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Susan D Newman PhD, RN, CRRN, FAAN

Assistant Dean, PhD in Nursing Science program

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  • Associate Professor
  • College of Nursing
  • Department of Nursing
Academic Focus
  • spinal cord injury rehabilitation & self-management
  • community-engaged research
  • rehabilitation nursing
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Dr. Susan D. Newman is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Ph.D. in Nursing Science program in the College of Nursing. She received her Ph.D. in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Clemson University. Dr. Newman is a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse.


Dr. Newman developed her expertise in rehabilitation nursing during 13 years of clinical practice in acute inpatient medical rehabilitation, caring for individuals with a variety of disabilities. Over her clinical career, she developed a special interest in and fondness for working with individuals who have sustained spinal cord injury. During her time in graduate school, Dr. Newman recognized the challenges experienced by individuals with spinal cord injury as they transitioned from the clinical rehabilitation setting back in to the “real world” of their homes and communities. Her dissertation research used an innovative qualitative research method known as Photovoice to gain an in-depth understanding of the experience of life in the Charleston area from the perspective of people with spinal cord injury. Notably, results of this research supported a successful advocacy effort to change the accessible parking laws in South Carolina.


Dr. Newman's current research investigates the role of peer mentoring in the process of adapting to life with a spinal cord injury and learning to self-manage consequences of the injury successfully. Her research includes application of community-engaged research approaches to address issues affecting community participation, health, and overall quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury. She has received funding from the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, National Institutes of Health, the Agency on Healthcare Research and Quality, the SCTR Pilot Projects Program, and the Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation. 


Keywords: Spinal Cord Injury, Peer Mentoring, Self-Management, Community Participation, Community-engaged Research