Kortney James, PhD, RN, PNP-C

Kortney James, PhD, RN, PNP-C

Doctorate at Georgia State University

Research Interests: During her time in the NCSP Fellowship, Dr. James will continue to focus on the physical and mental health of Black mothers by assessing the ways that clinical practice and policy change can meet their needs, while also considering the unique cultural influences on their health.

Career Interests: Dr. James is interested in pursuing a career in health policy to further reproductive justice movement and increase birthing persons’ access to mental health care services throughout the perinatal period.

Biography: Dr. Kortney James is a nurse scientist and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She holds a Ph.D. in Nursing from the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing & Health Profession at Georgia State University. During her Doctoral Program she became the first ever nursing fellow to be accepted in the Southern Regional Education Board State Doctoral Scholars Program. She also holds an MS in Nursing, specializing in Pediatric Primary Care, also from Georgia State University. Her BS in Nursing is from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. 

Dr. James has an extensive background in leadership, public health policy, and primary care as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. While practicing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in a well-baby nursery on a postpartum unit, Dr. James’ research interests related to maternal/child health disparities were born. Her dissertation explored the racial identity of Black mothers and its relationship with their maternal functioning, postpartum depressive symptoms, and bond with their infants. The study’s findings suggest that Black mothers’ regard for their race and experienced anti-Black racism may influence their ability to adjust to motherhood and care for their infants. The findings also support the use of assessment tools for postpartum depression in Black mothers that do not solely focus on emotional symptoms.