Carol M. Musil, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
The Edward J. and Louise Mellen Professor of Nursing
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Case Western Reserve University double alumna, distinguished researcher and longtime faculty member, Carol M. Musil, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA, was named Dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing effective July 1, 2019. She served as interim dean of the School for the 2018-2019 academic year. She is the Edward J. and Louise Mellen Professor of Nursing and has been a member of the FPB faculty since 1994.

She recently received a four-year, $2 million grant from NIH's National Institute on Nursing Research for her clinical trial, "GIFT: Grandmother Initiatives in Family Transformation." Her research focuses on stress, health, and caregiving. For the past 20 years, she has studied the physical and psychological health of caregivers over time, especially grandmothers raising grandchildren, and how factors such as resourcefulness and support affect health and family well-being especially during times of strain and transitions. She takes a multi-generational view of families, and has included the grandchildren of grandmothers in her research. She also leads the Pilot Projects Core of the NIH/NINR funded SMART (Self-Management Advancement through Research and Training: Brain-Behavior Connections) Center at Case Western Reserve University. The Midwest Research Society (MNRS) honored her in 2018 for her "Distinguished Contributions to Research in the Midwest."

Dr. Musil served on numerous NIH review committees and has frequently chaired the National Institute for General Medical Sciences Minority Programs Reviews Subcommittee's behavioral panels since 2010. She also co-chaired NIH Risk, Prevention, and Health Behavior Integrated Review Group R15 AREA grant proposal reviews.

Dr. Musil also has extensive experience in faculty governance at both the school and university level. She has served as chair of the CWRU Faculty Senate, the Faculty Senate Committee on Research as well as several terms on the CWRU Faculty Senate Executive Committee as well as numerous FPB committees. She was named the new University Marshal in July 2018.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America, she earned her PhD in Nursing and her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from Case Western Reserve University, and completed and NIMH post-doctoral fellowship in geriatric mental health nursing at CWRU. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Cincinnati.

Teaching Information

Teaching Interests

  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Stress, Coping, and Quality of Life

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Health, Stress, Coping, and Family Functioning of Grandmothers by Caregiver Status
  • Stress, Mental and Physical Health of Community Dwelling Older Adults by Caregiver Status
  • Methodological Issues
  • Self-management

Research Projects


  • GIFT: Grandmother Initiatives in Family Transformation NINR 5R01-NR015999-02 (30% effort). 12/20/16-11/30/20
  • Resourcefulness Intervention for Mothers of Technology-Dependent Children NINR (Co-Investigator; V. Toly, PI)  9/19/17-8/31/19
  • Assessing Access, Change, Concerns, and Consequences of People with MS Regarding Four Types of Personal Insurances (Musil Co-I; D. Miller, PI, CCF).  National Muscular Sclerosis Society Foundation.  10/1/15 -9/30/17. (10% effort)
  • Mothers Caring for Technology-Dependent Neonates Sigma Theta Tau International Doris Bloch Research Award(Co-Investigator; V. Toly, PI)  11/01/15-10/31/16
  • SMART Center II: Brain-Behavior Connections in Self-Management Science  1P30NR015326 (Co-I & Director of Pilot Core; Moore, PI). 09/25/2014 – 07/31/2019 (15% effort)
  • Principal Investigator, "Grandmothers, Caregiving, Families, and Transitions," NIH/NINR R01 NR005067. 9/5/06 – 12/31/10.
  • Co-Investigator, "Promoting Resourcefulness in Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren," NIH/NINR R21 NR010581 01, J. Zauszniewski, PI 9/13/2007-5/31/2009.
  • Co-Investigator, "Center of Excellence to Build the Science of Self-Management: A Systems Approach," NIH/NINR 1P30NR010676-01 (S. Moore, PI). 9/29/07-6/30/12.
  • Principal Investigator, "Family Stress and Family Functioning in Caregivers to Adults with Mild Impairments: A Pilot Project," Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Case Western Reserve University and National Institutes of Health.  

