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College of Nursing

Faculty and Staff

Demetrius A. Abshire, PhD, RN

Title: Associate Professor and Co-Director, Smart Start Nursing Program
Department: Biobehavioral Health & Nursing Science
College of Nursing
Phone: 803-576-6262
Fax: 803-777-9268

College of Nursing
University of South Carolina
1601 Greene Street, Room 627
Columbia, SC 29208-4001 
United States 

2021 Breakthrough Stars Award Recipient



Dr. Abshire graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing with a BSN in 2006, an MSN in 2009, and a PhD in Nursing in 2014. He was an assistant professor at the Washington State University College of Nursing from 2015-2017 before joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing.


Dr. Abshire teaches Nursing 212: Evolution of Nursing Science at the University of South Carolina. He has previously taught classes on culture and diversity, research and evidence-based practice, program planning and evaluation, and foundations for professional nursing. 


Rural health, men’s health, obesity, physical activity, nutrition, psychosocial determinants of health


Dr. Abshire has presented his research at local, regional, national, and international conferences including the Southern Nursing Research Society, the Southern Obesity Summit, the Western Institute of Nursing, the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, the American Public Health Association Annual Conference, the National Rural Health Association Annual Conference, and the WONCA World Rural Health Conference. 

Professional Service

Dr. Abshire serves as a peer reviewer for multiple journals including:

  • The American Journal of Public Health
  • BMJ Open
  • Annals of Epidemiology
  • The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
  • The Journal of Rural Health
  • The Journal of American College Health
  • The Journal of Transcultural Nursing
  • The American Journal of Men’s Health
  • The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
  • The Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing
  • The Journal of Professional Nursing 

He is a member of professional organizations including:

  • The Science Committee of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • The National Rural Health Association
  • The American Public Health Association
  • The Southern Nursing Research Society
  • Sigma Theta Tau International

Professional Practice

Dr. Abshire’s clinical experience includes neurosurgical intensive care nursing and stroke rehabilitation nursing. 

Research Studies (Selected) 

Developing a Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Body Weight for Obese African American Men Living in the Rural South. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health-$739,328. 2019-2024. Principal Investigator.

The Rural-Urban Obesity Disparity: Do Psychosocial and Environmental Factors Matter? Washington State University Faculty Seed Grant Program-$30,000. 2017-2018. Principal Investigator. 

Support Systems in Accelerated Nursing Programs: Gender-Based Perspectives and Impact on Academic Outcomes. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing-$3,000, 2016-2017. Co-Principal Investigator. 

Transitioning into the Community after Hospitalization: Improving Physical and Psychosocial Well-Being through Self-Management of Physical Activity in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease. Empire Health Foundation 2016 Rural Aging Responsive Grant Cycle- $10,000, 2016-2017. Co-Principal Investigator. 

Regional differences in cardiovascular disease risk factors among emerging adults attending college in Kentucky. Delta Psi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Research Award-$1,800; SAHA Award for Cardiovascular Research and Education: Nursing Student with UK HealthCare Award-$1,000, 2012-2014. Principal Investigator. 

Bridging the gap to quality care: The ISAT initiative for nursing faculty. Health Resources and Services Administration - $101,465.00, 2009-2011. Co-Investigator. 

Crafting the ultimate faculty simulation experience. Health Resources and Services Administration-$90,111.00, 2009-2013. Co-Investigator. 

Publications (selected) 

Horton-Dias, C., Dawson, R. M., Abshire, D. A., Harris, D., & Wirth, M. D. (in press). Free food at work: A concept analysis. Workplace Health & Safety.

Abshire, D. , McDonnell, K. K., Donevant, S. B., Corbett, C. F., Tavakoli, A. S., Felder, T. M. & Pinto, B. M. (in press). Pivoting nursing research and scholarship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000493.

Abshire, D. A., Graves, J. M., Amiri, S., & Williams-Gilbert, W. (2020). Differences in loneliness across the rural-urban continuum among adults living in Washington State. Journal of Rural Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12535.

Bamishigbin, Jr. O. N. Wilson, D. K., Abshire, D. A., Mejias-Lancheros, C., & Dunkel Schetter, C. (2020). Father involvement in infant parenting in an ethnically diverse community sample: Predicting paternal depressive symptoms. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 578688. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.578688.

