Elizabeth Tovar PhD, FNP-C, APRN
Associate Professor and DNP Primary Care Track Co-Coordinator

Elizabeth Tovar received her baccalaureate degrees in nursing and psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1998. In 2003, she received her master’s degree in nursing and preparation as a family nurse practitioner and, in 2007, her PhD in nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She is now an assistant professor at the UK College of Nursing where she teaches in the graduate Family Nurse Practitioner Track. She is a certified family nurse practitioner and practices at the University of Kentucky Department of Family and Community Medicine. Prior to her position at UK, Dr. Tovar taught in the undergraduate nursing program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Her teaching experience includes community, adult health, and pathophysiology undergraduate nursing courses as well as an annual interdisciplinary Spirituality in Healthcare course. She also served as clinical instructor for undergraduate and second degree baccalaureate nursing students in medical-surgical and community nursing clinical courses. Previous practice experiences include critical care, emergency, and medical-surgical nursing and advanced practice nursing experience in fast-track and primary care settings. In her teaching role at the College of Nursing, Dr. Tovar serves as clinical faculty for family nurse practitioner students, course coordinator for the Primary Care Advanced Practice Nursing Seminar, and is a preceptor for family nurse practitioner students in her clinical practice. In her practice role at the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine, she provides care for patients with a variety of acute and chronic conditions and works with the family medicine residency program to incorporate the Chronic Care Model into the residency curriculum and clinical practice. She is a co-facilitator for the department’s diabetic group visits and focuses on improving self-management behaviors of her patients in clinical practice. Dr. Tovar’s research interests include the influence of psychosocial factors on self-management behaviors, with a particular focus on diabetes and diabetic cardiovascular disease. She is currently conducting research to evaluate how incorporating components of the Chronic Care Model into the care of diabetic patients affects health outcomes.

Contact Information

Phone: (859) 323-6611




PhD, University Of Texas Medical Branch, 2007
MSN, University of Texas Medical Branch, 2003
BA, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, 1998
BSN, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, 1998


Diabetes, diabetic cardiovascular disease, diabetes self-management, diet and exercise adherence


Dr. Elizabeth Tovar's CV


Tovar, E. G. Warshawsky, N. E. Use of a problem-based learning exercise to teach the lean 8-step problem solving method to DNP students. (2015), Nurse Educator 40 (2), 101-104.

Dekker, R. L. Lennie, T. A. Moser, D. K. Miller, C. S. Ebersole, J. L. Chung, M. L. Campbell, C. L. Bailey, A. L. Tovar, E. G. Levels of oral inflammation-not salivary or serum biomarkers-predict worse functional status in hospitalized patients with heart failure. (2015), Circulation 132 A10367.

Tovar, E. G. Dekker, R. L. Chung, M. L. Gokun, Y. Moser, D. K. Lennie, T. A. Rayens, M. K. (in press) Self-efficacy mediates the relationship of depressive symptoms and social support with adherence in patients with heart failure. (2015), Journal of Health Psychology

Tovar, E. G. Rayens, M. K. Gokun, Y. Clark, M. Mediators of adherence among adults with co morbid diabetes and depression: The role of self-efficacy and social support. (2015), Clinical Journal of Pain 20 (11), 1405-1415.

Dekker, R. L. Moser, D. K. Tovar, E. G. Chung, M. L. Heo, S. Wu, J. R. Dunbar, S. B. Pressler, S. J. Lennie, T. A. Depressive symptoms and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with heart failure. (2014), European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 13 (5), 444-450.


Dekker, R. L., Lennie, T. A., Moser, D. K., Miller, C. S., Ebersole, J. L., Chung, M. L., Campbell, C. L., Bailey, A. L., Tovar, E. G. 2015, November. Levels of oral inflammation—not salivary or serum biomarkers—predict worse functional status in hospitalized patients with heart failure. 2015 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, , Orlando, FL .

Boateng, C., Tovar, E. G., Okoli, C. T., Porter, K. 2015, November. Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Refugee Health Literacy Program (R-HeLP). 25th Annual Nursing Research Papers Day, Lexington, KY .

Clark, J., Manning, T., Polly, R., Mitchell, J., Frye, K., Perman, S., Kimball, M., Sprouse, R., Jones, S., Roney, B., Perez, O. O., King, M. R., Bennett, T. L., Tovar, E. G. 2015, February. Improving Depression Screening in a Family Medicine Practice: An Application of the Lean 8-Step Problem Solving Method. 2015 UK Graduate Student Day at the Kentucky State Capitol, UK Graduate School, Frankfort, KY United States.

Hardin-Pierce, M. G., Tovar, E. G., Yates, A., Bennett, T. L. 2015, April. A Graduate Elective to provide Inter-professional Education on Collaboration and Application of the 8-Step LEAN approach to Quality Improvement. NONPF 2015 Annual Meeting, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), Baltimore, MD United States.

Dekker, R. L., Tovar, E. G., Doering, L. V., Bailey, A. L., Campbell, C., Wright, J. H., Bishop, M., Moser, D. K. 2014, October. A single cognitive behavior therapy session improves short-term depressive symptoms in hospitalized patients with heart failure. 2014 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL .