University of Nebraska Medical Center

Rachel Kunkle, PhD, MHA, RN, GERO-BC

Assistant Professor, UNMC College of Nursing


Dr. Rachel Kunkle received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2015) degree from Clarkson College and her PhD in Nursing (2022) degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Kunkle received her Post-Masters Certificate in Adult Gerontology Primary Care (2022) from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing. Prior to her nursing education, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Business Management (2007) and a Master of Science degree in Health Care Administration (2009) from Clarkson College. Dr. Kunkle is a board certified Gerontological Nurse.

Dr. Kunkle’s clinical nursing background includes medical surgical nursing, critical care, and float pool, where she worked as a floor nurse and charge nurse. She also taught in the Associate Degree in Nursing program for Iowa Western Community College. Prior to her nursing career, Dr. Kunkle fulfilled several roles in long-term care including Alzheimer’s Unit Director, Admissions and Marketing Coordinator, and Facility Director. In addition to her nursing license, Dr. Kunkle has held licenses for Nursing Home Administrator and Assisted Living Administrator in the State of Nebraska.

  • 2007, BS, Clarkson College
  • 2009, MS, Clarkson College
  • 2015, BSN, Clarkson College
  • 2022, PhD, UNMC
Research Interests
  • Formal Caregiver Burden
  • Direct Care Workforce Development in Long-Term Care
  • Gerontological Nurse Preparation and Training
  • Kunkle, R., Chaperon, C., Popejoy, L.L., Struwe, L., Wengel. S., & Berger, A.M. (in press). Understanding formal caregiver burden in nursing assistants in nursing homes: A mixed methods approach. Research in Gerontological Nursing.
  • Kunkle, R., Chaperon, C., & Berger, A.M. (2020). Formal caregiver burden in nursing homes: An integrative review. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193945920979691
  • Kunkle, R., Chaperon. C., & Hanna, K. (2020). Formal caregiver burden in nursing homes: A concept analysis. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 46(9), 19-24. https://doi.org/10.3928/00989134-20200706-02
  • Harder + Company Community Research. (August 2019). Seven Case Studies from the Accelerating Interprofessional Community-based Education and Practice Initiative. National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Chaperon, C., Nielsen, J., Kotcherlakota, S., Sobeski, L., Kupzyk, K.A., Maasdam, K., and Kunkle, R., "Interprofessional Practice and Education Primary Care Transitional Care Module" (2018). Modules: College of Nursing. 1.  https://digitalcommons.unmc.edu/con_module/1
  • Sigma Theta Tau
  • Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • Gerontological Society of America
  • American Nurses Association
  • Nebraska Nurses Association