Willie M. Abel, PhD, RN, FAHA

Willie M. Abel, PhD, RN, FAHA

Associate Professor

Dr. Abel has been a faculty member in the School of Nursing since 2013. Her research focuses on methods to improve the health status of Blacks who are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, with a particular focus on Black women with hypertension. She has authored and co-authored publications in nursing and health related journals based on her research. She is a member of local, regional, and national organizations. Dr. Abel served on the Board of Directors for the Southern Nursing Research Society as Director of Membership (2015-2017). She also served as Vice-Chair of the American Heart Association (AHA) Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Early Career Committee (2014-2016) and as a member on the AHA Program Committee for Scientific Sessions (2015-2017). In addition, she served as a member of the Academy for Research on Community Health, Engagement and Services (ARCHES), in the College of Health and Human Services. ARCHES is dedicated to improving the health outcomes, social determinants of health, and quality of life in vulnerable communities through health promotion research. Dr. Abel received a five-year (2018-2023) K01 Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institute of Health. Dr. DeHaven, an extensively funded NIH investigator, served as Dr. Abel’s mentor for this career development award. Dr. Abel used the five-year mentored award to conduct a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an established chronic disease self-management program and interactive technology-enhanced coaching for Black women with uncontrolled hypertension.

Areas of research

Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension in Black Women, Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Medication Adherence, Self-Care Management, and Digital Health Technology/Mobile Health Apps


PhD, 2011, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Nursing

Graduate Certificate, 2006, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Nursing Education

MS, 1983, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Nursing Administration and Cardiovascular Nursing

BS, 1981, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Nursing

External Affiliations

American Heart Association

American Nurses Association

Chi Eta Phi, Incorporated

Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association

Sigma The Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma)