Donna Grandbois

PhD, MS, RN , Doctoral (Alumni)

Donna Grandbois, PhD, MS, RN, is currently Associate Professor at North Dakota State University, College of Nursing and the Department of Public Health. Dr. Grandbois graduated with her PhD in gerontology and counseling from North Dakota State University in 2008. She defended her dissertation entitled “An Exploratory Study of Resilience in the Lived Experience of Native American Elders”.

Dr. Grandbois has a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing and has taught both mental health theory and served as a psychiatric clinical instructor at UND since 2001. She has been an outspoken advocate for minority people who must not only confront mental illness, but the stigma that is so prevalent in these close, usually rural communities. She was asked to be one of three American Indian Alaska Native presenters for a free teleconference training sponsored by the ADS Center at the SAMHSA Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma Associated with Mental Illness. Her Power Point presentation was titled: “Overcoming Barriers and the Stigma Associated with Mental Illness in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities”. She is the author of two papers published in 2005, both discussing stigma and mental illness. They are: Stigma of Mental Illness among American Indian and Alaska Native Nations: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (2005) and Perspectives on Suicide Prevention among American Indians and Alaska Native Children and Adolescents: A Call for Help (2005). Dr. Grandbois was a panelist at the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA) Conference in Washington, DC and was a presenter at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Brownbag Lecture on The Concept of Mental Illness and Stigma among American Indian Communities.

Dr. Grandbois was the co-investigator and tribal liaison on a three phase, four-reservation research project that sought to define health and illness among American Indians experiencing severe and persistent mental illness. It was in this capacity that Dr. Grandbois became acutely aware of the often insurmountable barrier that stigma can present for the American Indian client. Dr. Grandbois is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Belcourt, ND.