Dr. Kristina Leyden Dr. Kristina Leyden Professor and Division Dean Undergraduate Programs, Archbishop Fiorenza Chair in Nursing; Fellow of the Core
School of Nursing

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Dr. Kristina Leyden is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Family Nurse Practitioner and by the Society for Simulation in Health Care as a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. Her research interests include chronobiology, simulation pedagogy, creative reflective practice, and nursing education best practices. She is the BSN Program Director and holds the Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Endowed Chair in Nursing. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including: Joseph M. McFadden Award for Excellence in Service, Saint Thomas Aquinas Excellence in Teaching, The Harris County Medical Society Auxiliary Clinical Excellence Award, and the Texas Nursing Association, District 9 Outstanding Nurse Award. She is the program co-director for the awarded Nursing Innovation Grant Program. She maintains a per diem practice in her specialty. She has five children and enjoys urban farming in her homestead.

Areas of Expertise
Family Practice, Nursing Education, Simulation Pedagogy, Creative Reflection


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Nursing - UNIV TEXAS HLTH SCI CTR HOUSTN (2015)
  • Doctor of Philosophy - Nursing - The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (2015)
  • Master of Science - Nursing - The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (1999)
  • Bachelor of Science - Nursing - Washington State University (1997)


  • Activity-rest patterns in community dwelling women (2013)
Faculty Excellence

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Each year, the University of St. Thomas honors outstanding faculty who exemplify extraordinary dedication and excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service with the Saint Thomas Aquinas Excellence in Teaching Award, the Saint Edith Stein Excellence in Research Award, the Joseph M. McFadden Excellence in Service Award, and the Teach Online Awards to Spur Transformation (TOAST).

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