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School of Nursing Personnel - Pamela M. Aaltonen

Pamela M. Aaltonen, MS, PhD, RN
Associate Head, School of Nursing
Director of Engagement, School of Nursing
Associate Professor of Nursing
Phone: 765-494-4041
Fax: 765-496-1800

Full directory listing
Picture of Pamela M. Aaltonen


BSN, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
MS, Public Health, University of Illinois
PhD, Purdue University, College of Education


Professor Aaltonen's research is focused on use of information technology in the public health system. She is currently studying the role of local health department websites in establishing communication with persons within each department's jurisdiction. Professor Aaltonen's second area of research is homeland security. She has collaborated with Purdue's Homeland Security Institute on issues related to public health systems and preparedness.  She is an elected member and Vice Chair of the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association.

Lab Members:


  • Public Health Science
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Public Health Infrastructure
  • Public Health Informatics
  • Bioterrorism
  • Outcomes of Baccalaureate Nursing Education

Service and Engagement

  • Engagement
  • University Service
  • 2003-2004 Teaching for Tomorrow Mentor [one of three senior faculty]
  • 2002 Member, Grievance Review Committee
  • 2001-2004 Member, Parking and Traffic Committee
  • Chairperson (2002-2003)
  • 1998-Present Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences Bloodborne Pathogens Educator
  • 1999-Present Hazard Communications Designated Trained Individual
  • 1997-2000 Member, Library Committee
  • Chairperson (1999-2000)
  • 1998-1999 Member, Copyright Policy Committee
  • 1996-1998 United Way Campaign
  • Senior Chair (1997-1998)
  • Junior Chair (1996-1997)
  • 1996-1997 Library Focus Group
  • 1993-1995 Member, Education Policy Committee
  • Subcommittee, ADA Implication
  • Secretary (1994-1995)
  • 1994-1995 Quick Start Program
  • 1992-1995 Member, Staff Appeal for Traffic Regulations Committee
  • 1992-1999 Teacher Education Council, Physical Education and Health Certification Committee, School of Education
  • 1989-1995 University Senate
  • 1989-1992 Member, Educational Policy Committee
  • Subcommittee, Grading Scales
  • Subcommittee, Learning Disabilities
  • Subcommittee, AIDS Education in Laboratories
  • 1989-1991 Liaison with Vice-President Carolyn Jones, Transfer Credit (from IVY Tech to the University) for Educational Policy
  • 1989-1992 Member, Parking and Traffic Committee
  • Subcommittee, Parking
  • Subcommittee, Pedestrian Traffic
  • 1990-1992 Member, Search Committee, Head, School of Nursing
  • 1983-1988 Member, University Library Committee
  • Subcommittee, Computerization of Library Holdings
  • 1984-1988 Member, Purdue Child Care Program Advisory Committee (outcome: first day care program on Purdue's campus)
  • Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences Service
  • 1991 Member, Search Committee; Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences Librarian
  • 1985-1988 Pharmacy and Health Sciences Library Committee (ex-officio member)
  • 1983-1985 Alternate Member, Grade Appeals Committee, Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences
  • 1983 Member, Amoco Selection Committee, Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences
  • 1981-1982 Member, Grievance Committee, Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences
  • School of Nursing Service
  • 2004-Present Member, Instructional Support Committee
  • 2003-Present Member, Leadership Team
  • 1999-Present Member, Safety Committee
  • Chairperson (2001-2002)
  • Chairperson (2004-2005)
  • 2001-2002 Member, Strategic Plan, Education Subcommittee
  • 1999-2001 Member, Steering Committee, CCNE Accreditation (self-study document, site visit)
  • 1998-2000 Member, Graduate Committee
  • 1999-2000 Member, Research, Practice, and Grants Committee
  • 1999 Member, American Association of Colleges of Nursing Baccalaureate Education Purdue team with J. Overbay and C. Baird
  • 1997-1998 Chairperson, Search Committee for Head, School of Nursing
  • 1996-Present Office of Contracts and Grant Business Affairs Liaison
  • 1996-2003 Member, Executive Committee
  • 1996-2003 Curriculum Committee (ex-officio)
  • 1996-2003 Instructional Support Committee (ex-officio)
  • 1996-1998 Member, Faculty Council
  • 1996 Ad Hoc Task Work, Clinical White Paper
  • 1994-Present Member, Graduate Program Committee
  • 1994-1995 Program Evaluation Task Force
  • 1993-1994 Accreditation Write Group
  • 1992-1993 Organizational Structure Task Force
  • 1992-1993 Member, Strategic Plan, Recruitment Subcommittee
  • 1990-1991 Member, Conceptual Framework Ad Hoc Committee
  • 1989-1996 Member, Instructional Support Committee
  • 1988-1990 Member, Strategic Plan, Recruitment Committee
  • 1987-1989 Member, Student Awards Committee
  • 1987-1988 Member, Planning Committee, Chronic Pain Workshop
  • 1987-1988 Member, Planning Committee, HiTech Home Health Care Workshop
  • 1986-1987 Member, Planning Committee, Assisting Elderly Achieve a Good Long Life Workshop
  • 1986-1987 Member, Planning Committee, Adolescent Pregnancy Workshop
  • 1985-Present Member, Primary Promotions Committee
  • 1985-1987 Member, Grade Appeals Committee
  • Chairperson (1986-1987)
  • 1985-1986 Member, Planning Committee, Transcultural Health Care Workshop
  • 1984-1986 Member, Admissions Committee
  • 1983-1984 Leader, Quality Circle, Nursing Center for Family Health
  • Member, Steering Committee for Quality Circle
  • 1983-1984 Secretary, West Lafayette Campus Faculty
  • 1982-Present Member, New Faculty Appointments Committee
  • 1982-1996 Member, Administrative Council
  • 1982-1983 Member, Planning Committee, Diabetes Type II, The Silent Majority Workshop
  • 1981-1986 Member, Continuing Education Committee
  • 1981-1982 Member, Task Force, Lab Skills
  • 1981-1982 Member, Task Force, Community Health Nursing
  • 1981-1982 Chairperson, Task Force, Course Coordinators
  • 1981-1982 Member, Planning Committee, SIDS Workshop
  • 1980-1995 Consultant, NROTC Immunization Program
  • 1980-1982 Member, Award Committee, Baccalaureate Program
  • 1980-1982 Member, Facilities and Resources Committee
  • 1979-1981 Member, Grade Appeals Committee
  • Chairperson (1980-1981)
  • Community and Professional Services
  • 2004-Present Member, Indiana Area Health Education Center Board of Directors
  • 2004-2007 Member, American Public Health Association, Affiliate Representative to Governing Council
  • 2004-2006 Member, Mid American Public Health Leadership Institute, Indiana Team Mentor
  • 2003-Present Member, Indiana Public Health Institute, Founding Board
  • 2003-Present Member, State Health Summit Public Health Infrastructure Work Group
  • 2003-Present Member, State Public Health Education Plan Task Force
  • 2003-Present Member, Bioterrorism State Education Plan Committee
  • 2002-Present Member, Bioterrorism Preparedness Training, Nursing Education Committee
  • 2002-Present Member, Great Lakes Coalition, American Public Health Association
  • Chairperson (2005-2006)
  • 2001-Present Member, Mid-American Public Health Training Center Advisory Board (IN and IL)
  • Co-Chairperson, General Education (2003-2006)
  • 2001-2002 Member, Vision 2020, Greater Lafayette Planning Group, Quality of Life Subcommittee
  • 2000-Present Member, Indiana Public Health Association Board of Directors
  • President (2003-2004)
  • President-Elect (2002-2003)
  • Co-Chairperson, Conference Planning Committee (2002-2003)
  • Secretary (2001-2002)
  • 2000-Present Member, Indiana Health Care Professional Development Commission Nurse Survey (RN, LPN) Task Force Groups
  • 1998, 2000 Abstract reviewer, American Public Health Association (annual meeting)
  • 1998-2001 Member, Indiana Public Health Association Conference Planning Committee, Facilities Chairperson
  • 1996-Present Member, North Central Continuity of Care
  • President (1999)
