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Rahshida Atkins, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Assistant Professor

2000 Pennington Road, Trenton Hall, Room 113, Ewing, New Jersey 08628

Phone Number: (609) 771-2510 / Fax Number: (609) 637-5159 / Email:

About Dr. Rahshida Atkins


Dr. Rahshida Atkins is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey.  Dr. Rahshida Atkins obtained a BSN, MSN, and PhD in Nursing from Rutgers College of Nursing in Newark and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania School of nursing with a scholarly focus on promoting health in vulnerable women, children and families. She spent 3 years as an Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden and has taught undergraduate and graduate students online and in-class at several different universities for the past 16 years. She has been a nurse for over 22 years, and a practicing Family Nurse Practitioner for 16 years, providing primary healthcare to adults and children across the lifespan. Dr. Atkins program of research focuses on addressing the physical and mental health needs of vulnerable disadvantaged families and encourages the adoption of healthy behaviors, such as physical activity and mindfulness meditation. Dr. Atkins has published her research in premier journals in nursing and other disciplines and has presented it nationally raising awareness about how to promote health in residents of under resourced populations. In recognition of her dedication to nursing education, scholarship, and research she has earned numerous awards including the University of Pennsylvania Postdoctoral Completion, Veronica Clark-Tasker EOF Alumni Research Award, the Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Tau Chapter Excellence in Research Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Faculty Preparation Certificate, and the International Sigma Theta Tau Rising Star Recognition.

Research Areas

Mental Health

Health Promotion

Physical Activity

Health Disparities

Curriculum Vitae


Degrees Earned

PhD, Rutgers College of Nursing-Newark, Nursing Research

MSN, Rutgers College of Nursing-Newark-Family Nurse Practitioner

BSN, Rutgers College of Nursing-Newark, Nursing



The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing: T32, Postdoctoral, Vulnerable Women Children and Families, 2014-2016

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Jersey Nursing Initiative, 2009-2013

Digital Teaching Fellow, Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden

Civic Engagement Fellow, Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden



Atkins, R., Deatrick, J. A., Gage, G., Earley, S., Early, D., Lipman, T. H. (2019).  Partnerships to evaluate the social impact of dance for health: A qualitative inquiry. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 36, (3), 1-15.


Atkins, R., Luo, R., Wunnenberg, M., Ayres, C. G., Lipman, T. H., Hayes, L., Penna-Cardinali, V., Deatrick, J. A. (2019). Contributors to depressed mood in Black single mothers. Issues in Mental Health Nursing.


Atkins, R., Deatrick, J. D., Bowman, C., Ansley, B., McCurry, I., Lipman, T. H. (2018). University-Community Partnerships Using a Participatory Action Research Model to Evaluate the Impact of Dance for Health. Behavioral Sciences, 8(12), 113.


Deatrick, J., Klusartiz, H., Atkins, R., Bolick, A., Bowman, C., Schroeder, K., Lado, J., Lipman, T. (2018).  Engaging with the Community to Promote Physical Activity in Urban Neighborhoods. American Journal of Health Promotion


Atkins, R., Gage, G., Kelly, T., Joseph, P. W., Johnson, S., Ojo, K., Williams, W. (2018) Exploring Expressions of Depression in Black Single Mothers. Issues in Mental Health Nursing,


Atkins, R. (2017). Outcomes of depression in Black single mothers. Clinical Nursing Research, 26, 464-483. doi: 10.1177/1054773816633440.

Atkins, R. (2016). Coping with Depression in Single Black Mothers.  Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 37, 1-10.


Atkins, R. (2014). Depression in Black single mothers: A test of a theoretical model. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 37 (6). 812-830.


Atkins, R (2014). Psychometric Review of Instruments Measuring Perceived Racism/Racial Discrimination: Review and Critique of Factor Analytic Techniques, International Journal of Health Services, 44, (4).


Atkins, R. (2014). Validation of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale in Black Single Mothers. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 22, 511-524.


Atkins, R. (2010). Self-efficacy and the promotion of health for depressed single mothers. Journal of Mental Health in Family Medicine, 7(2), 155-168


Courses Taught

Professional Role II Clinician

Research and Evidenced Based Practice

Wellness and Health Assessment

Advanced Health Assessment

TCNJ is currently accepting applications for the RN-BSN program, but owing to exceptionally high enrollment and retention, the Department of Nursing has no capacity for external transfer students seeking admission to the undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program for the 2023-2024 academic year. This notice will be updated if capacity allows for applications to be submitted through the Office of Admissions for the 2023-2024 academic year