Dongjuan (Donna) Xu, PhD, RN


PhD Health Services Research, Policy and Administration, University of Minnesota

MS Biostatistics University of Minnesota

MSc Nursing Shandong University

BS  Nursing Shandong University


Dr. Xu has a broad background in nursing, biostatistics, and health services research, with specific training and expertise in survey research, secondary data analysis, and large data sets. Her research is aimed at improving the quality of care and quality of life for older people. Her studies focus on chronic conditions and areas of care that have important implications for quality of life. Dr. Xu studies care transitions between hospital, nursing home and community; assessment of care quality and its relationship to health outcomes; management of chronic conditions such as overactive bladder and urinary incontinence; prevention of falls and injury. She is also interested in development of health measurement scales and reliability and validity studies. She has received grant funding from multiple sources, including the American Nurses Foundation grant, Sigma Theta Tau Research Award, and Purdue’s highly competitive Kinley Research Award. She successfully administered the projects and produced a series of first-rate publications. She has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, while serving as first author on 23 of these publications. She was coauthor on a paper that received the 2019 WJNR (Western Journal of Nursing Research)/MNRS (Midwest Nursing Research Society) Sage Best Faculty Paper Award. In 2018, she received the John A. Hartford Foundation Award in recognition of her accomplishments in geriatric nursing science to improve the quality of care for older adults. She has reviewed manuscripts for 27 journals and delivered more than 20 presentations at scientific conferences, offering evidence of an outstanding dissemination record.

Dr. Xu has expertise not only in quasi-experimental and experimental design, but also in observational and longitudinal studies, particularly analysis of secondary data in large, complex data sets, such as Minimum Data Set (MDS), Medicaid and Medicare claims, National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), National Death Index (NDI), Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), and Synchronized Global Aging Data Set.

Dr. Xu also has expertise in constructing a survey instrument. Her study, developing an instrument to measure nursing home quality of life, is so well designed and thorough that it could be a textbook example. She covered all stages of instrument construction, including initial content analysis, qualitative interviews, pilot testing, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, reliability testing, and validity testing.

Area(s) of Specialization

  • Adult Health
  • Long-Term Care and Aging
  • Quality of Life
  • Quality of Care
  • Management of Chronic Conditions
  • Prevention of Falls and Injury
  • Health Measurement Scales

Current CV (PDF)

Donna Xu
Assistant Professor

Faculty Associate, Center on Aging and Life Course

Phone: 765-494-4028
Office: JNSN 250

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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