GW SON Top-Ranked

GW SON continues to be ranked among the top 50 schools of nursing. GW is in the top 13% of ranked graduate nursing schools. 

US News & World Report also ranks our online MSN #26 out of more than 144 programs nationwide.

In a first-ever ranking of Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, we are no. 30, placing us in the top 20% of ranked programs. These top rankings reflects the quality of our student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer recognitions, and admissions selectivity.


Beverly K. Lunsford, PhD, RN, CNS-BC

Director, Center for Aging, Health and Humanities; Director, Washington Area Geriatric Education Center Consortium (WAGECC); Assistant Professor
The George Washington University School of Nursing
Address: 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 500
Washington, District Of Columbia 20006
Phone: 202-994-6726
Mobile: 240-441-6048


Dr. Lunsford is Assistant Professor in The George Washington School of Nursing. She is Program Coordinator for the Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Post Masters Certificate Program and Nursing Advisor for students in the End of Life Care Field of Nursing. Dr. Lunsford has taught a variety of nursing courses, including research, theory, community, population health, spirituality and health. She has a particular professional focus on underserved and disenfranchised populations, palliative/end of life care, and spirituality and health care.

Dr. Lunsford served as Associate Director for the GW Institute for Spirituality and Health (2005 to 2008) participating in education, research and clinical innovations to ensure that the spiritual dimension of the individual, family, and community is an essential aspect of health care. During this time, she helped develop and obtain funding for the research project, Integration of Spirituality and Health into Hospitals to Create More Compassionate and Patient Centered Care (INSPIR), co-authored a white paper on Compassion and Spirituality, and collaborated to develop and teach a certificate program in spirituality and health care at GW, which addresses the foundation of spirituality and health care, spiritual beliefs and practices in health, spiritual development across the lifespan, and practical skills for spiritual and compassionate care.

Research & Scholarship

Dr. Lunsford is the Principal Investigator for the Washington DC Geriatric Education Center Consortium (WAGECC), a five-year project funded by the Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA)to improve the care of older adults by providing education to health care professionals in geriatrics and gerontology. WAGECC includes evaluating the effectiveness of an evidence-based falls curriculum for changing the practice of health care professionals in falls assessment and prevention for older adults.

Dr. Lunsford is the Principal Investigator for another HRSA-funded project, Geriatric Education Utilizing a Palliative Care Framework, which is a three-year project to improve the care of older adults with serious, chronic illness. This model will educate interdisciplinary health care professionals in the care of older adults using a palliative care framework that emphasizes quality of life, interdisciplinary collaboration, improved communication around goals of care, and anticipatory guidance.

She also served as Principal Investigator, Faith Community Nurse (FCN) Survey to describe the practice of FCNs in the United States with Health Ministries Association the professional organization for Faith Community Nurses. Other research endeavors include: Co-PI on Improving the Knowledge, Skills and Leadership of RNs in Long Term Care Utilizing Rapid Cycle Quality Improvement, a three-year HRSA-funded project and Co-PI for Integrating Spirituality and Health to Increase Compassion and Patient Centered Care to refine a model intervention for improving health care systems in hospitals.

Clinical Practice

Prior to her administrative and teaching positions at GW, Dr. Lunsford started an Adolescent Health Program at Community of Hope Health Services in the inner city of Washington, DC, and worked as Clinical Coordinator for Joseph’s House providing end of life care for homeless men dying of AIDS. She has served in a variety of capacities as clinician and administrator of services for underserved and homeless individuals. In all of these endeavors, her focus was on providing high quality and holistic care for each individual, their family, and the community.

Honors & Credentials 

Dr. Lunsford serves as Secretary for The George Washington University School of Nursing Honor Society and is a Faculty Mentor and Board Member for the Health Ministries Association, the professional nursing organization for Faith Community Nurses.


Dr. Lunsford earned her Ph.D. from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. in 1994; a Master's in Nursing from Kansas University, Kansas City in 1981; and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marymount College, Salina, Ks. in 1974.


Lunsford, B. (2009). Finding Meaning in the Journey: The Spiritual Aspects of Living with Dementia. In IONA Senior Services (Eds) Planning Now for Life Ahead: A Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers. IONA Senior Services in partnership with The Greater Washington Partnership for Palliative and End-of-Life Care and The Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Chapter with funding from The Aetna Foundation. 

Lunsford, B. (2009). Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out by Richard Taylor (Book Review). Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 33:122–124. [Abstract]

White Paper for the Fetzer Institute (2008). Intersection of Compassion and Spirituality. Unpublished manuscript

Puchalski, C.M., Lunsford, B., Harris, M., Miller, T. (2006). Interdisciplinary spiritual care for seriously ill and dying patients. Special Edition on Palliative Care, CANCER Journal. [Abstract]

Panke, J., Bourneman, T., Lunsford, B., Wagner, B. (2005). Palliative Care. In Facing the challenge, DC Cancer Control Plan 2005-2010.C. Cancer Coalition Report on the State of Cancer Care in Washington, D.C.