University of Nebraska Medical Center

Windy Alonso, PhD, RN

Associate Professor, UNMC College of Nursing


Windy Alonso, PhD, RN

Dr. Alonso is an associate professor, heart failure nurse scientist, and rural health advocate. Her program of research centers on understanding and improving the patient-reported outcomes of adults with heart failure. Dr. Alonso contributes to the tripartite mission of the UNMC CON through her research and service efforts and by teaching and mentoring students in the UNMC CON doctoral programs and serving as a summer research mentor for undergraduate honor students.

Dr. Alonso leads the HEART Camp research team. Their research includes two overarching areas: gaining a better understanding of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and developing interventions to promote exercise in adults with heart failure that can applied in diverse and underserved settings. Dr. Alonso’s funding portfolio to date exceeds $4 million including several internally funded grants, pre-doctoral funding from the National Institute for Nursing Research (F31NR016895), pilot funding from the Heart Failure Society of America, the Rural Nurse Organization, and the Midwest Nursing Research Society. Most recently, Dr. Alonso and the HEART Camp research team were awarded an R01 to examine adherence to exercise in adults with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (R01HL163288). Dr. Alonso has published in JAMA-Cardiology, the European Journal of Heart Failure, the Journal of Cardiac Failure, the Annals of Behavioral Medicine , the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, and others. She has been an invited speaker at several international and national conferences including the American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology.

Dr. Alonso is also building a national reputation through her service commitments. She serves as the Chair of the Communications Committee of the Council for Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing of the American Heart Association, a co-chair of the Planning Committee for the Heart Failure Society of America 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting, the chair of the Student Poster Committee of the Midwest Nursing Research Society, and as a member of the program committee of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cardiac Failure and Frontiers in Cardiology and serves as a reviewer for over 10 scientific journals.

Through her work, Dr. Alonso is committed to sustaining a program of research to improve the lives of adults with heart failure and support the training and mentorship needs of students in and beyond the UNMC CON.

