LSU Health New Orleans

A to Z | Contact | Donate

Friday, September 17, 2021   1:24 PM    |   81°F


Marcy Purnell, PhD, APN, FNP-C
JoEllen Smith Tenet Endowed Chair in Nursing Research
Associate Professor of Nursing


Phone: 504-568-4409

Office: 517

Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday 8a-5p

Friday and Saturday by appointment


Marcy C. Purnell, PhD, APN, FNP-C has been appointed as the Tenet Health System/Jo Ellen Smith, BSN Endowed Chair of Nursing at LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing. She began her 2-year term on January 4th 2021. Dr. Purnell is only the second distinguished nurse researcher to hold this honor in the School of Nursing.

Dr. Purnell received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 1986, her Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus from the University of Memphis in 2009 and her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2016. She has been credentialed as a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2009 through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and has practiced in acute and primary settings in addition to her role as a nurse researcher.

Dr. Purnell’s research began with a focus on bioelectrodynamics in breast cancer and acute/chronic wound care. She has conducted bioelectrodynamic research as a basic scientist and in-vivo and human studies. She was the recipient of the prestigious Hal and Alma Reagan Fellowship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2014 and 2015 which is awarded to a scientist who studies the causes of and possible cures for cancer. She has recently published a novel mechanism in Discovery Medicine that suggests a previously unrecognized cascade of events that may trigger crises in sickle cell patients that has added a new focus to her research endeavors. She currently holds one published patent and has three patents pending relating to her work in bioelectrodynamics. She has published six peer reviewed articles and one abstract in the past three years and has one article in peer review. She has presented three invited lectures in the past three years, one internationally in Londrina, Brazil. She has served as Principal Investigator on seven funded research projects and as sub-investigator on an additional six projects.

Dr. Purnell is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Southern Nursing Research Society, Council of Advancement for Nursing Science, Sigma Theta Tau International, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty, Association of Clinical Research Professionals (board member), and the Greater Memphis Association of Advanced Practice Nurses. She was accepted into and attended the National Institute of Nursing Research’s Summer Genetics Institute in 2016. During her time at the NINR, she was invited to present her research at the National Human Genome Center at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She has authored a book chapter and continues to disseminate her work at both national and international conferences while serving as a reviewer for Biological Research in Nursing, Advances in Wound Care and Global Advances in Health and Medicine.

Dr. Purnell was previously the Visiting Professor of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg and a Nurse Practitioner for the Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, Germantown, Tennessee.

Dr. Purnell’s strives to honor the memory and work of Jo Ellen Smith, BSN in the continued pursuit of research endeavors for vulnerable and underserved populations in the areas of cancer, sickle cell, athlete recovery, and wound care through intraprofessional and interprofessional collaborations.