Meet the Researchers

Brendan Martin, PhD, MA

Director, Nursing Regulation

Brendan joined the Research Department in May 2018. He is an experienced researcher with more than 13 years in quantitative modeling and consulting. As principal investigator, Brendan is currently spearheading NCSBN’s National Prelicensure-RN Study: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Nursing Education. Brendan is also leading additional projects focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the APRN workforce, and Canadian facility protocol for reporting nurse involvement in adverse events. Future projects include national studies investigating the efficiency and effectiveness of the complaint intake process at Boards of Nursing and assessing the outcomes of simulation and virtual education in nursing education. 

Recent studies published include “Chronic hospital nurse understaffing meets COVID-19: an observational study” (BMJ Safety & Quality, 2020), “Advancing Nursing Excellence for Public Protection NCSBN Regulatory Guidelines and Evidence-Based Quality Indicators for Nursing Education Programs” (JNR, 2020), and “How collaborative practice agreements impede the provision of vital behavioral health services” (Nursing Outlook, 2020).

Brendan also teaches the Fundamentals of Research course in NCSBN’s new International Center for Regulatory Scholarship (ICRS) program.

Elizabeth Zhong, PhD, MEd

Research Scientist I, Nursing Regulation

Elizabeth has been a member of the Research Department since 2005. Elizabeth earned a PhD and an MEd in Research Methodology from the Loyola University of Chicago. Her focus for the past few years has been on nurse discipline. By analyzing data from different national nursing databases, Elizabeth hopes to develop deeper insight into what causes nursing practice errors, and how the incidence of such errors could be reduced.

Elizabeth has been leading a series of studies on at-risk nurses and developing models to identify risk factors for recidivism which will provide evidence for boards of nursing to use for developing more efficient remediation and discipline in nursing regulation. Meanwhile, Elizabeth has been working on a longitudinal study to evaluate the financial impact of adopting the eNLC on boards of nursing.

Elizabeth teaches the international version of the Fundamentals of Research course in NCSBN’s ICRS program.

Nicole K. Ozturk, PhD, MA

Research Scientist I, Nursing Regulation

Nicole joined the Research Department in January 2020. She earned a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MA from the University of Chicago focusing on research methodology. She has five years’ experience drawing upon quantitative analytical techniques to deliver actionable data products in an education setting. Presently, Nicole is conducting research on the global nursing regulatory response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to collaborating on a longitudinal multi-site national study examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on prelicensure RN programs.

Nicole teaches ‘Making Data Analysis Easy Using Python’  in NCSBN’s ICRS program.

Richard Smiley, MS, MA

Senior Statistician, Nursing Regulation

Richard has been a member of the Research Department for about 20 years. Richard earned a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Demography from Georgetown University. One of Richard’s most notable research contributions is the landmark NCSBN National Simulation Study which explored the role and outcomes of simulation in pre-licensure clinical nursing education. Currently, Richard is leading the following national studies: National Nursing Workforce Survey, and Outcomes of Nurse Monitoring Programs. In the future, he hopes to conduct research on changes to state regulation regarding the use of simulation.

Richard teaches a Questionnaire Design course in NCSBN's ICRS Program.