  • 2003, BS, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA
  • 2007, ADN, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA
  • 2011, BSN, DeSales University, Center Valley, PA
  • 2014, MSN, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • 2017, PhD, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • 2019, Post-doctoral training, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Research Interests
Heart failure
  • Promoting adherence to exercise
  • Inflammatory response to exercise
  • Design and test self-management interventions to improve function and quality of life
Grant Support
  • 2023-2028 Title: HEART Camp Connect: Promoting Adherence to Exercise in Adults with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction, R01 NHLBI/NIH (R01HL163288), Award Amount: $3,409,014, Role: Alonso (P.I.)
  • 2022-2025 Title: Promoting Exercise in Adults with Heart Failure with Preserved Title: Ejection Fraction – A Pilot Study, Research Scholars Program of the Great Plains IdEA- CTR Network (funded by NIGMS/NIH (U54 GM115458), Role: Alonso (P.I.)
  • 2019-2022
    Title: Rural HEART Camp – Promoting Exercise in Rural Adults with Heart Failure, Source: UNMC CON Center for Patient, Family, and Community Engagement in Chronic Care Management, Role: Alonso, W (P.I.)
  • 2019-2021
    Title: Examining the Symptom Experience of Rural Adults with Heart Failure, Source: Midwest Nursing Research Society Seed Grant, Role: Alonso, W (P.I.)
  • 2019-2020
    Title: Rural Cardiac Rehabilitation for Heart Failure, Award Amount: $500, Source: Rural Nurse Organization, Role: Alonso, W (P.I.)
  • 2017-2019
    Title: Ventricular Assist Device Outcomes: A Rural-Urban Comparison, Award Amount: $10,000, Source: Heart Failure Society of America, Alonso, W (P.I.)
  • Keshvani N, Shah S, Ayodele I, Chiswell K, Alhanti B, Allen L, Greene SJ, Yancy C, Alonso W, Van Spall H, Fonarow GC, Heidenreich PA, Pandey A. Sex Differences in long-term outcomes following acute heart failure hospitalization: Findings from the Get with The Guidelines - Heart Failure Registry. Eur J Heart Fail. 2023 Aug 26;. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.3003. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 37632339.
  • DeVon HA, Tintle N, Bronas UG, Mirzaei S, Rivera E, Gutierrez-Kapheim M, Alonso WW, Keteyian SJ, Goodyke M, Dunn SL. Comorbidities are associated with state hopelessness in adults with ischemic heart disease. Heart Lung. 2023 Jul-Aug;60:28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2023.02.025. Epub 2023 Mar 4. PubMed PMID: 36878104.
  • Pandey A, Keshvani N, Alonso W. Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Exercise Intolerance in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction. JAMA Cardiol. 2023 Jun 1;8(6):584-585. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2023.0963. PubMed PMID: 37163277.
  • Diederich T, Burdorf A, Pozehl B, Bowman S, Ferguson K, Holder K, Alonso, W, Stoller D, Lundgren S. The role of a multidisciplinary heart failure clinic in optimization of guideline-directed medical therapy: HF-optimize. Heart Lung. 2023 Jan-Feb;57:95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2022.08.010. Epub 2022 Sep 8. PubMed PMID: 36088681.
  • Tlusty GC, Alonso WW, Berger AM. Exercise Interventions During Hospitalization for Stem Cell Transplantation: An Integrative Review. West J Nurs Res. 2022 Dec;44(12):1167-1182. doi: 10.1177/01939459221124433. Epub 2022 Sep 25. Review. PubMed PMID: 36154334.
  • Alonso, W. W., Kupzyk, K. A., Norman, J. F., Lundgren, S. W., Fisher, A., Lindsey, M. L., Keteyian, S. J., & Pozehl, B. J. The HEART Camp Exercise Intervention Improves Exercise Adherence, Physical Function, and Patient-Reported Outcomes in Adults With Preserved Ejection Fraction Heart Failure. J Card Fail. 2022 Mar;28(3):431-442. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.09.003. Epub 2021 Sep 15. PubMed PMID: 34534664; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8920955.
  • * Schroeder, S. E., Pozehl, B. J., & Alonso, W. W. (2021). Frailty Assessment in Heart Failure and Ventricular Assist Device Populations: A Review from the United States. Heart & Lung: the Journal of Critical Care, 50(6), 941–952. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2021.07.015
  • *Woods, M, Lundgren, S, Poon, C, Kupzyk, K, Alonso, W. (2021). Pre-left ventricular assist device cognition: A comparison of rural and urban implant recipients. ASAIO J. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000001491 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Alonso WW, Kupzyk K, Norman J, Bills SE, Bosak K, Dunn SL, Deka P, Pozehl B. Negative Attitudes, Self-efficacy, and Relapse Management Mediate Long-Term Adherence to Exercise in Patients With Heart Failure. Ann Behav Med. 2021 Feb 13: kaab002. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaab002. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33580663.
  • Alonso, W. W., Ryan, T. R., Lundgren, S. W., Tlusty, G., Castleberry, A. W., & Pozehl, B. J. (2021). Clinicians Call for Post Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation Physical Activity Guidelines. ASAIO journal (American Society for Artificial Internal Organs: 1992), 67(10), e166–e168. https://doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0000000000001343
  • Deka, P., Pozehl, B. J., Pathak, D., Williams, M., Norman, J. F., Alonso, W. W., & Jaarsma, T. (2021). Predicting maximal oxygen uptake from the 6 min walk test in patients with heart failure. ESC Heart Failure, 8(1), 47–54. https://doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13167
  • Warehime S, Dinkel D, Alonso W, Pozehl B. Long-term exercise adherence in patients with heart failure: A qualitative study.  Heart Lung. 2020 Aug 27;49(6):696-701. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2020.08.016. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32861888.
  • Alonso, W. W., Faulkner, K. M., Pozehl, B. J., Hupcey, J. E., Kitko, L. A., & Lee, C. S. (2020). A longitudinal comparison of health-related quality of life in rural and urban recipients of left ventricular assist devices. Research in Nursing & Health, 43(4), 396–406. https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.22052
  • *Miller JJ, Pozehl BJ, Alonso W, Schmaderer M, Eisenhauer C. (2020) Intervention Components Targeting Self-Management in Individuals with Multiple Chronic Conditions. West J Nurs Res. . 2020 Feb 20:193945920902146. doi: 10.1177/0193945920902146. [Epub ahead of Print] PMID: 32075541
