Windy Alonso, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor


University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
College of Nursing - Omaha Division
985330 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5330

Phone: 402-559-8342



  • 2003, BS, Susquehanna
  • 2007, AS, Northhampton CC
  • 2011, BSN, DeSales
  • 2014, MSN, Penn State
  • 2017, PhD, Penn State


Dr. Alonso is an assistant professor at the College of Nursing. Dr. Alonso received her associate’s degree in nursing from Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA and completed her BSN at DeSales University, Center Valley, PA. She was awarded an MS and PhD (2017) in Nursing from the Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing.

Dr. Alonso worked clinically as a nursing assistant on a cardiac step-down and as a staff nurse in neonatal intensive care. She is building a program of research aimed at improving outcomes for individuals with advanced heart failure living in rural areas.

Dr. Alonso was an F31 Predoctoral Fellow (NINR) during her dissertation study “Identifying disparities: A Rural-Urban Comparison in Mechanical Circulatory Support.” She was also recently selected as a 2018 National Rural Health Association Rural Health Fellow.


Research Interests

  • Heart failure
  • Left ventricular assist devices and heart transplant
  • Self-management of chronic conditions
  • Exergaming
  • Chronic illness management in rural areas

Grant Support (Previous 5 years)

Sept 2017-Aug 2019
Rural Urban Comparison of Ventricular Assist Device Outcomes, Heart Failure Society of America, $10,000, Alonso, W. (P.I.)

June 2018-Dec 2018
Feasibility testing of an exergaming intervention for individuals with advanced heart failure prior to left ventricular assist device implantation or heart transplant, Center for Patient, Family and Community Engagement in Chronic Disease Management, UNMC College of Nursing, $2,343.71, Alonso, W. (P.I.)

Dec 2018-Dec 2019
Using Mixed Methods to Explore Cardiac Rehabilitation for Heart Failure in Rural Nebraska, Rural Nurse Organization, Nursing Research Grant, $500 Alonso, W. (P.I.)

Sept 2016-May 2017
Identifying Disparities: Rural-Urban Comparison in Mechanical Circulatory Support, NIH/NINR, $31,170, Alonso, W. (P.I.) (1F31NR016895-01)

Aug 2013-July 2015
Palliative care algorithms for HF dyads: 1-year versus 2-year predicted survival, NIH/NINR, $1,712,089, Hupcey, Kitko (M.P.I), Role: Research Assistant


Birriel, B., Alonso, W, Kitko, L., & Hupcey, J. (Under review). Decision-making about left ventricular assist device implantation: Family caregivers’ perspectives. (Submitted to the Western Journal of Nursing Research, December, 2017).

Alonso, W., Kitko, L. & Hupcey, J. (Under review). Intergenerational caregivers for patients with advanced heart failure. (Submitted to Research and Theory in Nursing Practice, December 2017).

Evans, M., Hupcey, J., Kitko, L. & Alonso, W. (In press). Comparison of the life descriptions of newly diagnosed versus chronic stage D heart failure patients. Journal of Patient Experience.

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:

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:

View all publications »


American Heart Association
Early Career Member of Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Liaison, Membership & Communications Committee; Co-editor, CVSN Connections & Author, “Early Career Corner”

Heart Failure Society of America
Member of the Nursing Committee

Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
Cofounder & Incoming Chair of Early Career Special Interest Group; Early Career Member of Program Committee

National Rural Health Association
2018 Rural Health Fellow

Eastern Nursing Research Society
Founder and Co-chair of Early Career Nurse Scientist Research Interest Group


40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leader Award
Nebraska Action Coalition

Acute and Critical Care Across the Lifespan Research Interest Group Dissertation Award
Midwest Nursing Research Society

Rural Health Fellow
National Rural Health Association

Poster of Distinction
Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science

Honorable Mention Poster
National Institute for Nursing Research

View all recognition »