Patricia W. Coleman-Burns, PhD, MA

Assistant Professor Emerita
Undergraduate Studies Program
Room 2306 NURS1

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

Telephone: (734) 763-5964
Fax: (734) 936-5525
Patricia Coleman-Burns is accepting new PhD students.


  • Cultural competence
  • Health disparities
  • Social determinants of health
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion processes
  • Improving workforce diversity

As a scholar, Professor Coleman-Burns has focused her career on retention and successful learning behaviors of underrepresented nursing students; health disparities and social justice in patient-centered care and providers' behaviors; Black ideology; and the Colored Women's Club Movement. She is an advocate for the right of all persons to be free from gender oppression, sexism, racism, and violence. She has served as the co-chairperson of U-M's Violence against Women Taskforce as well as serving on several advisory committees on diversity, multiucultural and women's issues. She serves on the Executive Board of Safehouse Center, which provides services for those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. Her research is on racial identity and the reduction of health disparities. 

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • GENESIS Phase III Project: Gaining Excellence in Nursing Education: Students Intensifying the Sciences. Role: PI. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Health Resources and Services Administration, Div. of Nursing, Nursing Workforce Diversity.
  • Recruitment of under-represented minorities: Improving equity in program outcomes. Role: Co-PI. Rackham Faculty Allies for Diversity in Graduate Education Grant, University of Michigan.


Professor Coleman-Burns has made considerable contributions to the School of Nursing's teaching mission. She has taught across the undergraduate curriculum. Her teaching has specialized in communications - specifically speech pedagogy and rhetorical criticism - as well as African American Studies. More specifically, during her career she has developed and taught courses focusing on social and political movements, gender and racial identity issues, topics in speech and women’s studies, and health disparities and cultural competence. She taught "Nursing as a Social Interpersonal Profession (NURS-122) and Cultural Aspects of Health and Illness (NURS-477).

Affiliations / Service

  • Chair, UMSN Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee (2015-2016)
  • Representative, Executive Board, National American Arab Nurses Association (2014-present)
  • Member, University of Michigan Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium Planning Committee (1995-present)
  • Committee Member and Event Moderator, MLK Spirit Award, University of Michigan, (2007-present)
  • Member, Harper Hospital/Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital/Catherine McAuley Health System Task Forces on Prostate Cancer in African American Males (1993-present)
  • Co-Chairperson, Sarah Goddard Power and Rhetaugh Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award Ceremony, Academic Women’s Caucus, Center on Education of Women, Ann Arbor MI. (2014-present)
  • Steering Committee Member, Women of Color in the Academy (WOCAP) (2011-present)
  • Member, University Outreach Council, Center for Educational Outreach, University of Michigan (2011-present)

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Sarah Goddard Power Award, Academic Women's Caucus (2016)
  • Sigma Theta Tao, Rho Chapter Friend of Nursing (2016)
  • U-M Center for Educational Outreach Partner Appreciation Award, 2015)
  • The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses (2011)
  • Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives and Center for African and African American Studies Faculty Cornerstone Award (2010)
  • University of Michigan School of Nursing Mae Edna Doyle Teacher of the Year Award (2004)


  • PhD, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1987
  • MA, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1976
  • BA, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1969

Publication Highlights

  • Jones, L. M.; Fernandez, D.; McCall, A. M.; Coleman-Burns, P. W. (2014). Illness representation among African Americans with hypertension: Current recommendations and future research. Submitted to special Issue of Health Disparities, “Disparities in Cardiovascular Health: Examining the Contributions of Social and Behavioral Factors”.

  • Jones, L. M., Pressler, S., Seng, J., Coleman-Burns, P. W., McCall, A. M., & Veinot, T. (2014). Internet Health Information Seeking: An Integrative Review of the Literature. Western Journal of Nursing Research.

  • Lehto, R.H., Song, L., Stein, K.F., Coleman-Burns, P. (2010) Factors influencing prostate cancer screening behavior in African American men. Western Journal of Nursing Research 32, 779-793.

  • Coleman-Burns, PW. (2004). Benkert, R.; Pohl, J.; & Coleman-Burns, P. Creating Cross-Racial Primary Care Relationships in a Nurse-Managed Center. Journal of Cultural Diversity 11(3) 88-99.

  • Scisney-Matlock M, Algase D. Boehm S, Coleman-Burns P, Oalkey D, Yeo SA, Young E. and Yu, MY. (May 2000) Measuring behavior: electronic devices in nursing studies. Applied Nursing Research 13(2):97-102.

  • Coleman-Burns P, Edwards G. (1996) A culturally sensitive approach to patient care, Part 1: Caring for African-American patients. Practical Diabetology 15(3):4-9.

  • Coleman-Burns P, Edwards G. (1997) A culturally sensitive approach to patient care, Part 2: Caring for Asian-Indian patients. Practical Diabetology 16(3):11-18.

  • Boehm, S.; Coleman-Burns, P.; Schlenk, E; Powell, I and Parzuchowski, J. (1995 August). Prostate Cancer in African American Men: Increasing Knowledge and Self-Efficacy. Journal of Community Health Nursing 12(3) 161-169.

  • Coleman-Burns, P. (1989 July). African American Women in Higher Education: Education for What? Sex Roles.

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