Deborah K Schuhmacher

CB 118


Social justice and peaceful reconciliation for community health and well-being
Peace-making nursing role within nursing practice
Indigenous knowledge, wisdom, and healing
Professional caring in nursing practice


Community / public health nursing
Synthesizing evidence into practice: Evidence Based Practice and Practice Based Evidence
Transcultural care of populations: Culturally congruent care
Authentic leadership practices and approaches

Dr. Schuhmacher joined the Augsburg University nursing faculty as an Assistant Professor in a full-time tenure track position in 2012.  She was an adjunct nursing instructor with Augsburg from 2004-2012. Deborah teaches in the graduate nursing programs, teaching a variety of courses. In the master of nursing program she has taught transcultural nursing, transformational leadership, nursing research, and the final project writing courses. In the doctorate nursing program (TCN track) she has taught courses on practice wisdom-the dialectic between knowledge and engagement and ways of knowing-synthesizing qualitative and quantitative evidence. Dr. Schuhmacher’s scholarship has focused on understanding professional caring and deep caring in nursing practice. She is also focusing an ongoing scholarship interest in exploring and articulating the role of nursing in caring, just, social partnerships—for peaceful reconciliation.  Deborah has witnessed nurses practicing peaceful reconciliations through one-on-one caring conversations, by standing with another or others in pain and suffering, by advocating for social justice in community, and through active participation in local and global initiatives focused on serving marginalized populations. Dr. Schuhmacher is a trained qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a cross-cultural assessment tool used at Augsburg University to nurture cultural competence.

Deborah earned her Doctor of Nursing (DNP) degree in Transcultural Nursing Leadership at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN. Her DNP project focused on the development of a transculturally relevant transitional educational model for an RN to BSN completion program with the Pine Ridge community in South Dakota. The partnership she engaged in for this project included three organizations: the Pine Ridge Indian Health Services, the Oglala Lakota College (Associate Degree Nursing), and Augsburg University. Some of the proposed contributions of this project included: A BSN completion curriculum responsive to the Lakota cultural values and rigorous national accreditation standards, a unique transcultural teaching-learning experience for faculty and students from Pine Ridge and Minnesota, and Lakota Elder engagement in mentoring nurses enrolled in a BSN completion program.  Dr. Schuhmacher also received her Master of Nursing (MAN) degree from Augsburg University. Her MAN thesis was an original research qualitative study focused on exploring Somali women’s ability to care for their family and community through difficult and challenging life transitions. This was a study to understand and highlight Somali women’s caring strengths through three major life transitions: Somali women who had lived experience with war displacement, refugee status, and transition to a new homeland.

Dr. Schuhmacher has worked in a variety of nursing practice settings and roles. She worked 12 years in acute care settings, primarily in chronic and acute care dialysis. In the acute care hospital settings she was a staff nurse, a clinical coordinator, an Assistant Nurse Manager, and a contract nurse for Dialysis at Sea. She also has 20+ years in community health and public health positions. Deborah worked for 7 years with an international health care company which focused on providing home visits for immigrant communities. She then worked in public health for 14 years and held multiple positions: a public health nurse on an international team in family health, focusing on home visiting with refugee families in the St. Paul area; management in public health for home visiting, including 9 years in formal leadership positions; numerous committee leadership roles in local and state public health workgroups, and as a Director of Public Health within Minnesota.

Dr. Schuhmacher is passionate about nursing practice, transcultural and community nursing, health equity and inclusion work, social justice and human rights, indigenous knowledge, and healing practices. She has deep respect for other ways of knowing and understanding another’s worldview. Deborah has joined many nursing immersion practicum experiences as an Augsburg nursing student and as a nursing faculty. As a nursing professor, she has accompanied students to Oaxaca, Mexico; Namibia, Africa; and Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  Deborah has also explored outback nursing practices in northern and western Australia through nurse colleagues practicing in these remote areas. She has visited the northern outback town of Alice Springs, Australia to learn about Aboriginal community healthcare services.



  • B.S.N., University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Holistic Therapies Certification, St. Catherine’s University, St. Paul, MN
  • M.A.N, Transcultural Community & Transformational Leadership, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN
  • D.N.P., Transcultural Community Leadership, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN


  • Professional and Deep Caring in Nursing Practice
  • Teaching Caring in Nursing Education
  • Peace Building in Nursing Practice
  • Transcultural Caring Across Cultures
  • Systems Change and Critical Consciousness


  • Transcultural Nursing Knowledge and Understanding
  • Cultural Congruence and Cultural Humility
  • Systems Thinking and Complexity Theory
  • Nursing Evidence: Research and Ways of Knowing
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Scholarly Writing / Coherence in Writing
  • Paradoxes of Western Healthcare and Indigenous Healing


  • Podium presentation at the International Association for Human Caring, Minneapolis, MN, May 2018, Title: Caring for Social Health: Nursing Practice with Deep Caring.
  • Publication Manuscript Accepted for Advances in Nursing Science, December 2017, Title: Caring in the Margins: A Scholarship of Accompaniment for Advanced Transcultural Nursing Practice (sixth author).
  • Poster presentation at the International Council of Nurses Congress: Nurses at the Forefront Transforming Care; Barcelona Spain, May 2017. Title: Nursing Education in Civic Agency: An Inter-professional Model of Learning.
  • Poster presentation at the Doctoral Education Conference: The Imperative for Innovation in Doctoral Nursing Education, AACN conference, San Diego CA, January 2017, Title: An Innovative Curricular Model: The Imperative of Learning Civic Agency Skills for Doctoral Students.
  • Poster presentation at the International Association for Human Caring and The Society of Rogerian Scholars Conference, Boston, June 2016, Title: Nursing Praxis Using A Civic Lens For Emancipatory Caring.
  • Poster presentation at the 36th Annual Conference International Association for Human Caring, New Orleans, May 2015, Title: Citizen Nurse: A Call to CARING Action.
  • Doctoral Degree Capstone Project, Title: Transcultural Nursing in Community: A Doctor of Nursing Practice project to advance nursing education in partnership with an Indigenous Community, presentations at:
    • Poster presentation at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Conference, Melbourne, Australia, May, 2013
    • Podium presentation at the 37th International Transcultural Nursing Society Conference, Las Vegas, NV. October, 2011
    • Poster presentation at the 2nd International PHN Conference, St. Paul, MN. October, 2011
  • Oral presentation for St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health (SPRCPH) staff, Title: Namibia: Vast Land of Heart, 2008
  • Oral presentation at United Methodist Church, Fargo N.D., Title: A Journey to Namibia, July 2006
  • Master’s Degree Thesis, Title: Integrity of the Family in the Somali Community: A Study of Somali Women’s Caring Strength, presented at:
    • Podium presentation at Minnesota Nurses Association Annual Convention (MNA) – Using Research to Improve Your Nursing Practice: Cultural Implications, October 2005, St. Paul MN.
    • Podium presentation at Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Striving For Peace: Uniting for Justice, February 2005, Augsburg College, Mpls. MN.
  • Panel presentation at Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety Conference – Meeting the Challenge: Partnerships for Patient Safety, November 2004, Mpls. MN.
  • Podium presentation at Minnesota Board on Aging Meeting: Title: Culture Care Within and Across Healthcare Systems, July 2004, St. Paul, MN.