Patricia Kuster

Patricia Kuster

Instructor PhD, RN

Programs and Courses Taught

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing

Clinical Instructor N158, N556 (pediatrics); N170, N570 Community Health
Course Manager N108 Nursing Research

About Me

I have been a nurse for over 30 years and teaching nursing for the last 15 years. After graduating as a nurse, I started working in pediatrics and have worked in multiple roles, including staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and pediatric nurse practitioner. After completing my graduate program as a CNS in primary care of children, I began working as a PNP in a pulmonary and cystic fibrosis center on the east coast. It was during this time that I developed an interest in research and learning more about caring for children with asthma, cystic fibrosis, ventilator-dependence, and the impact of pediatric chronic health issues on families. I chose to go to UCLA to pursue a PhD in nursing and focus on research in this area of pediatric nursing. 
My dissertation research focused on the physical and mental health outcomes of mothers caring for children who are ventilator-dependent. After completing my PhD, I wanted to continue to investigate whether primary caregivers of children with special health care needs were more prone to physical and emotional health issues as a result of the stressors. I completed an NINR supported 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in Injury Mechanisms and Related Responses at University of Arizona. Shortly after, my first academic position was at University of South Florida teaching in the PNP program as well as undergraduate nursing research. I started teaching with SMU in 2008 and am located with the Sacramento campus. 


2002-2004 The University of Arizona - NINR post-doctoral fellowship (T32); 2002 PhD in Nursing from The University of California, Los Angeles; 1992 MSN from Seton Hall University; 1987 BSN from Boston College

Teaching Interests

Pediatric Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Nursing Research and EBP, Mental Health Nursing

Scholarly Interests

Psychoneuroimmunology, Pediatric nursing, Stress response, Families of children with special health care needs and mental health issues


Non Peer-Reviewed

Kuster, P.A. (2014). Nursing care of children and coffee: Why neither should be eliminated from a nursing program. SPN News. Volume 23, April/May 2014.


Contributor, Chapter on Genetics, Nursing Care of Child in the Community, and Social and Environmental Influences on the Child and Adolescent in:
Ball, J.W., Bindler, R.C. & Cowen, K.J. (2009). Instructor’s Manual and Resource Guide for Child Health Nursing: Partnering with Children and Families (2nd ed.) New York: Pearson.

Kuster, P.A. & Badr, L.K. (2006).  Mental health of mothers caring for ventilator-assisted children at home.  Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 27, 817-835

Kuster, P.A., Badr, L.K., Chang, B.L., Wuerker, A.K., & Benjamin, A.E. (2004).  Factors influencing health promoting activities of mothers caring for ventilator-assisted children. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 19, 276-287.

Kuster, P.A. & Merkle, C.J. (2004). Caregiving stress, immune function, and health: Implications for research with parents of medically fragile children.  Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 27, 257-276.

Kuster, P.A. & Pecenka-Johnson, K. (1999). Nursing management of the child in status 
    Asthmaticus and impending respiratory failure.  Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 11, 511-517.

Herda, J.B., Kuster, P.A., & Tirabassi, L. (1998).  Health Challenge: Alterations in the Respiratory System, in Bowden, V.R., Dickey, S., & Greenberg, C. (Eds.) Children and Their Families: The Continuum of Care.  Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.

Kuster, P.A. (1996).  Reducing risk of house dust mite and cockroach allergen exposure in inner-city children with asthma.  Pediatric Nursing, 22, 297-303.