Doris Boutain, RN, PhD

Doris Boutain, RN, PhD
Associate Professor
Associate Professor
Psychosocial & Community Health
Box 358732
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-8732

Dr. Boutain, as a community health nurse and educator, is committed to using social justice as a framework to promote health and decrease disease among underserved populations and communities. Her research is anchored in understanding how health disparities are created, and can be addressed, from a systems level perspective. Her work advocates for system change to promote population and community health for those most at risk of poor health outcomes.


Dr. Boutain studies how societal worry and stress are mechanisms for high blood pressure mismanagement, and preterm labor risk. Given the need to understand and address health disparities nationally and globally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded her high blood pressure study for two years. The National Institutes of Health, Division of Child and Maternal Health funded the collaborative preterm labor and stress study for five years. Dr. Boutain’s work adds to the growing research on how stress is associated with health disparities among marginalized populations and communities.


Dr. Boutain often uses her research to consult with masters and doctoral students nationally and internationally. A major goal of her undergraduate and graduate teaching is to promote in-depth learning that will spur social justice action. Dr. Boutain views the classroom as a place to encourage future and current nurses to be political change agents. She teaches undergraduate courses focused on community health and professional nursing practice.


Dr. Boutain works to promote the successful matriculation of diverse students in nursing. She is also a supporter of community involvement in health disparity research and higher education. She is a local board member of the March of Dimes and the Healing Circle. She is also a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Nursing Scholarship and Social Science and Medicine.

Dr. Boutain earned a Ph.D. in Nursing Science and an MN in Community Health from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southern University.

Research Interests: 
Health Disparity Research, Critical Theory, Community Health Systems, Worry, Stress and Health
UW Graduate Faculty: