Nirmala Lekhak headshot

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Nirmala Lekhak, Ph.D., RN

Assistant Professor

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Assistant professor Nirmala Lekhak joined the School of Nursing in Fall 2017 and teaches primarily in the baccalaureate program.


Dr. Lekhak’s expertise lies in older adults’ care and spirituality. Her interest areas are to explore the impact of meditation and compassion on later life loneliness, psychological well-being such as depression and anxiety, and cognitive function. 

Classes Taught

Dr. Lekhak primarily serves in the BSN program at the UNLV School of Nursing. However, she has taught graduate-level statistics and serves on doctoral students’ dissertation committees. She teaches pre-nursing courses such as nutrition and development and medical terminology. In the BSN program, she teaches pathophysiology and pharmacology. She has also taught Evidence-Based Practice and Research course and community and gerontology clinical courses in the baccalaureate program.

Education Background

Dr. Lekhak earned her bachelor of science in nursing from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, and her doctoral degree in nursing from Frances Payne Bolton (FPB) School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

Research or Scholarship

Dr. Lekhak’s primary research focuses on the role of contemplative practices in enhancing cognitive function and psychological health (particularly, loneliness, depression, and anxiety) in later life. Her interest lies in designing interventions that can improve psychological well-being through their impacts on mechanisms such as compassionate love and kindness. In 2020, she was funded by Zeta Kappa At Large STTI chapter to study “Coping with Coronavirus pandemic”. Her recent studies have documented the significance of contemplative practices for later life psychological wellbeing and memory. She has published her findings in peer-reviewed nursing and interdisciplinary journals including Nursing Outlook.

Awards, recognitions, or group affiliations

Dr. Lekhak is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and Sigma Theta Tau International. She was a Summer Research Scholar at Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing, NYU. She has received Stellar Nurses Organizational Honors and the 50 under 50 awards from the Nevada Nurses Foundation. She was honored with the Dean’s Legacy Award from FPB School of Nursing in 2018. She received the Midwest Nursing Research Society Gerontological Nursing Science Dissertation Award in 2019. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from St. Ambrose University College of Health and Human Services for her outstanding leadership, scholarship, and community service in 2021.