  • Norman J.F., Kupzyk K.A., Artinian N.T., Keteyian S.J., Alonso W., Bills S.E., & Pozehl B.J. (2019). The influence of the HEART Camp intervention on physical function, health-related quality of life, depression, anxiety and fatigue in patients with heart failure. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 19(1): 64-73. doi:10.1177/1474515119867444
  • Alonso W, Hupcey JE, Kitko L, Pozehl B, Kupzyk K. Adverse-Event Free Survival, Hospitalizations, and Mortality in Left Ventricular Assist Device Recipients: A Rural-Urban Cohort Comparison.  J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2019 Nov/Dec; 34(6):454-464. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000597. 
  • Wilcox, J.E., Cameron, K.A., Harap, R.S., Shanklin, K.L., Grady, K.L., Cohen, E.R., Abicht, T.O., Adler, E.D., Alexy, T., Alonso, W., Beckman, J., Bjelkengren, J., Cagliostro, B., Cogswell, R., Colombo, P.C., Cotts, W., Haglund, N.A., Haverstick, S., Kiernan, M.S., Lampert, B., LeMond, L.M., Lee, S., Lerg, G., Lindenfeld, J., Mahr, C., Meehan, K., Pagani, F.D., Pan, S., Pavone, J., Um, J., Yancy, C.W., Thinh, D., Barsuk, J.H. (2019) Ventricular Assist Device Driveline Dressing-Change Protocols: A Need for Standardization. A Report from the SimVAD Investigators. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 25 (8), 695-697. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2019.06.009
  • Birriel, B., Alonso, W, Kitko, L., & Hupcey, J. (2019). Decision-making about left ventricular assist device implantation: Family caregivers’ perspectives. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care,48 (4), 308-312. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2019.03.002
  • Alonso, W., Kitko, L. & Hupcey, J. (2018) Intergenerational caregivers for patients with advanced heart failure. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice. 32 (4), 413-435.
  • Evans, M., Hupcey, J., Kitko, L. & Alonso, W. (2018). Comparison of the life descriptions of newly diagnosed versus chronic stage D heart failure patients. Journal of Patient Experience. 5(3), 219-224. https://doi.org/10.1177/2374373517750412
  • Alonso, W., Hupcey, J., Kitko, L. (2017). Caregivers' perceptions of illness severity and end of life service utilization in advanced heart failure. Heart and Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 46, 35-39.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2016.09.001
  • Alonso, W., Birriel, B., Kitko, L. & Hupcey, J. (2016). Response to letter to editor: Time to integrate sexual function in the health-related quality of life of patients with left ventricular assist device. Heart and Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 45(3), 294. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2016.01.012
  • Kitko, L., Hupcey, J., Birriel, B. & Alonso, W. (2016). Patients’ expectations of a left ventricular assist device pre and post implantation. Heart and Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 45(2), 95-99. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2015.12.003
  • Hupcey, J., Kitko, L. & Alonso, W. (2016). Patients’ perceptions of the illness severity of advanced heart failure. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 18(2), 110-114. DOI: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000229
  • Hupcey, J., Kitko, L. & Alonso, W. (2015). Palliative care in heart failure. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 27(4), 577-587. DOI: 10.1016/j.cnc.2015.07.007
  • Chair, Symptom Science Research and Implementation Interest Group (RIIG), Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) (2022-2023)
  • Incoming co-chair and Workgroup Lead, Annual Scientific Meeting Planning Committee, Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) (2022)
  • Vice-chair, Membership and Communications Committee, Council for Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN), American Heart Association (AHA) (2021-2022)
  • Chair elect, Symptom Science RIIG, MNRS (2021-2022)
  • Editor, CVSN Connections, AHA (2019-2021)
  • Member, Nursing Committee, Heart Failure Society of America (2018-2020)
  • Member, Education Committee, Heart Failure Society of America (2020-2021)
  • Member, Program Committee, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) (2017-2019; 2020-present)
  • Co-founder & Co-chair, Early Career Special Interest Group, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (2018-2021)
  • Abstract Reviewer, MNRS, HFSA, CANS scientific sessions (2017-present)
  • Founder & Chair, Early Career Research Interest Group, Eastern Nursing Research Society (2016-2018)
  • Member, National Rural Health Association (2013-present)
  • Member, American Nurses Association (2007-present)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Cardiac Failure (2021-present)
  • Reviewer for over 10 peer-reviewed scientific journals (2016-present)
  • 2023 New Investigator Award, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • 2022 Marie Cowan Promising Early Career Investigator, American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing
  • 2022 Pennie Z. Davis Faculty Research Award, UNMC College of Nursing
  • 2022 Symptom Science Research and Implementation Interest Group New Investigator Award, Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • 2021 Nursing New Investigator Award, Heart Failure Society of America
  • 2020 Fellowship, Heart Failure Society of America
  • 2019 Future Leaders in Heart Failure Science, Heart Failure Society of America
  • 2018 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leader Award, Nebraska Action Coalition
  • 2018 Acute and Critical Care Across the Lifespan Research Interest Group Dissertation Award, Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • 2018-2019 Rural Health Fellow, National Rural Health Association
  • 2015 Poster of Distinction, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • 2015 Honorable Mention Poster, National Institute for Nursing Research
  • 2013-2014 CIHDS Scholar, The Pennsylvania State University Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems
  • 2009 Inductee, Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2007 Nursing Scholarship Recipient, Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • 2003 Inductee, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society