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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Robin Dawson, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC

Title: Director, Smart Start Nursing Program and Assistant Professor
College of Nursing
Phone: (803) 576-6021
Fax: (803) 777- 9268

College of Nursing 
University of South Carolina 
1601 Greene Street, Room 623
Columbia, SC 29208-4001 
United States



Dr. Dawson completed her BSN in 1988 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her MSN-PNP, also from UNC-CH, in 1996. In 2012 she completed a graduate certificate in Women's and Gender Studies from the University of South Carolina. She received a PhD in Nursing Science from the University of South Carolina in 2014.


Dr. Dawson has a background in pediatric primary care clinical teaching for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and medical students. She has taught the following courses during her time at the University of South Carolina:  

Research Methods
NURS 813 Nursing Research Methods III (Qualitative Research Methods)
NURS 790 Research Methods for Nursing
NURS 791 Seminar in Clinical Research 

Honors College
SCHC 279 Introduction to Nursing Research: Honors 

Vulnerable Populations 
NURS 505 Caring for Limited English Proficient Patients  

Women’s Health
WGST 113 Women and Their Bodies in Health and Disease 


Dr. Dawson's research focuses on vulnerable and underserved populations, and multi-level processes that contribute to health disparities. Concept areas: 

  • Rural Health
  • Health care access and delivery
  • Asthma and other respiratory conditions
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 
  • Communication processes
  • Limited English Proficiency


Professional Presentations (*indicates student) 

Estrada, Robin Dawson, McDonnell, K.K., & Messias, D.K.H. (2017, Oct.). A novel analytic approach to dyadic interview data. Abstract accepted at the CANS 2017 Advanced Methods: Pragmatic Trials Conference. Washington DC (Poster presentation). 

Carpenter D.M., Pattison-Sharp E., Estrada R., Elio A., Prendergast M. (2017, Sept.). School nurses’ experiences communicating with students about opioid medications. Abstract accepted at the 15th International Conference on Communication in Healthcare. Baltimore, Maryland (Poster presentation).   

Estrada, R.D., Messias,D.K.H., Williams, A.P., Catledge, C., Scoggin, & A. Card III, E. (2017, July). Engaging Non-traditional and Innovative Partners Across the Nursing Research Process.  Symposium abstract accepted by 28th International Nursing Congress, Sigma Theta Tau International, Dublin Ireland. 

Leppert, M.*, Chappell, K., Estrada, R.D. & Tavakoli, A. (2017, Apr.). Exploring Healthcare Communication during the Diagnosis Process for a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Child and Language Development Outcomes. Discover USC, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC. (Poster presentation). 

Adams, J.R.*, Catledge, C. & Estrada, R.D. (2017 Apr). Evaluation of Lung Capacity Utilizing Serial Peak Flow Results in Grade 6-12 Band Students. Discover USC, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC. (Poster presentation). 

Allison, K.* & Estrada, R.D. (2017,, Apr.). Sexual Risk-Taking Practices in Adolescents and Implications for Gender-Specific Interventions. 16th Annual Research and Scholarship Day, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC. (Poster presentation). 

Warden, D.* & Estrada, R.D. (2017, Apr.). Nurse leaders: Social process of becoming. 16th Annual Research and Scholarship Day, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC. (Poster presentation).       

Carpenter, D.M., Estrada, R.D., Roberts, C.A Elio, A., & Prendergast, M. (2017, Mar.). Assessing the asthma training and resource needs of urban and rural school nurse. Abstract submitted to the Annual Scientific Meetings of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science and The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. 

Williams, A.P. & Estrada, R.D. (2017, Mar.). Carbon Monoxide Safety in South Carolina: Statewide Initiative. 2017 South Carolina Emergency Care Symposium, Myrtle Beach, SC. (Podium presentation). 

Estrada, R.D. & Messias, D.K.H. (2017, Feb.). Accessibility and Use of Technology for Health Information among Hispanics in Recent Settlement Areas. 31st Annual Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society, Dallas, Tx. (Podium/poster presentation). 

Donevant, S.B.* & Estrada, R.D. (2016, Nov.). Evaluating health and wellness mobile apps: An interactive thought exercise. SC HIMSS annual fall conference, Columbia, SC (Podium presentation).  

Estrada, R.D. & Messias,D.K.H. (2016, Sept). Mobile technology accessibility and utilization among Latinos in the Carolinas. 14th annual Upstate AHEC Research Symposium, Greenville, SC. (Podium presentation). 

*Nkwonta, C. & Estrada, R.D. (2016, Sept). International University Students’ Knowledge, Attitude and Uptake of Human Papilloma Virus and Cervical Cancer Prevention.14th annual Upstate AHEC Research Symposium, Greenville, SC. (Poster presentation). 

