Dr. Kimberly D. Acquaviva, Betty Norman Norris Endowed Professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, is nationally known as an innovator and authority on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) aging and end-of-life issues as well as a leader on interprofessional aging research and policy.

She is member of the Academy of Distinguished Teacher and winner of the 2011 Bender Teaching Award

Dr. Acquaviva was previously a professor at George Washington University School of Nursing, where she was a was a tenured professor and founding faculty member. In her 15 years at GW, she served in a number of roles, including director of the National Collaborative on Aging and associate dean for faculty affairs.

Early in her career, Kim – a social worker and scholar – cared for patients and families facing life-limiting illness in hospitals and hospice settings, work that ultimately shaped her research interest in LGBTQ aging and end-of-life issues. Kim is also well-versed in other healthcare domains, too, including high-tech approaches to boosting clinicians’ emergency preparedness. During her time at George Washington University, she played key roles on interdisciplinary teams that have secured millions of dollars of external funding. One of these projects, the National Nurse Emergency Preparedness Initiative, received $2 million in funding from the Department of Homeland Security and resulted in an online course that more than 50,000 nurses have completed to date.

In the classroom, Kim has taught topics that touch both nursing and medicine. At George Washington University, she taught population health, evidence-based practice, grant writing, health policy, and research project proposal courses – as well as offering guest lectures on academic dishonesty and how to take a sexual history. At the University of Virginia, she teaches health policy and grant writing to a mix of undergraduate and graduate students, and she works closely with our Center for Interprofessional Collaborations (formerly known as the Center for ASPIRE) to support its grant-writing, advance its work and goals, champion IPE beyond the university's boundaries and engage in its twice-annual T3 Faculty Development Program as a teacher, facilitator and participant.

A Fulbright Scholar, an award-winning educator, a much-feted LGBTQ advocate, and an often-tapped national leader and scholar, Kim was drawn to the University of Virginia School of Nursing in large part because of its healthy work environment and inclusivity initiatives.  Kim’s “em dash" podcasts range from episodes featuring LGBTQ individuals sharing their experiences navigating the healthcare system to episodes in which persons with disabilities talk about reclaiming their space; the podcast amplifies a wonderful variety of voices that are not often heard – and should be.

An often-published scholar in the academic and lay media alike, Kim’s book, LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Guide to Transforming Professional Practice (Columbia University Press: 2017), received the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year Award in the Palliative Care and Hospice category.  Currently, she’s working on a book about her experiences caring for her wife, a fellow hospice and palliative care expert, as her family navigates the healthcare system and the dying process.

She has a PhD in Human Sexuality Education fom the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, a MSW in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, and a BA in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences.  She is a Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).

Honors and Awards

  • Finalist, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award, LGBT Non-Fiction category (2018)
  • First Place, 2017 AJN Book of the Year Award, Palliative Care and Hospice category (2018)
  • LGBT Health Professional Leadership Award, Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians (2017)
  • President's Volunteer Service Award (Gold), Corporation for National and Community Service and President Donald Trump (2017)
  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers, George Washington University (2014)
  • Bender Award for Outstanding Teaching, George Washington University (2011)
  • Fulbright Specialist Awardee / Fulbright Scholar, Khon Kaen University, Thailand (2009)
  • Computer-Based Professional Education Technology Award, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society (2009)
  • Best Practices Award for Distance Learning Programming – Silver, U.S. Distance Learning Association (2008)
  • Award of Excellence, Awarded by Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (2008)
  • Healthcare and Aging Award, Healthcare and Aging Network of the American Society on Aging (2005)
  • Excellence in Research Award, Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End of Life Studies at the University of South Florida (2003)
  • Award of Excellence in Education, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (2003)


Journal Articles

Stein, G., Berkman, C., Acquaviva, K., Woody, I., Godfrey, D. Javier, N. M., O’Mahony, S., Gonzales-Rivera, C., Maingi, S., Candrian, C., & Rosa, W. (2023). Project Respect: Experiences of seriously ill LGBTQ+ patients and partners with their healthcare providers. Health Affairs Scholar, 2023(9), qxad049.

Catlett, L., Acquaviva, K.D., Campbell, L.C., Ducar, D., Page, E.H., Patton, J. & Campbell, C. (2023). End-of-life care for transgender older adults. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 10, 1-13.

Acquaviva, K. and Marshall, D. (2022). Editorial: Introducing the special collection on ‘Palliative Care for LGBTQ2S+ Individuals and Families'. Palliative Care and Social Practice, 16, 1-3.

Mayer, C., LeBaron, V., & Acquaviva, K. (2022). Exploring the use of psilocybin therapy for existential distress: A multi-method study of palliative care provider perceptions. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 54(1), 81-92.

Acquaviva, K. (2021). Establishing and facilitating large-scale manuscript collaborations via social media: Novel method and tools for replication. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(5), e25077-7.

Acquaviva, K. (2021). Comparison of intercom and megaphone hashtags: An analysis of four years of tweets from the top 44 schools of nursing: Thematic uses. JMIR Nursing, 4(2), e25114.

