Marsha Lesley, PhD, MLIS, BSN


Marsha L. Lesley is an Associate Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing at University of Michigan-Flint. Dr. Lesley earned her PhD in Nursing and Master of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University; and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Michigan State University. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Promotion and Risk Reduction from the University of Michigan in 2007. She has over twenty years of patient care experience, having worked in public health and visiting nurse agencies in Toledo, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; and Ingham and Livingston County in Michigan. She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2008. Dr. Lesley is a member of the American Nurses Association, the Midwest Nursing Research Society, and the Michigan Psychoanalytic Society. She has served as President of the Pi Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing for the past four years. Dr. Lesley is the first nurse academic in the United States to receive advanced training in psychoanalysis, and has completed the Adult Psychoanalytic Training Program at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute.


For the past 10 years, Dr. Lesley has taught the core nursing research course (NUR 308) in the basic and accelerated undergraduate nursing programs that include small group research projects in the students’ clinical settings. Dr. Lesley has also taught a required informatics course (NUR 607) in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and teaches and chairs DNP student research projects (NUR 903).


Dr. Lesley has a well-established program of research that focuses on health promotion interventions in community settings. She has devoted several years to the development and study of a physical fitness and nutrition health program called InSHAPE for individuals with serious mental illness who receive services at Lapeer County Community Mental Health. This collaborative work has brought together nursing and physical therapy faculty, researchers, and students as well as mental health agency administrators, staff, and service users to address the alarming rates of disability and death in these individuals. This work has resulted in several research publications.

In 2017, Dr. Lesley submitted a report from her sabbatical research tracing the history and current state of the science of psychiatric nursing with a focus on psychodynamic psychotherapy training and its use in nursing practice.


Dr. Lesley provided service users and staff from Lapeer County Community Mental Health with a community service opportunity to participate in activities associated with the Crim Festival of Races in downtown Flint. Dr. Lesley has served on the University Academic Assessment Committee, the School Diversity Committee, and the Program Evaluation Committee. She is a coordinator of the nursing ACTS (A Chance to Succeed) Mentoring Program. She was for many years the chairperson of the University Library Committee and the School of Nursing Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Dr. Lesley is a strong supporter of the School of Nursing Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (VBSN) that supports military veterans on a fast-track schedule toward attaining a professional nursing degree.