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Rebecca O'Connor PhD, RN

Associate Professor
Nurse Scientist, Seattle Children's Research Institute

Dr. Rebecca O’Connor is a Betty Irene Moore Nurse Leaders and Innovators Fellow, and Affiliate Member of the Center for Pediatric Nursing Research at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Her research, teaching, and service reflect her commitment to anti-racism and furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Dr. O’Connor recognizes that multiple historical and structural barriers in the US prevent many marginalized populations from achieving health equity and dissuades their participation in clinical research, further exacerbating inequities. To address the former, her current research seeks to reduce disparities by interrupting factors like implicit bias that negatively affect health care providers’ decision-making. Her current project funded by the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship seeks to transform clinical nursing education by making implicit bias a central focus in all patient encounters throughout the undergraduate nursing program. Dr. O’Connor also provides implicit bias training for graduate and undergraduate nursing students, interdisciplinary health sciences graduate students, and research teams at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Swedish Research Institute, among others. To address a lack of diversity among clinical research participants, she works with Seattle Children’s and the Institute of Translational Health Sciences as they partner with communities to ensure that future research benefits us all. Through an Innovative Educator Fellowship, Dr. O’Connor collaboratively developed and leads an annual 3-day Anti-racism and DEI Teaching Institute for School of Nursing faculty that resulted in statistically significant increases in DEI-related teaching self-efficacy among attendees. Dr. O’Connor received the School of Nursing’s student-nominated Excellence in Promoting Diversity Through Teaching in 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021 and the Sandra Eyres Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award in 2022.

What classes do you teach?

  • NMETH 403 Introduction to Research in Nursing
  • NSG 552 Social Determinants of Health
  • NURS 419 Transition to Professional Practice

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

My inspiring colleagues who continually push me to be a better person, nurse, teacher, and researcher. The passion and commitment for health equity and inclusion work at all levels. The dogged dedication to finding innovative ways of improving the health of individuals and communities locally and globally. And I do love the color purple.


Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing

Research Areas

  • Innovative Interventions
  • Health Equity
  • Lifespan Health

Research Centers

Picture of  Rebecca  O'Connor
Main: 206-543-8244

University of Washington School of Nursing
Dept of Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing
Box 357262
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195