Donna Rolin, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC


Donna Rolin, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing and the Director of the Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

She received her PhD in Nursing Research from New York University and Master’s of Science in Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Her clinical background as a Psychiatric Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (PMHCNS-BC) encompasses cognitive behavioral, group, and family psychotherapies as well as psychiatric evaluation and pharmacotherapy for persons with serious mental illness and cognitive disorders in inpatient, community, and forensic settings. Her research focuses on community psychiatry and substance use disorders. She is active in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, where she serves as co-chair of the Education Council, and locally in the Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses of Austin organization.

Her clinical and educational work regarding Substance Use Disorders began in 1998, when she was the Charge Nurse of the Dual Diagnosis Forensic Intensive Residential Program at North Philadelphia Health System until 2000 when she left for graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Master’s of Science in Psychiatric Nursing in 2002. As a Research Interventionist and faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, she provided a medication adherence in-home intervention based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to persons with serious mental illness and HIV. From 2008-2009, during her PhD education at New York University, she completed the Substance Abuse Research Education and Training (SARET) Fellowship supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse R25 Grant. This included a Residency at New York University School of Medicine Behavioral Science and Substance Abuse Research Group and the Bellevue Hospital Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) awarded her a scholarship in 2010. Her 2012 dissertation at New York University was a qualitative, phenomenological exploration of “The Lived Experience of Spirituality in Alcoholism Recovery.”


Since coming to the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing in 2012, she has collaborated with the School of Social Work in developing and presenting seminars at Austin Recovery Center (2013-2014) on “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) Updates and Clinical Implications: Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders.” She has co-authored two articles on the DSM-5 changes and has held numerous DSM-5 presentations regionally. She is currently working on a pilot study that focuses on a web-based group psychotherapy intervention for smoking cessation.