Estrada, R.D. & Williams, A.P. (2016, Jun).  Partnering for public health: An interagency collaboration to decrease carbon monoxide morbidity and mortality. 2016 Association for Community Health Nursing Educators/Association of Public Health Nurses Joint Meeting, Indianapolis, In. (Podium presentation).  

Driggers, M.*, Lawrence, K.*, McCormick, J.* & Estrada, R.D. (2016, Apr.). Evaluating students with ADD/ADHD: Exploring the experiences of teachers. 15thAnnual Research and Scholarship Day, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC. (Poster presentation – awarded best undergraduate poster).  

Nitsos, A.*, Estrada, R.D., & Messias, D.K.H. (2016, Feb.). Teaching tummy time to expectant Latino parents with limited English proficiency. 15th Annual Research and Scholarship Day, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC. (Poster and podium presentation).  

Lawrence, K.* & Estrada, R.D. (2016, Mar.). Dealing with distraction: Teacher perceptions of students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. 29th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health, Tampa, Fl. (Podium presentation).  

Nitsos, A.*, Estrada, R.D., & Messias, D.K.H. (2016, Feb.). Teaching tummy time to expectant Latino parents with limited English proficiency. 30th Annual Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society, Williamsburg, Va. (Poster presentation).  

Donevant, S.B.*, Culley, J. M. & Estrada, R.D. (2016, Feb.). Methodological challenges in creating a research dataset from abstracted medical records of victims from a chemical mass casualty incident. 30th Annual Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society, Williamsburg, Va.  

Williams, A.P. & Estrada, R.D. (2016, Feb.) Carbon monoxide awareness and safety – We are all in this together. South Carolina Public Health Association Annual Conference “Conversations today, work tomorrow: Engaging non-traditional partners to promote health equity”, Charleston, SC. (Podium presentation).  

Donevant, S.B.* & Estrada, R.D. (2015, Nov.). Engaging patients with mHealth: Exploring the evidence, 7th Annual mHealth Summit: “Anytime, anywhere: Engaging patients and providers”, Washington, D.C. (Podium presentation).  

Donevant, S.B.* & Estrada, R.D. (2015, Sept.). Mobilizing mobile apps for health disparities: A review of the literature, 13th Annual Research Symposium: “Integrating Research with Action to Promote Health Equity,” Greenville, S.C. (Poster Presentation).  

Estrada, R.D. & Messias, D.K.H. (2015, Jun.). Access to services and accessibility of mobile technology among parents of rural Latino children with asthma. Association of Community Health Nurse Educators Annual Conference, Denver, Co. (Podium Presentation). 

Hartman, A.*, Messias, D.K.H. & Estrada, R.D. (2015, Apr.). Hispanic clinical simulation workshops. 14th Annual Research and Scholarship Day, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC. (Poster presentation – awarded best undergraduate poster).  

Estrada, R.D. & Messias, D.K.H. (2015, Feb.). Combining Conversation Analysis and Situational Analysis in a Multi-Method Qualitative Study. 29th Annual Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society, Tampa, Fl. (Podium presentation). 


Estrada, R.D. & Messias, D.K.H. (2014) Analysis of Interpreter-Mediated Healthcare Interactions: Preliminary Findings. Published abstract, Moving Forward: Making the Affordable Care Act Work through Research, Education and Community Engagement, James E. Clyburn Health Disparities Lecture, April 11, 2014.

Professional, University, and Community Service

Dr. Dawson has reviewed for Advances in Nursing Science, Hispanic Health Care International, Journal of Rural Health, Qualitative Health Research, and Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, the American Academy of Communication in Health Care, Sigma Theta Tau, the SC Asthma Alliance, the American Thoracic Society, the Association of Community Health Nurse Educators, and the Southern Nursing Research Society.          

University Service
Think S.M.A.R.T.-E initiative                                                                            2016-present
mHealth workgroup                                                                                        2015-present
Women’s and Gender Studies affiliate faculty                                            2014-present
Migrations workshop                                                                                      2014-present 

Community Service
Marion Sims Foundation
            Consultant on community health indicators                                  2016-present
SC Carbon Monoxide Safety Consortium                                                    2015-present
Lancaster County First Steps Early Identification                                       
            and Referral Initiative                                                                          2014-present 

Professional Practice

Dr. Dawson is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner with many years of primary care practice in Lancaster, SC.

Research Studies 

Current research support

A Patient-Centered Asthma Management Communication Intervention for Rural Latino Children. NHLBI/NIH (1 K23 HL133596-01A1) - $722,424. 8/15/2017- 07/31/2022. Estrada, R.D. (PI). Mentors: Heiney, Messias, Ownby. 