  • Vice President (1998)
  • 1996-Present Member, Community Health Clinic Board, Quality Assurance and Patient Services
  • Member, Community Health Clinic Administrator Search Committee (1997)
  • 1996 Member, Midwest Alliance in Nursing, Membership Focus Group
  • 1996 Member, City of West Lafayette Strategic Planning Committee
  • 1995-2003 Member, Family Services, Inc. Quality Improvement Committee
  • 1995-1996 Reviewer, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center [audiovisual series, A Guide to Effective Home Visiting]
  • 1995-1996 Member, Tippecanoe County Task Force, Community Health Clinic [outcome: CHC became an independent 501-3C organization]
  • 1994-Present Member, Tippecanoe County Board of Health
  • President (1995-Present)
  • Chairperson, Health Officer Search Committee (2004)
  • 1992-1995 Member, Board of Governors, Community Health Clinic
  • Secretary
  • 1992-1994 Member, Family Services, Inc. Board of Directors
  • 1989-1990 Chairperson, Evaluation Committee
  • 1988-1989 Chairperson, Services Planning
  • 1986-1987 Chairperson, Board
  • 1985-1986 Chairperson, Personnel Committee
  • 1985-1986 Vice-Chairperson, Board
  • 1984-1985 Chairperson, Bylaws Committee
  • 1992-1994 President, Community Health Nursing Association of Indiana
  • 1991-1992 President Elect, Community Health Nursing Association of Indiana Committee Chairperson, Programs
  • 1990-1992 Family Services, Inc.
  • Member, Planning Committee
  • Member, Quality Assurance Committee
  • 1990-1992 Member, Community Health Clinic Advisory Committee
  • Task Force, Merger of Health Referral Service
  • Subcommittee, Long Range Planning
  • 1986-1993 Member, CARA (AIDS Community Group)
  • 1986-1989 Chairperson, Nursing Section Membership Committee, Indiana Public Health Association
  • 1986-1988 Consultant, Tippecanoe County Health Department
  • 1986-1987 President, Community Health Nursing Association of Indiana
  • 1986-1987 Member, United Way Board Presidents' Committee
  • 1986 Member, Planning Committee, Healthy Babies, Health Moms Fair, March of Dimes
  • 1985-1989 Member, Advisory Board, Lafayette Urban Ministry Homeless Shelter
  • 1985-1987 Member, Product Definition Research Grant, Miller's Merry Manor, Inc. (long-term care facilities)
  • 1984-1985 Member, International Center Properties Committee Co-Chairperson, Board of Directors
  • 1984-1985 Co-Chairperson, Nursing Section Membership Committee, Indiana Public Health Association
  • 1984 Faculty Advisor, A.W.S. Pap Clinic
  • 1983-1996 Consultant, Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club, Health Screening Program
  • 1983-1988 Member, Planning Committee, Older Americans Health Fair
  • 1983-1985 Member, Adult Abuse Advisory Committee, Family Service Agency
  • 1982-Present Sigma Theta Tau International, Delta Omicron Chapter
  • President (1994-1996)
  • President Elect (1992-1994)
  • Faculty Counselor (1987-1991)
  • First Vice President (1982-1983)
  • Chairperson, Awards Committee (1982)
  • 1982-1983 Member, Long-Term Care Demonstration Project Agencies Council
  • 1981-1996 Member, Interagency Council for Community Services
  • Chairperson (1984-1986)
  • In-Home Service Guide Committee Chairperson (1983)
  • 1979-Present Volunteer for variety of community screening activities (American Red Cross; Older Americans Health Fair; Home Hospital Fair; Healthy Babies, Healthy Moms Fair: A.W.S. Campus Health Fair, Influenza Immunization Program)
  • 1979-Present PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization for Women)
  • Vice President (2002-2003)
  • Chairperson, Programs (1992-1993)
  • Steering Committee for 1990 State Convention (1987-1990); Chairperson of Facilities and Housing
  • President (1986-1988)
  • Vice President (1984-1986)
  • Recording Secretary (1982-1984)
  • 1977-1978 Regional Director, Illinois Council of Home Health Agencies
  • 1975-1977 President, Illinois Association of Local Health Department Nursing Administration
  • 1975-1977 Executive Council, Illinois Public Health Association


