Paula Harrison, MSN, RN

Paula Harrison

Associate Professor

University Hall 149, Hamilton Campus


  • MSN, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, Education Track, Case Western Reserve University
  • BSN, University of Toledo/Medical College of Ohio

Professional Experience

Prior to coming to Miami, Paula served as the Inpatient Manager for Behavioral Health Services for Mercy Health Partners for over eight years.  She has a strong background in nurse leadership, adult chronic mental health, quality improvement and clinical education.  Her passion is advocacy for mental health. 

Practice Experience: Acute adult and adolescent mental health nursing, Mental Health nurse management, hospital-based nursing education, healthcare quality and case management, general surgical acute care nursing.


Psychiatric Mental Health nursing; focus on adult & chronic illness, community mental health

Therapeutic communication

Service-learning pedagogy



Paula’s focus in service is two-fold; Service to the mental health community and to nursing students. A major portion of her service was embedded in service-learning within the teaching of NSG 452: Nursing Care of Clients Experiencing Mental Health Disorders and their Families. Students were engaged in MPWER (Miami Partnership to Empower and Renew) group projects within community mental health agencies.  Her extension of service flows further to the community through her work with National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) of Butler County where she served on the board for eight years.  She currently was appointed to the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Warren and Clinton Counties Board.  In addition, she serves on the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Education Council & Advisory Board and Member of Miami University Suicide Prevention Team.

Paula previously served as the Faculty Advisor for the Student Nurse Association (SNA) for over 13 years.  Working closely with the student nurse leaders, she developed an internal student network and mentorship and to promote service activities toward health and community issues within the campus and a variety of communities. The Butler County NAMI walk was an annual event the SNA was involved with for over 15 years.  Currently the students are involved in the Oxford Out of the Darkness Walk held every fall.  She continues to encourage the nursing students to be advocates for mental health. She is involved with multiple initiatives within the University and the local community towards advocating for mental health & wellness and decreasing the stigma associated with brain disorders.

Previous Service; Executive and Board Member, Transitional Living, Inc., Miami Nursing Faculty Liaison & Homeless Clinic Practitioner - St. Raphael’s Social Service Agency, Crisis Prevention Institute Instructor/Trainer, Health & Wellness Ministry, St. Susanna Parish.


Paula’s research interest and passion are empowerment strategies of the mentally ill population for wellness, and empowerment of nursing students. This has manifested into the study of service-learning, emotional intelligence and reflection within mental health nursing education.


  • 2012 Team Spirit/Walk Leadership Team Award, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Butler County, Ohio
  • 2009 Advocacy Award, National Alliance for Mentally Ill, Butler County, Ohio
  • 2008-2009 Arthur Olsen Outstanding Generational Teaching Excellence Award, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Miami University
  • 2007 Nightingale Award for Outstanding Service, Miami University Nursing