Lisa Thomas, Ph.D., RN, CNE, FAAN

Associate Professor, RN/BSN Track Leader
Thomas, Lisa


My nursing career has spanned many settings and multiple roles. I worked clinically as a registered nurse in float pool, neonatal intensive care, and home health before I found my true clinical passion in oncology and hospice nursing.

After spending several years at the bedside, I became acutely aware that major healthcare worker safety gaps were unaddressed in direct patient care settings. I began working as a volunteer member/chair of the Nevada Nurses Association legislative committee in 1998 and was appointed executive director of the association in 2000. In this role, I had the opportunity to engage with policymakers in Nevada and Washington D.C. and was integral to developing several successful legislative initiatives that continue to provide protections for bedside healthcare workers.

Through my legislative work, I also found a love for teaching nurses. After completing my doctoral studies at the University of California San Francisco, I was honored to join my alma mater as a member of the faculty.

On a personal note, I am a native of the Carson Valley and am proud to call Reno my home. I have two adult daughters – both of whom are registered nurses working in Northern Nevada healthcare settings.

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Reno (2014 – Current)
  • Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno (2005 – 2014)
  • Executive Director, Nevada Nurses Association (2000 – 2005)
  • Healthcare Worker Safety Liaison, American Nurses Association (1998 – 2005)


  • Black Thomas, L (2020). Underreporting of bloodborne pathogen exposures in nursing students. Nurse Educator, 45(2), 78-82. doi:10.1097/NNE.0000000000000696
  • Black, L.M. (2013). Ditch the pinch: Bilateral exposure injuries during subcutaneous injection. American Journal of Infection Control, 41(9), 815-819. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.10.017.
  • McClure, E. & Black, L.M. (2013). The role of the clinical preceptor: An integrative literature review. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(6), 335 – 341. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20130412.
  • Hicks, V. & Black, L.M. (2013). Evaluation, identification, and management of pediatric stroke in the emergency room using a pathway algorithm. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 39(2), 132-137. doi: 10.1016/j.jen.2012.11.013
  • Black, LM. (2012). Chinks in the armor. Percutaneous injuries from hollow bore safety engineered sharps devices. American Journal of Infection Control, 41(5), 427-432. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.05.025
  • Black, LM. Parker, G., & Jagger, J. (2012). Chinks in the armor. Activation patterns of hollow bore safety engineered devices. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 38(3), 842-844. doi: 10.1086/666630
  • Tellez, M.S., Black, LM., & Tinoco, A. (2011). California Hispanic nurses: Analysis of 1997, 2004, 2006, 2008 survey data. Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 12(3), 150-158. doi: 10.1177/1527154411417452
  • Black, LM. (2011). Tragedy into policy: A quantitative study of nurses' attitudes toward patient advocacy activities. American Journal of Nursing, 111(6), 26-35. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000398537.06542.c0
  • Black, LM., Spetz, J. & Harrington, C. (2010). Nurses who do not nurse: Factors that predict non-nursing work in the US registered nursing labor market. Nursing Economics, 28(4), 245-254.
  • Black, LM., Spetz, J. & Harrington, C. (2008). Nurses working outside of nursing: Societal trend or workplace crisis?  Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice, 9(3), 143-157 .  doi: 10.1177/1527154408319288

Research Interests

  • Healthcare worker safety
  • Nursing workforce
  • Academic integrity


  • BSN, University of Nevada Reno – 1993
  • MSN, Nursing Education. University of Nevada, Reno – 2003
  • PhD, Nursing with Health Policy Emphasis, University of California, San Francisco – 2007