Professor Aaltonen teaches courses in Public Health Science [epidemiology, biostatistics, community assessment, organization of health care systems, program planning and evaluation, prevention of disease/injury], Public Health Nursing, Integrated Nursing Care Over the Life and Health Continuum (community assessment; special site for select students: Navajo Reservation, Kayenta Service Unit [Arizona], Indian Health service).

Honors and Credentials

  • Professional Organizations
  • American Public Health Association
  • Indiana Public Health Association
  • Indiana Continuity of Care Association
  • Indiana Nurses Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • Sigma Theta Tau International
  • Awards and Honors
  • 2003 Senior Faculty Mentor, Teaching for Tomorrow Awards Program
  • 2001 School of Nursing Enhancement Award
  • 1997 Informatics Scholarship, Midwest Alliance in Nursing
  • 1996 Sigma Theta Tau Delta Omicron Chapter Excellence Award
  • 1995 Outstanding Female Faculty Member, Purdue Association of Women Students
  • 1993 Excellence in Teaching, School of Nursing
  • 1993 Excellence in Teaching, Senior Class, School of Nursing
  • 1992 Governor's Voluntary Action Health Care Award
  • 1990 Volunteer of the Year, Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club
  • 1990 Distinguished Service Award, Family Services, Inc.
  • 1986 Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Nursing
  • 1984 Sigma Theta Tau Delta Omicron Chapter Excellence in Leadership
  • 1982 Nominee for Amoco Award from Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences
  • 1979 Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
  • 1977-1979 Nurse Traineeship, Public Health Service, University of Illinois
  • 1977 Outstanding Advisory Board Member, Parkland College, Nursing Program

Administration and Committee Work

Professor Aaltonen is the Director of Engagement at the Purdue University School of Nursing.


Aaltonen, P.M. (Nov. 2004). Challenges facing the public health workforce. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. (Part of panel with members fromAlaska, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Indiana).

Aaltonen, P.M., Papke, M.E., King, J., and Riner, M.B. (Nov. 2003). Indiana boards of health: A call to action. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Aaltonen, P.M., Papke, M.E., King, J., and Riner, M.B. (July 2003). A survey of Indiana boards of health. National Association of Local Boards of Health Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Aaltonen, P.M. (Nov. 2000). Information technology: Issues of adoption and implementation. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA.

Aaltonen, P.M. and Overbay, J.D. (Nov. 7-8, 2000). Outcomes assessment: Communication, critical thinking, and therapeutic interventions of nursing students. 5th National Conference for Nurse Educators, Indianapolis, IN.

Aaltonen, P.M. and Overbay, J.D. (Nov. 7-8, 2000). A comparison of NLNAC and CCNE accreditation. 5th National Conference for Nurse Educators, Indianapolis, IN.

Aaltonen, P.M. (Nov. 1999). Lessons learned: Parallels between the development of the field of public health nursing and reduction in infant mortality. American Public Health Association, Chicago, IL.

Aaltonen, P.M. (July 1999). Issues in public health nursing in the United States. The Finnish Federation of Nurses, Helsinki, Finland.

Aaltonen, P.M. (June 1999). Parallels between the development of the field of public health nursing and the reduction in infant mortality, 1885-1930. International Conference of Nursing Centennial Conference and Exhibition, London, England.

