Growing up in a home where her father was a doctor and her mother was a nurse, Nancy Wells was at first determined to be neither. After a disappointing first year in college, Dr. Wells wanted to be useful, and noticed that the people who were the busiest in the dorm were the nursing students. She decided to pursue a nursing career and make use of her degree. Now over 25 years after receiving a PhD from Boston University, Dr. Nancy Wells is a research professor for the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University and the director of nursing research for the institution’s Medical Center. She is an expert in pain management, system management and pain therapies, particularly acute, chronic, and cancer pain.

As a recipient of numerous research grants for cancer pain and pain assessment for functional health, Dr. Wells attributes her success to having good ideas and being able to play with them until they were fit for grants and research. She enjoys working with staff nurses and wants to help them advance in their thinking and growth, taking great pride in not being intimidating to new members of her profession. In addition to being the recipient of the Early Scientist Award from the University of Rochester, Dr. Wells has contributed to over 100 publications and books.

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