College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Charlene Douglas, PhD, MPH, RN, CPH

Division Director, Undergraduate Programs, School of Nursing
Commonwealth Associate Professor

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Dr. Douglas, Associate Professor of Nursing and Division Director, Undergraduate Programs, School of Nursing, focuses on the areas of community-based practice, access to care and cultural competence. Her contributions to general education include work the Educational Testing Service (ETS) where she was on the committee to write and test essay questions for the newly established writing component of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Her primary research interest has been in the area of quality of life for cancer survivors. She has published results for this study for Hispanic and African American populations. She serves on the INOVA Home Health of Northern Virginia’s advisory committee. Her teaching responsibilities include the Community Health Lecture in class and on-line, and the Community Health Clinical for undergraduate and RN students. She is a text reviewer for community content and serves as a grant reviewer for community programs aimed at reducing adolescent pregnancy.

Dr. Douglas was a community health nurse in Baltimore before earning her MPH. She taught community health at the University of Maryland before completing her PhD. From 1991 to 1992, she was a White House Fellow where she served as a special assistant to Secretary Louis W. Sullivan at the Department of Health and Human Services. Part of that service was helping to launch the Healthy Start Program, aimed at decreasing the infant mortality rate in high risk areas.

Dr. Douglas has developed and presented cultural competence workshops in a wide range of venues including state-wide nursing conferences, local hospitals, undergraduate and graduate students. She has written a text chapter on cultural competence and served on doctoral thesis on this subject matter.

In an effort to assist nurses to enroll children in the State Children's Health Insurance Programs nation-wide, Dr. Douglas published a journal article on successful enrollment strategies. In clinical courses, students are placed in community organizations and projects with a special outreach to medically indigent or vulnerable populations including area free clinics, mobile vans and shelter care.


PhD, Health Psychology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (1992)

MPH, Health Systems Development and Planning, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (1982)

BSN, Nursing, Case Western Reserve University (1978)

BA, American Studies, Cum Laude, Case Western Reserve University (1975)


Research Interests

  • Quality of life for cancer survivors 

Select Publications

Gaffney, K.F., Henry, L.L., Douglas, C.Y., & Goldberg, P.A. (2008). Differentiating tobacco use triggers for mothers of infants. Pediatric Nursing.

Conerly, R., F. Baker, Dye, J., Douglas, C., & Zabora, J. (2002). Measuring depression in African American cancer survivors: The reliability and validity of the Center for Epidemiologic Study – Depression (CES-D) scale. Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 107-114.

Douglas, C. (2001). Health insurance programs for children. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 16, 63-65.

Douglas, C. (2001). Community-based strategies for colorectal cancer screening. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 16, 133-144.

Baker, F., Jodrey, D., Zabora, J., Douglas, C., & Fernandez-Kelly, P. (1996). Empirically selected instruments for measuring quality-of-life dimensions in culturally diverse populations. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, 20, 39-47.

Book Chapter

Douglas, C. (2001). Cultural competence as a foundation for community-based nursing practice. In J. Sorrell & G. Redmond (Eds.), Community-based nursing practice: Learning through student’s stories. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.


"Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program: Partners for Education in Gerontology (PEG)," HRSA D62HP15118. Remsburg (Principal Investigator), July 2009-June 2012. Role: Faculty.

"Partners for Access to Healthcare (PATH): A Faculty Practice Plan Expanding Community Services Using Chronic Care," HRSA D11HP19018. Dickman (Principal Investigator). July 2010-June 2015. Role: Faculty.

Honors & Awards

Senior Faculty of the Year, 2001, College of Nursing and Health Science, George Mason University

Outstanding Nurse Award for Research, 1996, Virginia Nurse's Association District VII

Faculty Member of the Year, 1984-1985, University of Maryland, School of Nursing

Alumni Scholar, 1971-1975, Case Western Reserve

Professional Affiliations

Medical Reserve Corps, Fairfax County

INOVA Home Health Physicians Advisory Committee