Nienke Dijkstra

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Function: Researcher, PhD candidate
Research Group: Chronic Illnesses


Telephone: 06 - 52 78 30 08 (secretariat)

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Nienke Dijkstra is a registered nurse and a health scientist. Since October 2015 she is a PhD student at the research group chronic illnesses at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Her PhD program is part of the prevention of functional decline as a result of aging and chronic conditions research line. Nienke is member of the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS), an academy for inspiration, collaboration and academic leadership in nursing. Besides she is a member of the international network for NUrsing PHArmaceutical Care (NUPHAC). A network for the strengthening of evidence, policy, practice and education in pharmaceutical care by nurses in an interprofessional and patient centered context.

As a home care nurse Nienke often serves patients who use many medicines because of several chronic conditions. The use of many medicines is associated with a lower quality of life, preventable hospital admissions, comorbidities and mortality. In the PhD program applied research will be performed for the prevention of drug-related problems in the home situation.

Nienke developed the digital home care observation of medication-related problems by home care employees instrument (eHOME) by using a human-centered design. eHOME supports the report, monitoring and consultation of drug-related problems in home care. In a following applied research types and frequencies of drug-related problems and the clinical impact thereof is examined.

In another research project the organization of medication in home care patients will be investigated. Research questions concerns how patients organizing medication in a careful way, how medicines are stored and organized and if the organization is in accordance with the organization prescription. Furthermore, the efficacy and efficiency of the Systematic Tool to Reduce Inappropriate Prescribing Assistant (STRIPA) during medication reviews for vulnerable older patients in primary care will be investigated in another research project.

Besides the PhD program and working as a home care nurse, Nienke is a lecturer for the Institute of Nursing Studies. Outcomes of applied research are valuable in educating nursing students. Outcomes of projects of the PhD program are integrated in the Bachelor Nursing program and the post Bachelor course Nursing in Gerontology and Geriatrics, so that new knowledge and insights from research can then be applied in the nursing profession.

Other positions

  • Nurse in home care, organization AxionContinu, Utrecht
  • Participant of the international summer school program for PhD candidates of the European Academy of Nursing Science
  • Member of the European Academy of Nursing Science
  • Member of the international network for nurses in pharmaceutical care, NUrsing PHArmaceutical Care (NUPHAC) (
  • Member of Rho Chi Chapter at-Large of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing


  • Oct. 2015 - present day: PhD candidate research group chronic illnesses, University of Applied Sciences  Utrecht
    Promotor: Prof. dr. L. Schoonhoven, Utrecht University, Prof. dr. M.J. Schuurmans, Utrecht University
    Co-promotor: Dr. C. Sino, postdoctoral researcher research group chronic illnesses, institute director of nursing studies, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht; Dr. E.R. Heerdink, chair research group Innovation of Pharmaceutical Care HU, associate professor Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Clinical Pharmacology Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University
  • Sept. 2015 - present day: Lecturer (Post)Bachelor of Nursing, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht
  • 2013 - 2015: Research nurse, University Medical Center Utrecht
  • 2012 - 2013: Master Health Sciences, specialization Prevention and Public health, VU University Amsterdam
  • 2011 - 2012: Pre-master Health Sciences, VU University Amsterdam
  • 2011: Bachelor Nursing, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen

Chronic Illnesses

Chronic Diseases

About the Research Group