Dr. Flynn completed an NIH-funded post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research under the direction of Dr. Linda Aiken. For the ensuing decade, her funded program of outcomes research has focused on the effects of nursing systems (e.g., nurse-staffing levels, the practice environment, and nurse manager leadership) on patient care and patient outcomes across practice settings. She was among the first researchers to study the impact of a “magnetic” nursing practice environment on patient outcomes in home health and nursing homes, thus extending this important line of inquiry to settings beyond acute-care hospitals. Within the hospital setting, she quantified the relationships among the practice environment, nurses’ safety practices, and the frequency of non-intercepted medication errors in 82 medical/surgical units. Building on those findings, she recently designed and tested a manager-development program, N-MAP, aimed at improving patient safety and reducing the number of adverse events. Due to the policy implications of her work, she is a past recipient of the Governor’s Merit Award for excellence in research and the C.A.R.E. Award from the New Jersey State Nurses Association. She was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2009.
Dr. Flynn is the co-editor of the textbook “Nursing Policy Research: Turning Evidence-Based Research into Health Policy.” She has published in numerous interdisciplinary and nursing-research journals and serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Western Journal of Nursing Research, and other publications.