Completed Research Support

  • The Grandmother Study Time 6 (Musil, PI). FPB School of Nursing Research Grant. 11/1/14-8/17/15.
  • Web-based Resourcefulness Training, A Pilot    
  • FPB School of Nursing (Musil PI; Zauszniewski, Co-I) 6/2011-9/31/2012 total award: $5000
  • Promoting Resourcefulness in Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren
  • R21 NR010581-01 (Role: Co-I; Zauszniewski, PI)   9/13/2007-5/31/2010
  • Center of Excellence to Build the Science of Self-Management: A Systems Approach 1P30NR010676-01 (Co-I; Moore, PI)  9/29/07-6/30/12
  • Grandmothers, Caregiving, Families, and Transitions. (Musil, C. Principal Investigator). R01 NR005067  (Musil, PI) NIH/NINR 7/1/06 – 3/31/11. Total Award, $1,112,402.
  • Family Stress and Family Functioning in Caregivers to Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairments: A pilot project. Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, July 2004-2007. Parent Grant: Genetic Models, Center for Memory and Aging (Herrup, K. Principal Investigator). NIH Grant No. AG-07012-16, Total Award, $30,000.
  • Principal Investigators, Intergenerational Caregiving to At-Risk Youth, NIH/NINR R01 NR005067  8/1/01 – 10/31/06
  • Mentor, Resiliency in Army Reservist Families Tri-Service Nursing Research MDA-905-03-2 TS09, J. Russek, PI, 9/1/03 – 12/07
  • Principal Investigator, Family Stress and Family Functioning in Caregivers to Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairments: A pilot project. AG-08012-16 (sub-project PI; C. Herrup, PI NIH/NIA Alzheimers Center, P Award) 6/1/04 – 5/31/07
  • Principal Investigator, Grandmothers Caring for Grandchildren in Uganda and Other Sub-Saharan African Countries: An International Collaborative Pilot, Ohio Board of Regents. 2003.
  • Principal Investigator, Grandmothers as caregivers: A comparison by caregiver status. NIH/NIA  R15 AG 15438-011998-2001
  • Co-Investigator, Teaching Resourcefulness to Chronically Ill Older Adults, J. Zauszniewski, PI, NINR/NIH, RO1-NR04428.
  • Principal Investigator, Psychosocial and self-assessed health of grandmothers giving care to grandchildren: A follow-up study. American Nurses Foundation, 1996-1997
  • Principal Investigator, Psychosocial and self-assessed health of grandmothers giving care to grandchildren: A descriptive study, RIG. Ohio Board of Regents/ CWRU 1996.
  • Co-Investigator, Continuation of Stresses,Strains and Elderly Physical Health. (M. Haug, PI). NIH/NIA RO1- AGO8557, 1996-2001

Training Projects

  • Core Faculty, "Multiple Morbidities in Vulnerable Populations: Nurse Scientist Training," NIH/NINR T32 NR 009761 (S. Moore, PI)  5/18/06 – 4/30/11.

Completed Training Support

  • Co-Program Director, Childbearing, Childrearing, Caregiving Research Training NIH/NINR T32 NR07108, M. Wykle, Program Director). 5/1/00-2/28/06
  • Core Faculty, Enhancing the Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Program John A. Hartford Foundation, B.Roberts, PI. 2002-2004


