Ellen T. Kurtzman PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor (Tenured)

Ellen T. Kurtzman, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, is a health services researcher and a tenured associate professor of nursing with secondary appointments in the university’s Milken Institute School of Public Health and Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration. Dr. Kurtzman teaches health policy, research, and statistics. Her investigator-initiated research explores the impact of federal, state, and institutional policies on health care quality and the role of the health care workforce in achieving higher value care. Her most recent work explores the role of team-based care in the quality of office-based physician practices and the prevalence of opioid prescribing in ambulatory care settings. She has led studies examining the quality of care and the services delivered by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, the impact of occupational restrictions on clinician practice, the effect of Medicaid expansion on community health centers, and the influence of performance-based payment programs on practitioner behavior.

Throughout her career, Dr. Kurtzman has pursued unique extramural collaborations to advance her scholarship. From 2018-2019, she was one of only eight mid-career professionals selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows program. During her year on Capitol Hill and in the Administration, she worked in the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, The Honorable Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and in the Office of the Surgeon General, Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH. From 2014-2016, Dr. Kurtzman served as the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)/AcademyHealth Health Policy Fellow, which placed her “in residence” at NCHS to collaborate with federal researchers and access NCHS restricted data assets. From 2011 to 2012, was an affiliate scholar at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center. Serving as both a collaborator from 2007-2010 and Visiting Nurse Scholar from 2010-2011 with the New Courtland Center for Transitions and Health at The University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Kurtzman advanced and built policy support for a model of care for chronically ill elderly, referred to as the Transitional Care Model.

Before joining academia, Dr. Kurtzman served in senior capacities for organizations such as the American Red Cross, National Quality Forum (NQF), American Health Care Association, National PACE Association, and the Partnership for Behavioral Healthcare. While at NQF, she was the architect of national consensus standards for measuring nursing’s contribution to quality. She also led NQF’s national efforts to establish hospital and home health care quality and performance standards.

Dr. Kurtzman received her PhD in public policy and administration from GW’s Trachtenberg School, her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2009, Dr. Kurtzman was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), 2009-current
  • Founding Faculty, GW School of Nursing, 2010
  • Most Influential Research Article of 2010, “Top 5,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Naylor, M. D., & Kurtzman, E. T. (2010). The role of nurse practitioners in reinventing primary care. Health Affairs, 29(5), 893-899.
  • Founding Member — Sigma Theta Tau International, Phi Epsilon Chapter, 2011
  • National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)/AcademyHealth Health Policy Fellow, 2014 – 2016
  • Associate Editor, Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM), 2017 – present
  • RWJF Health Policy Fellow —  the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2018-2019
  • Senator, GW Faculty Senate, 2020-current
  • The role of team-based care in the quality of care in office-based physician practices
  • HIV Testing Rates in the LGBT Community: Has Progress Been Made in HHS’ Seven High Burden Rural States?
  • Prevalence of opioid prescribing in ambulatory care settings
  • The George Washington University – Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration
  • The Johns Hopkins University – Master of Public Health
  • The University of Pennsylvania – Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Refereed Journals

