Our team [View Image]

Our team

Tamara Zurakowski, Ph.D., GNP-BC

Clinical Associate Professor
Concentration Coordinator, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program

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1100 East Leigh Street, Room 3027
Box 980567
Richmond, VA 23298-0567

Phone: (804) 828-0721
Email: tzurakowski@vcu.edu


My primary teaching responsibilities are in the BS programs. As a Gerontological NP, I enjoy being the course director for NURS261, Health Assessment for Nursing Practice. I also am a clinical instructor for NURS416, Community Health Nursing. I have been working in community health for over 35 years, and really enjoy this nursing specialty. In addition, I am the concentration coordinator for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner students in the MS program.



I am very engaged in the scholarship of teaching, and try to use evidence-based educational strategies in all my courses. I also encourage students to use the professional literature to design and evaluate nursing interventions. NURS261 is based on evidence-based health assessment techniques and strategies, and part of the course focuses on how the science of health assessment is built.



I am a grant reviewer for the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I also review manuscripts for Geriatric Nursing, Clinical Nursing Research, and several textbook publishers.



  • B.S. New York University  (nursing)
  • M.A. New York University (Community Health Nursing; Nursing Education)
  • PhD Case Western Reserve University (Gerontological nursing research)
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship Elderly Care Research Center, Case Western Reserve University (mental health and aging)
  • Advanced Graduate Certificate, University of Connecticut (primary care of older adults)


Awards and Honors:

  • Teaching Excellence Award, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 2009
  • Sigma Theta Tau


Current Educational Program Funding:

  • Primary care Options to Maximize Opportunities to Transform Education in Nursing (PrOMOTE-Nursing. D11HP29865. 7/1/2016 – 6/30/2018. Project Director, 15% effort. Health Resources and Services Administration. Total direct costs awarded - $754,557


Selected Publications:

  • Zurakowski, T. L. (2016). Physiologic changes of aging and atypical clinical manifestations of disease in the elderly. In T. Capriotti and J. P. Frizzell,  Pathophysiology: Introductory Concepts and Clinical Connections. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.
  • Zurakowski, T. L. (2014). The genitourinary system. In P. A. Tabloski, Gerontological Nursing (3rd ed., pp. 542 - 575). New York: Prentice Hall.
  • Schuhow, D. A. & Zurakowski, T. L.  (2013). Older adults and Autism Spectrum Disorders. In E. Giarelli & M. Gardner (Eds.). Nursing of autism spectrum disorders: Evidence-based integrated care across the lifespan.(pp. 353-386). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Selected Presentations:

  • Basco, H., Davis, K., Goldstein, D., & Zurakowski, T. L. (2020, February). Exploration and implementation of LEAP models in primary care. Accepted for presentation at the Eighth Annual Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium: Building Team Skills for Collaborative Practice. Richmond, VA.
  • Basco, H., Davis, K., Goldstein, D., & Zurakowski, T. L. (2020, February). Building care coordination skills in primary care.  Poster accepted for presentation at the Eighth Annual Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium: Building Team Skills for Collaborative Practice. Richmond, VA. 
  • Scanga, C. B. & Zurakowski, T. L. (2013, January). Integrating content areas in a course: Anatomy, physiology, and physical assessment. Poster presented at Elsevier Faculty Development Conference. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Dalton, E., Appel-Bruch, A., & Zurakowski, T. L.  (2011, October). Assisted reminiscence: Engendering engagement in members with dementia by eliciting memories of nurturance. Poster accepted for presentation at the National PACE Association Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA.
  • Zurakowski, T. L. & Dalton, E. (2011, March). Management of influenza in the elderly.  Presented at Influenza in long-term care/health care settings and Influenza vaccination among health care workers, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Harrisburg, PA.
  • Zurakowski, T. L., (alphabetically listed) Blackwood, N., Bocchino, N., Boland, B., Dalton, E., Draper, J., Kinosian, B.,  Lech, G., Nichols, K. J., Spencer, C., Stein, P., Way, D. J., Yudin, J. (2010, October). Engaged collaboration in PACE  NP/MD primary care teams can reduce hospitalizations 25% . Poster presented at the National PACE Association Annual Conference. San Francisco, CA.
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