Graves, J. M., Abshire, D. A., Mackelprang, J. L., Amiri, S., & Beck, A. (2020). Association of rurality and availability of youth mental health facilities with suicide prevention services in the United States. JAMA Network Open, 3(10). e2021471. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.21471.

Merrell, M. A., Probst, J. C., Crouch, E., Abshire D. A., McKinney, S. H., & Haynes, E. E. (2020). A national survey of RN-to-BSN programs: Are they reaching rural students? Journal of Nursing Education, 59(10), 557-565. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20200921-04.

Graves, J. M., Abshire, D. A., Undeberg, M., Forman, L., & Amiri, S. (2020). Rural-urban disparities in access to Medicaid-contracted pharmacies in Washington State. Preventing Chronic Disease, 17:E92. doi: 10.5888/pcd17.200066.

Odahowski, C. L., Crouch, E. L., Zahnd, W, E., Probst, J. C., McKinney, S. H., & Abshire, D. A. (2020). Rural-urban differences in educational attainment among registered nurses: Implications for achieving an 80% BSN workforce. Journal of Professional Nursing. Advance online publication.

Abshire, D. A., Gibbs, S., McManus, C., Caldwell, T., & Cox. D. (2020). Interest, resources, and preferences for weight loss programs among primary care patients with obesity. Patient Education and Counseling, 103(9), 1846-1849. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.04.003

Zahnd WE, Crouch EL, Probst JC, McKinney SH, Abshire D. A., Eberth JM. (2020). Factors associated with perceived job preparedness among registered nurses: Results from a National survey. Journal of Nursing Administration, 50(5), 251-253. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000879.

Hulett, J. M., Abshire, D. A., Armer, J. M., Millspaugh, R., & Millspaugh, J. (2020). Rural-urban differences in neuroimmune biomarkers and health status among women living with breast cancer. Cancer Nursing. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000802.

Abshire, D. A., Graves, J. M., & Dawson, R. M. (2020). Rural-urban differences in college students’ cardiovascular risk perceptions. Journal of American College Health, 68(5), 477-483. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2019.1577866

Abshire, D. A., Wilson, D. K., Sweeney, A., & Pinto, B. M. (2019) Correlates of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and exercise motivation in underserved African American men. American Journal of Men’s Health, 13(3), 1557988319855155. doi: 10.1177/1557988319855155

Graves, J. M., Mackelprang, J. L., Moore, M., Abshire, D. A., Rivara, F. P., Jimenez, N., Fuentes, M., & Vavilala, M. S. (2019). Rural-urban disparities in health care costs and health service utilization following pediatric mild traumatic brain injury. Health Services Research, 54(2), 337-345. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13096

Graves, J. M., Klein, T. A., Panther, S. G., Moore, M., Abshire, D., & Graham, J. (2018). Nurse practitioners’ recommendations for pharmacotherapy in the management of adolescent concussion. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(9), 499-510.  doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000070.

Abshire, D.A., Mudd-Martin, G., Moser, D.K., & Lennie, T.A. (2018). Comparing measures of general and abdominal adiposity as predictors of blood pressure in college students. Journal of American College Health, 66(1), 51-60. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2017.1369092

Abshire, D. A., Graves, J., M., Roberts, M. L., Katz, J., Barbosa-Leiker, C., & Corbett, C. F. (2018). Student support in accelerated nursing programs: Gender-based perspectives and impact on academic outcomes. Nursing Outlook, 66(1), 84-93. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2017.08.010

Abshire, D.A., Lennie, T.A., Chung, M.L., Biddle, M.J., Barbosa-Leiker, C., & Moser, D.K. (2018). Body mass index category moderates the relationship between depressive symptoms and diet quality in overweight and obese rural-dwelling adults. Journal of Rural Health, 34(4), 377-387. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12255.

Abshire, D.A., Lennie, T.A., Mudd-Martin, G.T., & Moser, D.K. (2017). Residing in economically distressed rural Appalachia is independently associated with excess body weight in college students. Rural and Remote Health, 17, 3984.

Abshire, D. A., Moser, D, K., Clasey, J. L., Chung, M. L., Pressler, S. J., Dunbar, S. B., Heo, S., & Lennie, T. A. (2017). Body composition and bone mineral density in patients with heart failure. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 39(4), 582-599. doi: 10.1177/0193945916658885

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