  • Toly, V. B., Musil, C. M., Beida, A., Barnett, K., Dowling, D., & Sattar, A. (in press). Neonates and infants discharged home dependent on medical technology: Characteristics and outcomes. Advances in Neonatal Care.
  • Musil, CM., Zauszniewski, J. A., Burant, C., Toly, V.A., & Warner, C.B. (2016). Evaluating an online resourcefulness training intervention pilot test using six critical parameters. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development.
  • Toly, V. & Musil, C. ( 2015). Factors Related to Depressive Symptoms in Mothers of Technology-dependent Children. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2015.36 (7):518-27. PMID: 26309171
  • Johnson, J., Brennan, M., Musil, C.M., & Fitzpatrick, J.J. (2015). Practice patterns and organizational commitment of inpatient nurse practitioners.Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
  • Zauszniewski,, J. A. & Musil, C. M. (2015). Biofeedback in Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren: Correlations between Subjective and Objective Measures. Biofeedback.
  • Zauszniewski JA, Musil CM, Burant CJ, Au TY (2014).  Resourcefulness Training for Grandmothers: Preliminary Evidence of Effectiveness. Research in Nursing and Health, 37 (1), 42-52. PMID:24277351
  • Toly, V. B., Musil, C. M., & Zauszniewski, J. A. (2014). Resourcefulness training intervention: A promising approach to improve mental health of mothers with technology-dependent children. Applied Nursing Research, 27, 87-90. PMCID:PMC392057
  • Colagreco, J. P.,  Bailey, D. J., Fitzpatrick,J.J., Afdhal, N.H., Lai, M. & Musil, C.M. (2014). Watchful waiting: role of disease progression on uncertainty and depressive symptoms in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 21(10):727-33. PMCID:PMC4185928
  • +Knarr, J., Musil, C..M.,Warner, C., Kless, J. & Long, J. (2014). Female urinary stress incontinence: an evidence based case study approach. Urologic Nursing.
  • Fardellone, C., Musil, C., Smith, E. & Click, E. (2014). Leadership behaviors of frontline staff registered nurses. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 45(11):506-13. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20141023-05. Epub 2014 Oct 23.
  • Zauszniewski, J.A., & Musil, C.M. (2014). Interventions forgrandmothers: Comparative effectiveness of resourcefulness training, HRV biofeedback, and journaling. Biofeedback, 42(3), 121-129.
  • Toly, V. B., Musil, C. M., & Zauszniewski, J. A. (2014). Resourcefulness training intervention: A promising approach to improve mental health of mothers with technology-dependent children. Appl Nurs Res, 27(1), 87-90. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2013.11.003
  • Musil, CM., Burant, C.M., Zauszniewski, J.A., Jeanblanc, A. B., & Warner, C. B. (2013). Longitudinal Analysis of Resourcefulness, Family Strain, and Depressive Symptoms in Grandmother Caregivers. Nursing Outlook, 61(4), 225-234, PMCID:PMC3786552
  • Toly, V. B., Musil, C. M., & Carl, J. C. (2012). A longitudinal study of families with technology-dependent children. Research in Nursing & Health. 35(1):40-54. doi: 10.1002/nur.21454.
  • Toly VB, Musil CM, Carl JC. (2012).  Families With Children Who Are  Technology Dependent: Normalization and Family Functioning.Western Journal of Nursing Research, 34, 1, 52- 71., doi: 10.1177/0193945910389623
  • Zauszniewski, J.A., Au, T.Y., & Musil, C.M. (2012). Resourcefulness training for grandmothers raising grandchildren:  Is there a need?  Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 33(10),680-686.
  • Zauszniewski, J.A., Au, T.Y., & Musil, C.M. (2013, in press). Biofeedback in grandmothers raising grandchildren: Effects on stress, emotions, and cognitions. Biofeedback.
  • Zauszniewski, J.A., Musil, C.M., & Au, T.Y. (2013, in press).  Resourcefulness training for grandmothers raising grandchildren: Acceptability and feasibility of two methods.  Issues in Mental Health Nursing.
  • Musil, CM., Burant, C.M., Zauszniewski, J.A., Jeanblanc, A. B., & Warner, C. B. (in press). Longitudinal Analysis of  Resourcefulness, Family Strain, and Depressive Symptoms in Grandmother Caregivers. Nursing Outlook.
  • Mazanec, S., Daly, B. J., Douglas, S. L., Musil, C. M. (2011). Predictors of psychosocial adjustment during the post-radiation treatment transition. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 33(4), 540-559. doi:10.1177/0193945910382241.
  • Bigbee, J. L., Musil, C. M., Kenski, D. (2011). The health of caregiving grandmothers: a rural-urban comparison. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 27(3), 289-296. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2010.00340.x.
  • Bigbee, J., Musil, C. M., Kanski, D. (2011). The Health of Caregiving Grandmothers: A Rural-Urban Comparison. Journal of Rural Health, 27(3), 289-96.
  • Musil, C. M., Gordon, N. H., Warner, C. B., Zauszniewski, J. A., Standing, T. S., Wykle, M. L. (2011). Grandmothers and caregiving to grandchildren: Continuity, change and outcomes over 24 months. The Gerontologist, 51(1), 86-100.  doi: 10.1093/geront/gnq061.
  • Haug, M., Morris, D., Musil, C., & Warner, C. (1997). Older adults’ bodily changes and physician contact. Health, 1(1), 81-105.
  • Haug, M. Musil, C. Warner, C., & Morris, D. (1997). Elderly persons’ interpretation of a bodily change as an illness symptom. Aging and Health, 9(4), 529-552.
  • Musil, C.  (1998). Gender differences in health and health actions of community dwelling older adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 24(2), 30-38.