Parental and Child Perceptions of Body Mass Index. USC College of Nursing Office of Research - $5,000. 6/2017-6/2018. Ribar, A., Estrada, R.D. (Co-PIs). Investigator: Cox, M.F.  

Experiences of rural southeastern Latino parents of children with asthma. USC VP for Research – ASPIRE I - $15,000. 5/2015-10/2017. Estrada, R.D. (PI). Investigators: Heiney, S., Messias, D.K.H.

Completed research support
Health Disparities Faculty Cyber-Mentoring FellowshipRural Health Research Institute, Georgia Southern University - $1,500. 5/2015-5/2017. Estrada, R.D. (Fellow); Dr. D. Parra-Medina (mentor).  

Vulnerable Populations Research Grant. USC College of Nursing - $10,000. 10/14 – 10/16. PI.

Evaluation of lung capacity utilizing serial peak flow results in student from 6-12 grades participating in band and implications for asthma outcomes. USC Lancaster - $7,725.42. Catledge, C. (PI); Estrada, R.D. (consultant).

Publications (selected)

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Felder, T.M., Estrada, R.D., Quinn, J., Hayne, P., Phillips, K., Heiney, S. (in press). Expectations and reality: Perceptions of support among African American breast cancer survivors. Ethnicity and Health.

Newsome, B., McDonnell, K.K., Estrada, R.D., & Hucks, J.R. (in press). Complex Comorbidities: Clinical Implications of COPD in Patients with Lung Cancer. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. 

Harris, E.*, Messias, D.K.H., Felder, T.M., Estrada, R.D., & Timmons, S. (in press). Rest among African American Women: The Current State of the Science. Holistic Nursing Practice. 

Pattison-Sharp E., Estrada R.D., Elio A., Prendergast M., Carpenter D.M. (2017). School nurses’ experiences with prescription opioids in urban and rural schools: A cross-sectional survey. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 00-00. doi:10.1080/10550887.2017.1361725. 

Carpenter D.M., Estrada R.D., Roberts C.A., Elio A., Prendergast M., Durbin K., Jones G.C., North S. (2017). Urban-Rural differences in school nurses’ asthma training needs and access to asthma resources. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 36, 157-162.  

Lawrence, M.K.* &  Estrada, R.D. (2017). Teachers’ experiences with and perceptions of students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 36, 141-148.

Estrada, R.D. & Ownby, D. (2017). Rural asthma: Current understanding of prevalence, patterns, and interventions for children and adolescents. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 17(37). doi:10.1007/s11882-017-0704-3. 

Nitsos, A.*, Estrada, R.D., & Messias, D.K.H. (2017). Tummy Time for Latinos with lmited English proficiency: Evaluating the feasibility of a cultural and linguistically adapted parent education intervention. Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Nursing Care of Children and Families, 36, 31-36. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2017.04.004. 

Messias, D.K.H.  & Estrada, R.D. (2017, co-first authors). Patterns of communication technology utilization for health information among Hispanics in South Carolina: Implications for health equity. Health Equity, 1(1), 35-42, doi: 10.1089/heq.2016.0013.

Annang, L., Tinango, C., Estrada, R.D., Wilson, S., Wright Sanders, L, Bevington, T., Svendsen, E. Off the rails in rural South Carolina: A qualitative study of healthcare provider perspectives on the long-term health impact of the Graniteville train disaster. (in press). Rural and Remote Health Journal. 

Williams, A. & Estrada, R.D. Carbon monoxide poisoning: What nurses need to know. (in press). American Nurse Today. 

Estrada, R.D. & Messias, D.K.H. (2015). A scoping review of the National CLAS standards literature: Focus and application patterns. Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved, 26(4). 

Estrada, R.D., Reynolds, J. & Messias, D.K.H. (2015).  A conversation analysis of verbal interactions and social processes in interpreter-mediated primary care encounters. Research in Nursing and Health, 38(4), 278-288. 

McDowell, L., Messias, D.K.H. & Estrada, R.D. (2011). The work of language interpretation in health care: Complex, challenging, exhausting, and often invisible. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 22(2), 137-147. 

Messias, D.K.H., McDowell, L. & Estrada, R.D. (2009). Language interpretation as social justice work: Perspectives of formal and informal healthcare interpreters. Advances in Nursing Science, 32(2), 128-143. 

Books & Chapters

Messias, D.K.H., & Estrada, R.D. (2015). An introduction to community activism. In D. J. Mason, J. K. Leavitt & M. W. Chaffee (Eds.), Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.