Aaltonen, P.M. and DeTurk, R.C. (1996). Faculty managed home health care agency. Abstracts of Sigma Theta Tau Delta Omicron Chapter Research Day. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Aaltonen, P.M. (1995). Parallels between the development of the field of public health nursing and the reduction of infant mortality rates: 1890-1930. Abstracts of the Society for the Research in Child Development. International Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

DeTurk, R.C. and Aaltonen, P.M. (1994). Meeting the challenge: A faculty-managed home health care agency evolves. Annual Community and Public Health Nursing Conference. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Aaltonen, P.M., DeTurk, R.C., and Posey, S.C. (1993). Defining the health care needs of international student families. Epsilon Eta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau-Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, School of Nursing Research Day. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

Aaltonen, P.A. and Purath, J. (1992). Health screening for low-income children: A partnership between Purdue University and Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club. 16th Annual Community and Public Health Nursing Conference; Catch 22: Expanding Roles and Conserving Resources. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Aaltonen, P.A. (1992). Internationalizing the nursing curriculum. Abstracts of Internationalizing the Curriculum. Paducah, KY.

Aaltonen, P.M., Posey, S.C., and DeTurk, R.C. (1991). Breaking down barriers: Access to the U.S. health care delivery system. Caring From a Multicultural Perspective. Kalamazoo Nursing Research Collective, Kalamazoo, MI.

Aaltonen, P.M. and Purath, J. (1990). Health screening for low-income children: A partnership with a school of nursing and the community. Today's Leadership Challenge, National Nursing Conference. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Posey, S.C., DeTurk, R.C., and Aaltonen, P.M. (1990). Accessible health care for international university students and families. Proceedings of Global Nursing Conference: Educating for Practice in the 21st Century. University of Texas, Galveston, TX.

Aaltonen, P.M. and Kuipers, J. (1984). Implications of implementation of a quality circle in a nurse managed center. Abstracts of the Second Biennial Conference on Nurse Managed Centers. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Posey, S.C., Aaltonen, P.M., and DePalma, R.A. (1984). The nursing bag. Videotape and Study Guide. Distributed internationally. Selected and shown at film festival, American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (1985), Washington, D.C.

Aaltonen, P.M. (1979). Graduate education in community health nursing. Abstracts of the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. American Public Health Association, New York, NY.

Representative Publications

Aaltonen, P.M. (2004-Present). ARGC Column. IPHA Newsletter. 4 times per year.
Aaltonen, P.M. (2003-Present). History Corner. IPHA Newsletter. 4 times per year.
Aaltonen, P.M. (2003-2004). President's Column. IPHA Newsletter. 4 times per year.
Overbay, J.D. and Aaltonen, P.M. (2001). A comparison of NLNAC and CCNE accreditation. Nurse Educator, 26(1), 17-22.
Aaltonen, P.M. and Posey, S.C. (1997). Purdue students gain experience at Southwest reservation. MAINlines, 18(3), 10-11, 19.
Billings, D., Hodson-Carlton, K., Kirkpatrick, J., Aaltonen, P., Dillard, N., Richardson, V., Siktber, L., and Vinten, S. (1996). Computerized NCLEX-RN preparation programs: A comparative review. Computers in Nursing, 14(5), 272-286.
DeTurk, R.C., Posey, S.C., and Aaltonen, P.M. (1995). International student family use of the health care delivery system: Questions of accessibility, acceptability, and affordability. The Journal of Multicultural Nursing and Health Care, 1(3), 17-23.
Aaltonen, P.M. and Posey, S.C. (1995). Video review, home visits: The nursing bag. Home Healthcare Nurse, 13(1), 85.
Aaltonen, P.M. and Posey, S.C. (1992). Home visits: The nursing bag. Contract for distribution with American Journal of Nursing Company.
Posey, S.C., Aaltonen, P.M., DePalma, R.A., and Femea, P. (1987). Use of the public health nursing bag reexamined. Public Health Nursing, 42(2), 111-113.

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