Theresa Kessler

Theresa Kessler Ph.D., RN, ACNS-BC, CNE, FAAN Professor
Kreft Endowed Chair for the Advancement of Nursing Science


Professor Kessler teaches courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing. She received the 2017 Valparaiso University Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Work. The award recognizes a tenured faculty member who has made significant scholarly achievements to his/her discipline. In 2014, Professor Kessler received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Valparaiso University Alumni Association; and in 2005-2006, she was the recipient of the Caterpillar Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Professor Kessler is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is a Certified Nurse Educator through the National League for Nursing and is board certified as an Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Professor Kessler has worked closely with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), where she previously served as chair of  the Commission on Certification for two terms and chair of the Adult Health Content Expert Panel and the Appointments Committee. Professor Kessler has been active with the Indiana Division of the American Cancer Society and the Zeta Epsilon Chapter of Sigma. She is an accreditation site visitor for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Her research interests include cognitive appraisal and quality of life for individuals facing cancer, health behaviors of college students, the health status of underserved adults, and smoking cessation among underserved pregnant women and college students. She is published in a variety of journals, including Journal of Professional Nursing, Research in Nursing and Health, Nursing Leadership Forum, Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, Oncology Nursing Forum, Journal of Community Health Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education, and Nurse Educator. She is an active peer reviewer for several journals including Nurse Educator. 

  • PhD – University of Kentucky
  • MSN – Indiana University
  • BSN – Purdue University 
  • ADN – Purdue University
  • Certified as a Clinical Specialist in Adult Health Nursing (ACNS-BC)
  • Certified Nurse Educator (CNE)
  • ELNAC Palliative Care Graduate Education Trainer