Dr. Li is an Assistant Professor at Emory University, holding a primary position with the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and a secondary position within the Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine. Dr. Li is affiliated with the Center for Data Science at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Dermatology Center for Outcomes and Safety Research, Department of Dermatology, within the School of Medicine.

Dr. Li is a dedicated health services researcher with an interdisciplinary background in medicine, nursing, economics, business, and public health. Her research expertise focuses on healthcare workforce dynamics, health economics, patient outcomes, and quality of care. She employs a multidisciplinary approach merging economics and data science to inform policy change and enhance clinical practice across various care settings.

Dr. Li serves as the co-chair of the research committee of the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, where she plays a pivotal role in steering research initiatives that shape the future landscape of nursing workforce development. Additionally, she holds a position on the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition Data Advisory Committee, leveraging her insights and expertise to inform data-driven strategies in healthcare.

Areas of Expertise

Data Science
Global Health
Health Policy
Health Services Research


  1. Li, Y. & Swerlick, R. A. (in press). Increasing Use of Total Body Skin Exam in Medicare Beneficiaries: Is this a Blessing or a Curse? Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
  2. Li., Y., Howell, J., & Cimiotti, J. P. (2023). Nurse Practitioner Job Preference: A Discrete Experiment. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 138, 104407. PMID: 36481595. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2022.104407
  3. Cimiotti, J. P., Becker, E. R., Li., Y., Sloane, D. M., Fridkin, S. K., West, A. B., & Aiken, L. H. (2022). Nurse Workload and Mortality in Medicare Beneficiaries with Sepsis. JAMA Health Forum, 3(5): e221173. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2022.1173.
  4. Li, Y., Greenwood, L., Eichelberger, L. W., Marion, L., Cleghorn, J., Wheeler, R., & Cimiotti, J. P. (2022). State and National Data on the Georgia Nursing Workforce. Nursing Outlook, 70(1), 47-54. PMID: 34620493. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2021.07.005
  5. Li, Y., Spetz, J., & Cimiotti, J. P. (2021). Pathways to Economic Growth for Nursing and Midwifery Workforce: A Research Agenda. Nursing Economic$, 39(6), 265-284. Featured article.
  6. Li, Y. & Cimiotti, J. P. (2021). Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes during a Natural Disaster. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 12(3), 30-37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2155-8256(21)00114-9. Featured article.
  7. Li, Y. & Jones, C. B. (2021). Care Received by Patients from Nurse Practitioners and Physicians in U.S. Primary Care Setting. Nursing Outlook, 69(5), 826-835. PMID: 33814158. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2021.02.007
  8. Li, Y., Holmes, G. M., Fraher, E. P., Mark, B. A., & Jones, C. B. (2018). Differences in Primary Care Nurse Practitioners’ Wages by Employment Setting. Nursing Outlook, 66(6), 528-538. PMID: 30104024. DOI: 10.1016/j.outlook.2018.06.009


Dr. Li has taught a few courses across the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Nursing (MN), and PhD programs, including N617 Data Utilization in Nursing Practice, N710 Principals in Health Outcomes Research, N702D Analyzing, Evaluating, and Transforming Health Systems, N703 Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing, and N723 Health Policy, Ethics, and Law. Dr. Li offers statistical mentoring for DNP students' projects (N716, N717, and N721). Dr. Li has also been a highly regarded guest lecturer, delivering insightful presentations on propensity score matching for the PhD course N710 Principals in Health Outcomes Research since 2020.


Dr. Li’s research encompasses multifaceted dimensions of healthcare workforce dynamics, chiefly focusing on policy-oriented endeavors aimed at enhancing practice across diverse care settings and levels of care delivery. Dr. Li has extensively explored workforce challenges at organizational, state, national, and global levels, elucidating critical insights for healthcare stakeholders. Her current research trajectory embarks on novel research avenues, emphasizing the outcomes among healthcare workers, particularly focusing on occupational injuries (e.g., dermatological conditions) and patient-reported outcomes, seeking to innovate clinical decision-making processes and improve patient care. Dr. Li's previous and current research awards which are funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Eczema Association, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.


1. James and Patricia Leak Fund (1st recipient), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012)
2. Mary P. Speight Scholarship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012)
3. Glaxo Fellowship Fund Scholarship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2011)
4. Kellet Scholarship, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2010)
5. Kellet Scholarship, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2009)
6. Johnston Foundation, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2008)