University of Vermont

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Christina Melvin

Christina Melvin, M.S., PHCNS, B.C.

Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing

Christina Melvin Office: 213 Rowell
Phone:(802) 656-2622

Prof. Christina Melvin holds a master's degree in community/public health nursing. Throughout her career, her work has focused on vulnerable populations. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and her master's degree from Boston College. Her area of clinical expertise is hospice and palliative care nursing. Prof. Melvin's passion in nursing is working with society's most vulnerable as she has long been drawn to these aggregates.

The major highlights of her professional career include: the construction of a school based dental center (2004) with a $100,000 federal grant; advocacy and educational work with the Women's Rape Crisis Center and her current work in chronic care/end of life care. In 2000, Prof. Melvin spearheaded an initiative to provide dental services to immigrant and disadvantaged school age children in Burlington, Vermont. With the assistance of a group of area stakeholders and Senator Bernie Saunders, the H.O. Wheeler School-Based Dental Health Center opened in 2004 which serves immigrant and refugee families. Prof. Melvin has been credited with the initiation of this entire project.

Prof. Melvin teaches a course to undergraduate nursing students on chronic care/palliative care nursing. She teaches student nurses in end of life care and continually reinforces that death can indeed be both peaceful and dignified.

From January to July 2008, she embarked on a Professional Development Leave to Perth, Western Australia. She conducted a phenomenological research study examining barriers to more timely hospice and palliative care referrals. As a result of this study, she identified barriers and made recommendations for improvement. Finally, she serves on the Palliative Care and Chronic Pain Management Task Force which reports directly to a subcommittee of the Vermont legislature. She has provided (invited) expert testimony regarding end of life care needs for Vermonters and continues to be active with work in this area.


M.S., Boston College, Community/Public Health Nursing
B.S., University of Vermont, Nursing

Courses Taught

Experiences in Chronic Illness and End of Life Care
Community/Public Health Nursing
Contemporary Issues & Leadership in Professional Nursing (clinical)
Caring for Children with Alterations in Health (clinical)
Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
Health Assessment

Research Interests
  • End of Life Care
  • Accumulated Loss
  • Professional Compassion Fatigue
Selected Publications

Melvin, C.S. (2014). An Historical Review in Understanding Burnout, Professional Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder from a Hospice and Palliative Nursing Perspective. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. Manuscript accepted for publication.

Melvin, C.S. (2012). Professional Compassion Fatigue: What is the True Cost of Nurses Caring for the Dying?  International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 18(12), 606-611.

Melvin, C.S. (2010). Patients' and families' misperceptions about hospice and palliative care: Listen as they speak. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 12(2), 107-115. (Full Text)

Melvin, C.S. & Oldham, L. (2009). When to refer patients to palliative care: Triggers, traps and timely referrals. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 11(5), September/October, 291-301. (Full Text)

Melvin, C.S. (2008). Hospice referral: What takes us so long? International Journal for Human Caring, 12(3), 24-30.

Melvin, C.S. (2007). Concepts in Palliative Care. In End of Life: A Nurse's Guide to Compassionate Care (p.2-13). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.

Melvin, C.S. (2006). A collaborative community-based oral care program for school aged children. Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, 20(1), 18-22. (Full Text)

Melvin, C.S. & Heater, B.S. (2004). Suffering and chronic sorrow: Characteristics and a paradigm for nursing interventions. International Journal for Human Caring, 8(2), 41-47.

Honors & Awards
  • Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award nomination, Fall 2007 and Spring 2010. University-wide award for excellence in teaching. Student nominated
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Excellence in Nursing Education Award, May 12, 2010
  • Honored by University of Vermont Class of 2009 and 2010 as "someone who influenced our lives" (nominated by senior nursing students)
  • Sigma Theta Tau International, Kappa Tau Chapter- Chapter Research Award, April 26, 2007
  • Awarded a Service-Learning Course Planning and Implementation Grants, 2004, 2005
  • Women's Rape Crisis Center Visionary Award, November 30, 2005
Professional Affiliations

Alpha Chi Chapter (Boston College)
Eta Omega Chapter, University of Massachusetts, Lowell(Charter Member)
Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association
Kappa Tau Chapter (UVM)
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
Sigma Theta Tau International-Nursing Honor Society (Served in various board capacities in several chapters for more than 30 years)

Last modified September 18 2014 03:23 PM