Kelly Wiltse Nicely

Kelly Wiltse Nicely

Assistant Professor, tenure track, CRNA Program Director | PhD, CRNA


Dr. Wiltse Nicely is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and earned a BSN from the University of Pennsylvania, a MSN (nurse anesthesia) and research minor from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She assumed the role of Director for the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Nurse Anesthesia Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in December 2016. She aided in shepherding the program through the initial accreditation process and welcomed the inaugural cohort of nurse anesthesia students in August 2017. Dr. Wiltse Nicely has maintained an active clinical practice for over a decade, specializing in cardiac anesthesia. Her research interests are in health services research and patient outcomes, with a focus on pain, interprofessional education and collaborative practice and advanced practice nursing delivery models. She has been published in journals such as Health Services Research and Academic Medicine, contributed to multiple book chapters and published one textbook. She served two terms as the President of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists, been an active member of multiple American Association of Nurse Anesthetist (AANA) committees, and served on the AANA Foundation Closed Claims research team.

Areas of Expertise


Schoneboom, BA, Perry, SM, Barnhill, WK, Giordano, NA, Wiltse Nicely, KL, Polomano, RC. Answering the call to address chronic pain in military service members and veterans: Progress in improving pain care and restoring health. Nursing Outlook 64(5):459-484 01 Sep 2016
Polomano RC, Fillman M, Giordano NA, Vallerand AH, Wiltse Nicely KL, Jungquist CR. Multimodal analgesia for acute postoperative and trauma-related pain. American Journal of Nursing 117(3):S12-S26 01 Jan 2017

Wiltse Nicely KL, Fairman JA. Postgraduate nurse practitioner residency programs: Supporting transition to practice. Academic Medicine, 90(6):707-709 25 Jun 2015 doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000567

Wiltse Nicely, K.L., Sloane, D.M., & Aiken, L.H. (2013). Lower mortality for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in high volume hospitals is contingent upon nurse staffing. Health Services Research, 48(3), 972-991


Dr. Wiltse Nicely is an experienced and dedicated educator in nurse anesthesia. She has spoken extensively regionally, nationally and internationally on nurse anesthesia practice.


Dr. Wiltse Nicely’s program of research has focused on models of care delivery and their relationship to patient access to care and cost-effectiveness and the role of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in patient access to care. Most recently, her research has focused on pain management and the consequences and synergies related to various treatment modalities. Dr. Wiltse Nicely is also engaged in the science of teaching and learning as it relates to interprofessional education and collaboration in simulation. Finally, Dr. Wiltse Nicely serves on a research collaboration dedicated to reviewing and analyzing closed claims data for anesthesia providers.