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Debra Travers

Associate Consulting Professor in the School of Nursing
School of Nursing


Dr. Travers is the lead faculty for the MSN-Informatics program at Duke University School of Nursing. Previously she was on the faculty of the University of North Carolina in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine (Emergency Medicine). She has expertise in emergency department triage, ED clinical data systems development and evaluation, population research using ED data, and informatics. 

Dr. Travers has a strong foundation of clinical experience as an emergency nurse, informaticist and educator.  In addition to over 30 years’ clinical emergency nursing experience, she has a master’s in Nursing Management and a doctorate in Information Science and a certificate in Health Outcomes. She was instrumental in refining and disseminating the Emergency Severity Index triage system, a patient acuity index that is widely used to improve the safety of clinical care and to facilitate health services research such as the study of ED crowding.

As a researcher Dr. Travers has worked extensively to facilitate secondary uses of ED data for health services and clinical research, syndromic surveillance and quality improvement.   She collaborates with Operations and Statistics researchers, analytics developers and ED managers. She led the early development of syndromic surveillance in North Carolina as the original principal investigator of the CDC-funded project that created what is now called the North Carolina Disease Event and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC 

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Consulting Professor in the School of Nursing · 2020 - Present School of Nursing

Education, Training & Certifications

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill · 2003 Ph.D.