Tara O'Brien

Tara O'Brien
First Name
Last Name
Assistant Professor
388 Newton Hall
Address (Line 2)
1585 Neil Avenue
Zip Code

Dr. Tara O’Brien is an assistant professor and early stage principal investigator testing non-pharmacological real-time self-management interventions to promote health outcomes in kidney transplant recipients at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Her research seeks to shift the paradigm of using printed materials for promoting self-care to using wearable sensors and working with health coaches. In prior work, she found that kidney transplant recipients using a multicomponent intervention for wearing an activity tracker, in combination with health coaching to monitor physical activity, had improved resting heart rates compared to a control group that only used the activity tracker.

Dr. O’Brien has 26 years of nursing experience working with underserved populations living with chronic disease in rural and urban communities. She brings 14 years of knowledge for integrating technology in the classroom to promote active learning and also using technology to achieve health goals in research. She has received over $400,000.00 funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, International Transplant Nursing Society, and American Nephrology Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing for her work targeting mobile technology to facilitate self-management after a kidney transplant. Dr. O’Brien received the Southern Nursing Research Society Aging Research Interest Group Rising Investigator Award in 2019, and was selected to participate the Southern Nursing Research Society Leadership Academy in 2020.

Dr. O’Brien has been a certified nurse educator since 2010. She has received multiple teaching awards and received the 2019 Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing Award by the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence organization. Her teaching contributions include developing and testing active teaching strategies to promote learning outcomes among nursing students. In prior work, she found that active teaching strategies using a hands-on approach improves student satisfaction and confidence. Dr. O’Brien’s teaching style both in the classroom and the online setting is characterized as a flipped classroom approach, for which she received overwhelming satisfaction reports from students.

Dr. O’Brien now serves as the Chair of the Southern Nurses Research Society’s Aging Research Interest Group, a board member for the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Education Committee. She serves on the Kidney Donor Conversations committee and is an Ambassador Advocate for Lifeline of Ohio promoting organ donation. Dr. O’Brien received an Associate Degree in Applied Science from Hocking College, Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a Minor in Psychology and a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Ohio University, and a Doctorate in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Community Service
  • 2018-Present: Ambassador Advocate for Lifeline of Ohio
  • 2018-Present: Community Volunteer for Lifeline of Ohio
Recent Research Activities
Funded Research Grants
Professional Activities


May 19, 2021

by Pat Ford-Roegner

Lurking right behind the COVID-19 pandemic is another major killer: the seemingly unstoppable incidences of violence by Americans on one another. Most recently, we witnessed senseless shootings in areas including Atlanta, Austin, Boulder, Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Kenosha, WI and Orange County, CA. Major cities are experiencing a steep rise in gun violence. My hometown of Philadelphia reels daily from violence. Innocent children are frequent victims.

The events themselves are horrific, but only part of the story.

May 07, 2021

OHIO-Nurses are up against major obstacles every day: workplace violence; burnout; unsafe staffing; COVID-19; and other traumatic events. Many of these have a lasting impact that go beyond the bedside, leading to moral injury within the profession. Moral injury, often described as a consequence of continual acts that go against one’s morality, is a phenomenon sweeping the profession, which is why the Ohio Nurses Foundation announced today the winners of a $100,000 award to support important research on moral injury in nursing.