatedness and psychological functioning following traumatic brain injury: Implications for Marital and family therapists, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, epub, 1-12, May 16, 2011, PMID:

  • Bay, E. (2011) Mild TBI: A Midwest survey about the assessment and documentation practices of Emergency Department nurses. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal 33 (1), 71-83, PMID: 21317700.

  • Bay, E. & de-Leon, M. (2010) Chronic stress and fatigue-related quality of life after mild-to-moderate TBI. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation epub 1-9, December 16, PMID: 21169862.

  • Bay, E., & Strong, C. (2010) A cognitive-representational approach to patient education after. mild traumatic brain injury: Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal 32 (3) 247-257.

  • Bay, E. & Liberzon, I. (2009) Early stress response: A vulnerability framework for functional impairment following mild traumatic brain injury. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, (23), 1: 43-52, PMID: 19418887.

  • Bay, E. (2009) Treatment of depression after mild traumatic brain injury: A review, invited paper, Current Opinions in Neurology, 11:377-382.PMID: 19744404.

  • Bay, E. & Sikorskii, A. & Gao, F. (2009) Functional status, chronic stress and cortisol response after mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury, Biological Research for Nurses Jan 10(3) 213-225. PMID: 19015162.

  • Bay, E. & Xie, E. (2009) Biological and psychological correlates of fatigue after mild-to-moderate TBI. Western Journal of Nursing Research, June 5 on-line, 1-17. PMID: 19502473.

  • Bay, E., Sikorskii, A. & Saint-Arnault, D. (2008) Sex differences in the depression experience after mild-to-moderate TBI, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 41(6), 298-311, PMID:19998681.

  • Bay, E. & Donders, J. (2008). Risk factors for depressive symptoms after mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury Brain Injury, 22: 3, 233-241. PMID: 18297595.