  • Pittman, P., Bass, E., Han, X., & Kurtzman, E. (2019). The growth and performance of nursing programs by ownership status. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(4), 5-21.
  • Kurtzman, E. T., & Barnow, B. S. (2017). A comparison of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and primary care physicians’ patterns of practice and quality of care in health centers. Medical Care, 55(6), 615-622.
  • Kurtzman, E. T., Barnow, B. S., Johnson, J. E., Simmens, S. J., Infeld, D. L., & Mullan, F. (In press). Does the regulatory environment affect nurse practitioners’ patterns of practice or quality of care in health centers? Health Services Research
  • Kurtzman, E. T., & Greene, J. (2016). Effective presentation of health care performance information for consumer decision making: A systematic review. Patient Education and Counseling, 99(1), 36-43.
  • Lamb, G., Newhouse, R., Beverly, C., Toney, D. A., Cropley, S., Weaver, C. A., Kurtzman, E., Zazworsky, D., Rantz, M., Zierler, B., Naylor, M., Reinhard, S., Sullivan, C., Czubaruk, K., Weston, M., Dailey, M., Peterson, C.; Task Force Members. (2015). Policy agenda for nurse-led care coordination. Nursing Outlook, 63(4), 521-30.  
  • Greene, J., Kurtzman, E. T., Hibbard, J. H., & Overton, V. (2015). Working under a clinic-level quality incentive: primary care clinicians’ perceptions. Annals of Family Medicine, 13(3), 235-241.
  • Naylor, M. D., Kurtzman, E. T., Miller, E. A., Nadash, P., & Fitzgerald, P. (2015). An assessment of state-led reform of long-term services and supports. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 40(3), 531-574.
  • Pittman, P. M., Kurtzman, E. T., & Johnson, J. E. (2014). Academic progression models in nursing: Design decisions faced by administrators in four case studies. Journal of Nursing Education, 53(6), 329-335.
  • Naylor, M. D., Kurtzman, E. T., Grabowski, D. C., Harrington, C., McClellan, M., & Reinhard, S. C. (2012). Unintended consequences of steps to cut readmissions and reform payment may threaten care of vulnerable older adults. Health Affairs, 31(7), 1623-1632.
  • Naylor, M. D., Aiken, L. H., Kurtzman, E. T., Olds, D. M., & Hirschman, K. B. (2011). The importance of transitional care in achieving health reform. Health Affairs, 30(4), 746-754.
  • Kurtzman, E. T., O’Leary, D., Sheingold, B. H., Devers, K. J., Dawson, E. M., & Johnson, J. E. (2011). Performance-based payment incentives increase burden and blame for hospital nurses. Health Affairs, 30(2), 211-218.
  • Kurtzman, E. T. (2010). A transparency and accountability framework for high-value inpatient nursing care. Nursing Economics, 28(5), 295.
  • Kurtzman, E. T. (2010). The contribution of nursing to high-value inpatient care. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 11(1), 36-61.
  • Naylor, M. D., & Kurtzman, E. T. (2010). The role of nurse practitioners in reinventing primary care. Health Affairs, 29(5), 893-899. (Awarded Most Influential Research Article of 2010, “Top 5,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • Farquhar, M., Kurtzman, E. T., & Thomas, K. A. (2010). What do nurses need to know about the quality enterprise? Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 41(6), 246-256.
  • Kurtzman, E. T., Dawson, E. M., Johnson, J. E., & Sheingold, B. H. (2010). Nurses should drive health reform. AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 110(1), 11.

