Faculty & Staff

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Transforming Healthcare Transforming Lives:
Creating the Nursing Leaders of Tomorrow and the Research that Improves Health

Ponrathi Athilingam, PhD, ACNP, FAANP

  • Assistant Professor, College Of Nursing
  • College Of Nursing
  • Concentration Director, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, University of South Florida College of Nursing


  • PhD, Health Practice Research, University Of Rochester, 2008
  • PhD, Health Practice Research, University of Rochester, School of Nursing, 2008
  • MS, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, University of Rochester, 2004
  • MCH, Community Health, Liverpool University, 1988
  • BSc, Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Science, 1982

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Cardiovascular

Research Interests

  • Research Interests:
    • Understanding correlates of Cognitive Impairment in patients with heart failure
    • Cytokines as potential mediators for cognitive impairment in heart failure
    • Exploring Computerized Auditory Cognitive intervention for heart failure patients
  • Ph.D. and DNP Advisor
  • Statement:
  • Dr. Athilingam is an ANCC certified Acute care NP who works with heart failure patients. Her research focused on understanding correlates of cognitive impairment in heart failure and interventions to improve self-care and QOL, and minimize readmissions.
  • She has received numerous awards for her nursing practice and research including the Nurse Investigator Award for the year 2008 from Heart Failure Society of America, Sigma Theta Tau International scholarship, research and dissertation awards and the Service for Humanity Leadership Award from the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. She recently was named Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP).
  • Dr. Athilingam’s current research is a single-blind randomized control trial to “Explore Computerized Auditory Cognitive Intervention for Heart Failure Patients.

Selected Publications

  • Hudak, E., Edwards, J., Athilingam, P., & McEvoy, C Effects of Hypertension and Antihypertensive Medications on Cognitive Function and Everyday Cognitive Performance Clinical Gerontologist. 36: 113-131, 2013.
  • Athilingam, P., D’Aoust, R.F., Zambroski, C., McMillan, S., & Sahebzamani, F Predictive Validity and Utility of NYHA and ACC/AHA classification of Physical and Cognitive Functioning in Heart Failure. International Journal of Nursing Science. 3: 22-32, 2013.
  • Athilingam, P., D’Aoust, R.F. Miller, L., & Chen, Cognitive Profile Varies in Persons with Systolic and Diastolic Heart Failure. Journal of Congestive Heart failure. 19(1) : 45-50, 2013.
  • Converting Enzyme in Heart Failure. Cognitive Protection by Angio-tensin Converting Enzyme in Heart Failure. International Journal of Nursing Science. 2(3) : 14-22, 2012.
  • Athilingam, P., Moynihan, J., Chen, L., D’Aoust, R.F., Groer, M., & Kip, K. Elevated Levels of Interleukin-6 and C-Reactive Protein Associated with Cognitive Impairment in Heart Failure Journal of Congestive Heart failure. 19(2) : 92-98, 2012.
  • Athilingam, P., King, K. B., Burgin, W. S., Ackerman, M., Cushman, L. A., & Chen. L. Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Mini Mental Status Examination compared as cognitive screening tools in HF. Heart and Lung. 40: 521-529, 2011.
  • Athilingam, P & King Heart and brain matter in heart failure: A Literature review. Journal of the New York State Nurses Association,. 38: 13-19, 2008.
  • Athilingam, P. Cognitive dysfunction in heart failure may have different or multiple etiologies: Not cerebral hypoperfusion alone. Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing. 23(2) : 102, 2008.
  • Athilingam, P., Chen, L., King, K., & Ackerman, M Montreal Cognitive Assessment may be an Appropriate Tool to Assess Cognitive Dysfunction in Heart Failure. Journal of Cradiac Failure. 14(6) : S5-S6, 2008.
  • Ackerman, M., Graves, B., Giuliano, K., Athilingam, P., & Yeager, C. Comparison of oxygen saturation values between two new generation pulse oximeters in patients following cardiac surgery. American Journal of Critical Care. 13(3) : 265-266, 2004.
  • Ackerman, M. H., Graves, B. T., Athilingam, P., Yeager, C., & Giuliano, K. A comparison of the Philips FAST and Masimo Set pulse oximeter following cardiac surgery. Critical Care Medicine. 31(12) : A135, 2003.
  • Athilingam, P.R. Selectivity--a new trend within primary health care Nursing Journal of India. 81: 322, 1990.