Christine Lepianka , MS. RN »

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Christine Lepianka , MS. RN

Duquesne University PhD
Home Belvidere IL United States


I am a PhD in nursing student at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. with15 years of experience in women and children’s health. I am currently an Assistant Professor at St. Anthony College of Nursing in Rockford, IL. I have completed over 120 hours of training in forensic nursing at both the University of Colorado (Mercy) Health, Colorado Springs, CO and Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. My research interests include women who have been subjected to human sex trafficking (HST) in the United States. In 2016 I was the principle investigator in a small phenomenological study on HST. To better understand the health and experiences with the health system among women who have been trafficked for sex in the U.S, I am conducting an ethnonursing design for my dissertation study. I work closely with URLoved, a survivor led ministry that offers support for women recovering from the sex industry. Along with the founder of URLoved and local nurse leaders, I implemented and facilitate a weekly support group for women recovering from physical and sexual trauma. I attend city wide multidisciplinary task force meetings to discuss issues surrounding human trafficking and serve on the anti-human trafficking committee at OSF Healthcare, both in Rockford, IL. In recognition of my expertise on human sex trafficking, I have been an invited speaker at multiple educational venues in the Chicagoland area, including the 2017 International Forum Caring for Vulnerable Populations, hosted by Sigma Theta Tau, Phi Omicron and at the Stateline Nurses Network Nurse Expo 2018.


Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Chronic Health
Dissertation: The Health Perceptions and Experiences With the Health System Among Women Who Have Been Trafficked for Sex in the United States: An Ethnonursing Design I will be conducting semi-structured interviews with women who have been trafficked for sex in a large metropolitan city in Illinois and with those who have direct knowledge of such women. I aim to better understand the meanings, beliefs, and values of health and how the women can and/or want to navigate the health system.