Policy Reports and Issue Briefs

  •  Written Testimony. VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., U.S. Surgeon General, Combating the Opioid Crisis before the Senate Finance Committee, October 24, 2019
  • Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2019). Adverse Childhood Experience and Negative Health Outcomes. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General. 
  • O’Connor, K. S., Kurtzman, E., Calip, G. S., Lau, D. T. Opioid-involved visits to physician offices among adults aged 18 years and over, United States, 2006-2015. Hyattsville, MD: NCHS. In press.
  • Kurtzman, E., Park, J., Han, X., & Pittman, P. (2017, September). The impact of Medicaid expansion on community health center staffing: Research report. Washington, DC: GW Health Workforce Research Center.
  • Hing, E., Kurtzman, E., Lau, D.T., Taplin, C., Bindman, A.B. (2017). Characteristics of primary care physicians in patient-centered medical home practices: United States, 2013. National health statistics reports; no 101. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The George Washington University. (2015, April). The value of nursing in building a culture of health (part 1): Reaching beyond traditional care settings to promote health where people live, learn, and play. Charting nursing future: Reports on policies that can transform care. Princeton, NJ: Authors. 
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The George Washington University. (2015, January). Addressing the looming demand for care as Americans age: How nurses are reshaping long-term services and supports. Charting nursing future: Reports on policies that can transform care. Princeton, NJ: Authors.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The George Washington University. (2014, September). Innovation in clinical nursing education: Retooling the old model for a 21st-century workforce. Charting nursing future: Reports on policies that can transform care. Princeton, NJ: Authors.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The George Washington University. (2014, March). Ten years after Keeping Patients Safe: Have nurses’ work environments been Transformed? Charting nursing future: Reports on policies that can transform care. Princeton, NJ: Authors.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The George Washington University. (2013, September). The case for academic progression: Why nurses should advance their education and the strategies that make this feasible. Charting nursing future: Reports on policies that can transform care. Princeton, NJ: Authors.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The George Washington University. (2013, January). Celebrating a sustained commitment to improving health and health care through nursing: RWJF marks its 40th anniversary. Charting nursing future: Reports on policies that can transform care. Princeton, NJ: Authors. 
  • American Nurses Association (ANA), Care Coordination Quality Measures Professional Issues Panel, Co-Chairs Ellen T. Kurtzman & Maureen Dailey. (2013, October). Framework for measuring nurses’ contributions to care coordination. Silver Spring, MD: ANA. 
  • Pittman, P., & Kurtzman, E. (2013, February 20). The changing nurse education environment. Washington, DC: The George Washington University. 
  • Devers, K., Kurtzman, E., Blavin, F., & Macri, J. The use of health information technology to improve quality: Where are we and what are the key issues to watch moving ahead? Unpublished issue brief, Urban Institute, Washington, DC. 
  • Berenson, R. A., Sunshine, J. H., Arkaprava, D., Doherty, J. A., Kurtzman, E. T.,  Richardson, E. S., Kalman, N. S. et al. (2012).  The effect of provider payment systems on quality, cost and efficiency, and access: A systematic literature review. Warsaw, PL: InterQuality Research Project.
  • Young, H. M., Kurtzman, E., Roes, M., Toles, M., Ammerman, A., & Pace, D. (2011, December). Measurement opportunities and gaps: Transitional care processes and outcomes among adult recipients of long-term services and supports. Washington, DC: Long-Term Quality Alliance.
  • Naylor, M.D., & Kurtzman, E. T. (2010). Aligning our efforts to achieve care coordination. Washington, DC: National Quality Forum.
  • Naylor, M. D., Coburn, K. D., Kurtzman, E. T., Prvu Bettger, J. A., Buck, H., Van Cleave, J., & Cott, C. A. (2010, March). Inter-professional team-based primary care for chronically ill adults: State of the science. In Unpublished white paper presented at the ABIM Foundation meeting to Advance Team-Based Care for the Chronically Ill in Ambulatory Settings. Philadelphia, PA.
  • American Academy of Nursing (AAN). (2008). Nurses helping Americans cross the quality chasm: A position paper from the American Academy of Nursing. Washington, DC: Author.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF). (2007). Tracking NQF-Endorsed Consensus Standards for Nursing-Sensitive Care: A 15-month study. Washington, DC: Author.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF). (2006). Nurses educational preparation and patient outcomes in acute care: A case for quality. Washington, DC: Author.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF). (2005). National voluntary consensus standards for home health care. Washington, DC: Author.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF). (2004). Hospital governing boards and quality of care: A call to responsibility. Washington, DC: Author.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF). (2004). National voluntary consensus standards for nursing-sensitive care: An initial performance measure set. Washington, DC: Author.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF). (2003). A comprehensive framework for hospital care performance evaluation. Washington, DC: Author.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF). (2003). National voluntary consensus standards for hospital care: An initial performance measure set. Washington, DC: Author.

Book Chapters

  • Hevenor, L., Kurtzman, E. T., & Johnson, J. E. (2016). Quality and safety in healthcare: Policy issues. In D. J. Mason, D. B. Gardner, F. H. Outlaw, & E. T. O’Grady (Eds.), Policy & politics in nursing and health care (7th ed.) (pp 483-493). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2016.
  • Needleman, J., Kurtzman, E. T., & Kizer, K. W. (2014). Performance measurement of nursing care. In Kominski GF, ed. Changing the U.S. health care system: Key issues in health services policy and management (4th ed.) (pp. 455-492). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. 
  • Kurtzman, E. T., & Johnson, J. E. (2011). Quality and safety in healthcare: Policy issues. In D. J. Mason, J. K. Leavitt & M. W. Chaffee (Eds.), Policy & politics in nursing and health care (6th ed.) (pp. 366-374). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  • Naylor, M. D., & Kurtzman, E. T. (2011). Transitional care: Improving health outcomes and decreasing costs for at-risk chronically-ill older adults. In A. S. Hinshaw & P. Grady (Eds.), Shaping health policy through nursing research (pp. 201-214). New York, NY: Springer.