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Ashley E. Darcy-Mahoney Faculty Member

Ashley Darcy-Mahoney, PhD, NNP, FAAN, a neonatal nurse practitioner and researcher, has worked throughout her career to advance nursing research, education and practice, with a focus on neonatology, infant health and developmental pediatrics. Her research has led to the creation of programs that improve health and developmental outcomes for at-risk and preterm infants. As the director of infant research at George Washington University’s Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, Dr. Darcy-Mahoney advances the body of research in infant health and developmental outcomes in high-risk infants. Over the course of my career, I have used a social justice framework to guide and unite rigorous science, nursing research, education, and practice to promote optimal outcomes for infants and children. In general, a social justice framework is a way of seeing and acting aimed at resisting inequity while enhancing freedom and possibility for all. In my program of research, this framework revolves around children. My approach specifically reflects the idea that, in order to flourish in our society, children must possess or have the ability to pursue and achieve certain core ‘capabilities,’ such as bodily health, imagination, thought, and practical reason, to name a few; these capabilities are understood as centrally relevant to social justice. As a nurse researcher, my program of research and scholarship relates to early childhood experiences (environments) and educational outcomes in order to catalyze innovative neurodevelopmental intervention strategies for high-risk infants/children. More broadly, my scholarship takes into account the social determinants of health that can pose barriers to achieving health, particularly among underserved or vulnerable populations. As a nurse educator, my goal is to prepare future nurses who will recognize and address the health needs of the diverse populations they will serve. Nurses must possess these same key capabilities as the people for whom they care; consequently, as a teacher, I view it as an integral aspect of my role to guide students to pursue and achieve the education-related capabilities that will empower them to reach their full potential as nurse professionals. As a member of my professional and academic communities, my goal is to work alongside colleagues to advance initiatives and programs that contribute to the greater good of our communities. Within a social justice framework, my scholarship, teaching, and service are conceptually united by the common aim to positively affect or enhance the promotion of optimal child development as an essential part of the hierarchy for the health and well-being of children. My professional experience demonstrates my commitment to teaching, the application of research, and social justice. Integrating the expanding neurodevelopmental sciences of early brain development and poverty into knowledge and practice by teaching health professional students, will help ensure that children achieve the physical, developmental and relational health necessary to flourish in society.

Research Areas

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