Donna Schminkey earned a BA in anthropology (1985) and a BSN (1988), both from UVA.  She was awarded master degrees in both public health and nurse-midwifery from Emory University in 1993 and earned a PhD in nursing from the UVA in 2014.  She practiced nurse-midwifery in North Carolina and Georgia until 1999, and has been practicing in Harrisonburg, VA since 2000.

Honors and Awards

  • Research in Nursing & Health Authorship Award, Southern Nursing research Society (2017)
  • Scholarly Dissemination Award, University of Virginia School of Nursing (2014)
  • Summer Genetics Institute, National Institute of Nursing Research (2014)
  • Phyllis J. Verhonick Dissertation Award, University of Virginia School of Nursing (2014)
  • Nomination, Virginia Nurse of the Year, March of Dimes (2013)
  • Member, Beta Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International of Honor Society of Nursing ( 2012-present)

Research Focus

Dr. Schminkey’s research and scholarship is focused at the intersection of health equity for vulnerable women, women’s health issues and the psychoneuroimmune processing of stress/support events. In particular, she studies how health care providers can support and improve the health of women who are recovering from trauma and understanding the psychoneuroimmune responses to violence and displacement through immigration that affect health and well-being. Dr. Schminkey has experience working with pregnant women, women experiencing family or intimate partner violence (IPV) and newly arrived immigrants.

Clinical Focus

Public health & nurse-midwifery: Her practice has focused on infertility evaluation and treatment, sexual health issues, evaluating recurrent gynecological infections, prenatal care and postpartum mood disorders. She has expertise in providing care in group and traditional one-on-one settings.

Teaching Focus

Pathophysiology, epigenetics, women's and maternal-child health


Professional Service

  • Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Virginia Department of Health (2017)
  • AWHONN representative, Maternal Mortality Review Team (2016-2018)
  • Member, School of Nursing PhD Program Committee (2013-2014)
  • Member, School of Nursing International Committee (2013-2014)
  • Member, Provost's Reappointment Review Committee for Dean of School of Nursing (2013)
  • Mentor, Scholars to Advance Research (STAR) Seminar Series: The Doctoral Student Mentor – BSN Group Mentee Program (2013)
  • Treasurer, Doctoral Nursing Student Organization (2011-2013)

Public Service

  • Treasurer, Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI) (2016-present)
  • Advisory Board, Hand-in-Hand Resources (2014-present)
  • Board Member, Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI) (2013-2015)
  • Member, Student Conference Advisory Committee for the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI) (2011-2012)
  • Vice President, Shenandoah Region Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners (2010-2012)
  • Program Services Committee Member, March of Dimes (2000-2003)


Journal Articles

Carhart, M., Schminkey, D., Mitchell, E. M., & Keim-Malpass, J. (2018). Barriers and facilitators to improving Virginia’s HPV vaccination rate: A stakeholder analysis with implications for pediatric nurses. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 42, 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2018.05.008

Sawin, E. M., Sobel, L. L., Annan, S. L, & Schminkey, D. (2017). From systematic review to call for action: In search of evidence-based interventions to decrease intimate partner violence in rural Hispanic American women. Hispanic Health Care International, 15(2), 79-87. doi:10.1177/1540415317698947

Deguzman, P., & Schminkey, D. (2016). Influencing cancer outcomes through genomic change via upstream interventions for neighborhood-associated toxic stress in the United States: A research framework. Public Health Nursing, 33(6), 547-557. doi:10.1111/phn.12290

St. Ivany, A. & Schminkey, D. (2016). Intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury: State of the science and next steps. Family and Community Health, 39(2), 129-137. doi:10.1097/fch.0000000000000094

Samankasikorn, W., Pierce, B., St. Ivany, A., Gwon, S.H., Schminkey, D., & Bullock, L. (2016). The effect of home visiting with pregnant teens on maternal health. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 41(3), 162-167. doi:10.1097/NMC.0000000000000235

Schminkey, D., von Oertzen, T., & Bullock, L. (2016). Handling missing data with multilevel structural equation modeling and full information maximum likelihood techniques. Research in Nursing & Health, 39(4), 286-297. doi:10.1002/nur.21724

Bacchus, L., Bullock, L., Sharps, P., Burnett, C., Schminkey, D., Buller, A.M., & Campbell, J. (2016). “Opening the Door”: A qualitative interpretive study of women’s experiences of being asked about intimate partner violence and receiving an intervention during perinatal home visits in rural and urban settings in the USA. Journal of Research in Nursing, 21(5-6), 345-364. doi:10.1177/1744987116649634

Bacchus, L., Bullock, L., Sharps, P., Burnett, C., Schminkey, D., Buller, A.M., & Campbell, J. (2016). Infusing technology into a perinatal home visitation intervention for women experiencing intimate partner violence in urban and rural settings in the USA. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(11), 302. doi:10.2196/jmir.6251

Burnett, C., Schminkey, D., Milburn, J., Kastello, J., Bullock, L., Campbell, J., & Sharps, P. (2016). Negotiating peril: The lived experience of rural, low-income women exposed to IPV during pregnancy and postpartum. Violence Against Women, 22(8), 943-965. doi:10.1177/1077801215614972

Sharps, P.W., Bullock, L.F., Campbell, J.C., Alhusen, J.L., Ghazarian, S.R., Bhandari, S.S., & Schminkey, D.L. (2016). Domestic Violence Enhanced Perinatal Home Visits: The DOVE randomized clinical trial. Journal of Women’s Health, 0(advance online publication), 1-10. doi:10.1089/jwh.2015.5547

Shelton, M. M., Schminkey, D. L., & Groer, M. W. (2015). Relationships among prenatal depression, plasma cortisol, and inflammatory cytokines. Biological Research for Nursing, 17(3), 295-302. doi:10.1177/1099800414543821

Schminkey, D. L., & Keeling, A. W. (2015). Frontier nurse-midwives and antepartum emergencies, 1925-1939. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 60(1), 48-55. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12212

Alhusen, J. L., Bullock, L., Sharps, P., Schminkey, D., Comstock, E., & Campbell, J. (2014). Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and adverse neonatal outcomes in low-income women. Journal of Women's Health, 23(11), 920-926. doi:10.1089/jwh.2014.4862

DeGuzman, P. B., Schminkey, D. L., & Koyen, E. A. (2014). "Civil unrest does not stop ovulation": Women's prenatal and family planning services in a 1960s Detroit neighborhood clinic. Family & Community Health, 37(3), 199-211. doi:10.1097/fch.0000000000000034

Schminkey, D., & Groer, M. (2014). Imitating a stress response: A new hypothesis about the innate immune system's role in pregnancy. Medical Hypothesis, 82(6), 721-729. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2014.03.013