April A. Braswell, PhD, APRN, CPNP, CNE
Associate Professor

April Bice, Assistant professor

Dr. April Braswell is an associate professor and certified pediatric nurse practitioner at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her teaching is focused on advanced primary care of infants, children, and adolescents as well as professional nursing and nursing research. Dr. Braswell teaches distance education courses in the RN-BSN program and coordinates hybrid pediatric courses in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. She and her colleague, Diane Parker developed the novel implementation of virtual clinical site visits in the FNP program beginning fall 2017. Virtual site visits continue to be a feasible and appropriate method for completing FNP student clinical site visits at UNCW. Dr. Braswell has been a registered nurse in the field of pediatrics for 14 years. In that time her focus and expertise has been on pediatric health and wellness, pediatric pain management, and pediatric procedural comfort enhancement. Dr. Braswell has experience caring for hospitalized and outpatient children in the areas of hematology/oncology, surgery, emergency care, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, primary care, and care at the end-of-life. She is also currently still in practice part-time as a pediatric nurse practitioner in a pediatric primary care office in Wilmington.

Dr. Braswell is committed to the health and wellness of all infants, children, and adolescents and she is an advocate for victims of interpersonal violence. She is also dedicated to increasing vaccine adherence across communities with the specific aim of decreasing morbidity and mortality related to vaccine-preventable childhood infectious diseases. She is a champion to the Shot@Life initiative focused on increasing access to vaccines across the globe. Immunizations are one of the most frequent procedures in the pediatric population. Maintaining caregiver and patient adherence to the recommended vaccine schedule can be accomplished via various factors- one of which is managing pediatric procedural comfort.

 Dr. Braswell’s passion for comfort during pediatric procedures led to the recent development of a novel psychosocial measurement instrument for children: the Pediatric Procedural Holistic Comfort Assessment (PPHCA) which is currently under psychometric property assessment. Dr. Braswell’s comfort instrument development is coupled with other contributions to science, including: a concept clarification on cognitive dissonance related to nursing treatment of procedural pain, a policy analysis focused on the underutilization of procedural pain treatments in the ED, a systematic review of procedural comfort interventions in children, and a qualitative research report focused on child and caregiver descriptions of procedural holistic comfort. Her methodology expertise is in Qualitative and Mixed Methods research. Dr. Braswell has also recently expanded her research investigation interests to include qualitative exploration of DNP and PhD tenure-track faculty experiences in nursing, comfort enhancement and peer support among faculty on tenure-track, and teaching from a holistic comfort perspective. 


  • 2015, PhD, Nursing Education Track, University of Tennessee
  • 2011, MSN, Master of Science in Nursing, University of Tennessee
  • 2004, BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Central Florida

Areas of Research Interest

  • Pediatric Pain Management
  • Pediatric Procedural Holistic Comfort
  • Teaching from Holistic Comfort Perspective
  • Academic Faculty Peer Comfort and Support
  • Integrating the use of Technology in Pediatric Teaching

Community Engagements

  • Sigma Theta Tau International
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Southern Nursing Research Society
  • American Nurses Association
  • North Carolina Nurses Association
  • Pediatric Primary Care Clinical Practice

View April Bice's Curriculum Vitae