  • Musil, C. (1998). Health, stress, coping and social support of grandmother caregivers. Health Care for Women International, 19(5), 441-453.
  • Musil, C., Jones, S., & Warner, C. (1998). Structural equation modeling and its relationship to multiple regression and factor analysis. Research in Nursing and Health, 21, 271-281.
  • Musil, C., Haug, M., & Warner, C. (1998). Patterns of depressive symptoms in older adults over the course of 18 months. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 19(3), 207-224.
  • Musil, C., Ahn, S., Haug, M., Warner, C., Morris, D., & Duffy, E. (1998). Health and illness among community dwelling older adults: Results of a health diary study. Applied Nursing Research, 11(3), 138-147.
  • Haug, M., Musil, C., Warner, C., & Morris, D. (1998). Interpreting bodily changes as illness: A longitudinal study of older adults. Social Science and Medicine, 46(12), 1553-1567.
  • Campbell, C., Musil, C., & Zauszniewski, J. (1998). Practice patterns of advanced practice psychiatric nurses. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses’ Association, 4, 111-120.
  • Wonghongkul, T., Moore, S., Musil, C., Schneider, S., & Deimling, G. (1999). Relationships among uncertainly in illness, stress, appraisal, hope and coping in breast cancer survivors. Thai Journal of Nursing Research, 3(3), 200-213.
  • Musil, C. (2000). Health of grandmothers as caregivers: A 10-Month Follow-up. Journal of Women and Aging, 12(1), 129-145.
  • Musil, C., Morris, D., Haug, M., Warner, C., & Whalen, A. (2001). Recurrent symptoms, well-being and management. Social Science and Medicine, 52(11), 1729-1740.
  • Musil C., & Ahmad, M. (2002). Health of grandmothers: A comparison by caregiver status. Journal of Aging and Health, 14(1), 96-121.
  • Musil, C., Youngblut, J. M., Ahn, S., & Curry, V. (2002). Parenting stress: A comparison of grandmother caretakers and mothers. Journal of Mental Health and Aging, 8(3), 197-210.
  • Musil, C., Warner, C., Yobas, P. K., & Jones, S. (2002).  A comparison of imputation techniques for handling missing data.Western Journal of Nursing Research, 24(5), 815-829.
  • Musil, C., Morris, D., Warner, C., & Saied, H. (2003). Issues in caregivers’ stress and providers’ support. Research on Aging, 25(5), 505-526.
  • Sousa, V. D., Zauszniewski, J. A., Musil, C. M., McDonald, P., & Milligan, S. (2004). Testing a conceptual framework for diabetes self-care management. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 18(4), 293-316.
  • Weber, B. A., Roberts, B. L., Resnick, M., Deimling, G., Zauszniewski, J. A., Musil, C., & Yarandi, H. N. (2004). The effect of dyadic intervention on self-efficacy, social support, and depression for men with prostate cancer. Psycho-oncolog, 13, 47-60.
  • Musil, C. M., Mutabaazi, J., Walusimbi, M., Okonsky, J. G., Biribonwa, Y., Eagan, S., Dimarco, M. A., Mbaballi, S., & Fitzpatrick, J. J. (2004). Considerations for preparing collaborative international research: A Ugandan experience. Applied Nursing Research, 17(3), 195-200.
  • Sousa, V. D., Zauszniewski, J. A., & Musil, C. M. (2004). How to determine whether a convenience sample represents the population.Applied Nursing Research, 17(2), 130-133.
  • Musil, C., & Standing, T. (2005). Grandmothers’ diaries: A glimpse at daily lives. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 60(1), 317-329.
  • Maloni, J., Park, S., Anthony, M., & Musil, C., (2005). Measurement of antepartum depressive symptoms during high risk pregnancy. Research in Nursing and Health, 28, 16-26.
  • Ahmad, M., Musil, C., Zauszniewski, J., Morris, D., & Resnik, M. (2005). Stress, appraisal, coping and health in prostate cancer patients. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 31(10), 34-43.
  • Huang C. , Musil C. Zauszniewski, J. & Wykle, M. (2006). Effects of social support and coping of family caregivers of older adults with dementia in Taiwan International Journal of Aging and Human Development 63 (1): 1-25 2006
  • Musil, C., Warner, C., Jeanblanc, A., Zauszniewski, J., Kercher, K. (2006). Grandmothers, caregiving and family functioning, Journal of Gerontology, Social Sciences, 61B,2, S89-98.
  • Sousa, V. D., Zauszniewski, J. A., & Musil, C. M. (2006).  Demographic Differences of Adults with Diabetes Mellitus- a cross-sectional study. Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing.
  • Preechawong S, Zauszniewski JA, Heinzer MM, Musil CM, Kercsmar C, Aswinanonh R. (2007). Relationships of family functioning, self-esteem, and resourceful coping of thai adolescents with asthma. Issues in  Mental Health Nursing, 28(1):21-36.
  • Standing, T., Musil, C., & Warner, C. (2007). Grandmothers’ Transitions in Caregiving to Grandchildren. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 29(5):613-31.
  • Zauszniewski JA, Bekhet AK, Lai CY, McDonald PE, Musil CM (2007). Effects of teaching resourcefulness and acceptance on affect, behavior, and cognition of chronically ill elders. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 28(6):575-92.
  • Chang HJ, Zauszniewski JA, Heinzer MM, Musil CM, Tsai, W.C. (2007). Adaptive functioning and depressive symptoms in school-aged children. J Adv Nurs. 60(5):502-12.
  • Musil, C. M. (2007). Commentary on Measuring elders' symptoms with daily diaries and retrospective reports. Western Journal of Nursing Research, Vol. 29, No. 3, 338-340.


Doctor of Philosophy
Case Western Reserve University
Master of Science in Nursing
Case Western Reserve University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
University of Cincinnati