Dolly Pressley Byrd , MSN, CNM »

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Dolly Pressley Byrd , MSN, CNM

University of North Carolina-Greensboro PhD
Home Canton NC United States


I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University, where I majored in both Politics and History and graduated magna cum laude with Honors in History distinction. During my undergraduate career, I achieved the following honors and awards: Wake Forest University Hankins Scholar, Spires Grant for Individualized Instruction and Collaborative Effort, WC Pearson Award for Excellence in Research, and Thomas K. Hearn Scholarship for White House Service. I pursued my graduate studies at Yale University, where I received my nursing diploma and graduated with my Masters of Science in Nursing, graduating with Honors. After graduation, I became a Certified Nurse Midwife. My first position was in New Orleans as a Program manager of a Family Planning Training Center. Once moving to North Carolina, I became both an adjunct faculty member at Western NC University and a Certified Nurse Midwife at the Mountain Area Health Education Center.


Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Psych-Mental Health
Dissertation: “Drug Testing Policies of Pregnant Women Presenting in Labor: Do Well-Intentioned Policies Disproportionately Impact Women of Color or Low Social Locations?” Some L&D units have instituted targeted or selective screening practices containing criteria that mandate drug screening for pregnant women who present in labor, but many of the criteria on these protocols may be more strongly correlated with social determinants of health than active drug use (e.g., late entry to prenatal care, victims of intimate partner violence). Other L&D units have not formalized any drug screening policies, deferring to healthcare provider discretion or clinical suspicion. Some of these screens are conducted without patient consent. While these screens attempt to identify infants that may suffer withdrawal after delivery, mothers are often penalized for positive drug test results—Department of Social Services/Child Protective Services involvement, loss of custody, or legal entanglements. Additionally, many women are not offered referral to treatment services or have their substance abuse/addictions addressed. For my dissertation, I propose a quantitative descriptive investigation to assess the current state of drug testing policy for women presenting in Labor.