Acquaviva, K., Mugele, J., Abadilla, N., Adamson, T., Bernstein, S., Bhayani, R., Büchi, A., Burbage, D., Carroll, C., Davis, S., Dhawan, N., Eaton, A., English, K., Grier, J., Gurney, M., Hahn, E., Haq, H., Huang, B., Jain, S., Jun, J., Kerr, W., Keyes, T., Kirby, A., Leary, M., Major, A., Marr, M., Meisel, J., Petersen, E., Raguan, B., Rhodes, A., Rupert, D., Sam-Agadu, N., Saul, N., Shah, J., Sheldon, L., Sinclair, C., Spencer, K., Strand, N., Streed, C., and Trudell, A. (2020). Documenting Social Media Engagement as Scholarship: A New Model for Assessing Academic Accomplishment for the Health Professions. J Med Internet Res, 22(12), e25070-25070.

Rosa, W. E., Shook, A., & Acquaviva, K. D. (2020). LGBTQ+ Inclusive Palliative Care in the Context of COVID-19: Pragmatic Recommendations for Clinicians. J Pain Symptom Manage, 60(2), 44-47.

Acquaviva, K. (2017). LGBTQ-Inclusion: A call to action for nurses. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 23(5), 108-108. DOI:.

Acquaviva, K. D., & Krinsky, L. (2015). Bridging politics, policy, and practice: Transforming healthcare in Massachusetts through the creation of a statewide commission on LGBT aging. Geriatric Nursing, 36(6), 482-483.

Falk, N., Phillips, K., Hymer, R., Acquaviva, K., & Schumann, M. J. (2014). Utilizing a student-faculty collaborative learning model to teach grant development in graduate nursing education. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(5), 212-218.

Acquaviva, K., Haskell, H., and Johnson, J. (2013). Human Cognition and the Dynamics ofFailure to Rescue: The Lewis Blackman Case. Journal of Professional Nursing, 29(2), 95-101.

Acquaviva, K., Posey, L., Dawson, E., and Johnson, J. (2012). Using Algorithmic PracticeMaps to Teach Emergency Preparedness Skills to Nurses. Journal of Continuing Education inNursing, 43(1), 19-26.

Acquaviva, K., and Mintz, M. (2010). Are we teaching racial profiling?: The dangers ofsubjective determinations of race and ethnicity in case presentations. Academic Medicine, 85(4), 702-705.

deVries, B., Mason, A.M., Quam, J., Acquaviva, K. (2009). State recognition of same-sexrelationships and preparation for end of life among lesbian and gay boomers. SexualityResearch and Social Policy, 6(1), 90-101.

May, L., Acquaviva, K., Dorfman, A., and Posey, L. (2009). Medical Student Perceptions ofSelf-Paced, Web-Based Electives: A Descriptive Study. American Journal of DistanceEducation, 23(4), 212-223.

Salmon, J.R., Kwak, J., Acquaviva, K.D., Brandt, K., Egan, K. (2007). Benefits of TrainingFamily Caregivers on End-of-Life Closure. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 33(4), 434-445.

Cohen, S., Sharma, T., Acquaviva, K., Peterson, R., Patel, S., and Kimmel, P. (2007). SocialSupport and Chronic Kidney Disease: An Update. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, 14(4), 335-44.

Cohen, S., Norris, L., Acquaviva, K., Peterson, R., and Kimmel, P. (2007). Screening,Diagnosis, and Treatment of Depression in Patients with ESRD. Clinical Journal of theAmerican Society of Nephrology, 2(6), 1332-1342.

Salmon, J.R., Kwak, J., Acquaviva, K.D., Brandt, K., and Egan, K. (2005). Transformativeaspects of caregiving at life's end. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 29(2), 121-129.

Salmon, J.R., Kwak, J., Acquaviva, K.D., Brandt, K., and Egan, K. (2005). Validation of the Caregiving at Life's End questionnaire. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, 22(3), 188-194.


Acquaviva, K. (2023). The handbook of LGBTQIA-inclusive hospice and palliative care. Columbia University Press.

Acquaviva, K. (2017). LGBTQ-Inclusive hospice and palliative care: A practical guide to transforming your practice. Harrington Park Press.

Book Sections

Keim-Malpass, J. & Acquaviva, K. (2023). Influencing public opinion and health policy through media advocacy. In B. Patton, M. Zalon, & R. Ludwick (Eds.), Nurses making policy: From bedside to boardroom (3rd ed., pp. 273-310). Springer Publishing Company

Acquaviva, K. (2021). Self-care strategies for LGBTQ+ nursing students. In D. Fontaine, T. Cunningham, & N. B. May (Eds.), Self-care for new and student nurses (1st ed., pp. 144-153). Sigma Theta Tau International.

Acquaviva, K., & Johnson, J. (2014). Chapter 18: The quality improvement landscape. In M. S. Joshi, E. R. Ransom, D. B. Nash, & S. B. Ransom (Eds.), The healthcare quality book: Vision, strategy, and tools (3rd ed., pp. 407-432). Health Administration

Johnson, J., Dawson, E., & Acquaviva, K. (2008). Chapter 17: The quality improvement landscape. In E. Ransom, J. Maulik, D. Nash, & S. Ransom (Eds.), The healthcare quality book: Vision, strategy, & tools (2nd ed., pp. 407-432). Health Administration Press