Dr. Anne Vitale, PhD APN AHN-BC
Dr. Anne Vitale, PhD APN AHN-BCFounder, Innerlight Research

Dr. Vitale is the proprietor of Innerlight Research.  She obtained her BSN from Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, her MSN from The College of New Jersey and her PhD in nursing from Villanova University, PA.  She is both a registered nurse and advanced practice nurse licensed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Her nursing experience spans over 37 years, including community/public health, home health, and acute care, as well as higher education, management, research, project director, and consultation. She is currently employed as nursing faculty for several universities and teaches graduate nursing research courses.

Her funded research focuses on the exploration and practice of energy-based touch therapies, especially the uses of Reiki to improve patient outcomes, pain and anxiety management and self-care.  Dr. Vitale has expertise in the development and implementation of Reiki in hospital programs and workshops.

Dr. Vitale is a frequent and invited presenter and has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on Reiki and energy work topics.  She serves on several editorial nursing journal boards, is a research grant reviewer for professional nursing organizations and a sentinel reader for scientific journals on complementary and alternative health care topics.  Dr. Vitale is an expert Reiki practitioner with a small private practice.  With her Reiki training and extensive background in energy work research, Dr. Vitale assists others to successfully bridge the gap between energy healing uses in traditional patient care and scientific inquiry.

In her spare time, Dr. Vitale enjoys golf, swimming, meditation and self-care with Reiki.

Professional Experience

Academic Experience:

Highly experienced in teaching baccalaureate nursing courses, including accelerated plus nursing as a second degree, RN to BSN and graduate and doctoral coursework.   Dr. Vitale frequently teaches research, theory and evidenced-based practice courses and supervises doctoral research dissertations.   She is a part time faculty member for the following universities:

Walden University

College of Education


  • Core part time online faculty, EdD program
  • Chairperson-doctoral dissertations
  • Second Chairperson- doctoral dissertations
  • University Research Review Committee member

School of Nursing

2013- Part time online graduate faculty member

NovaSoutheastern University, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

2012 Adjunct graduate faculty member

Florida Atlantic University, College of Nursing, Boca Raton, Florida

2012 Faculty adjunct (graduate and undergraduate)

2008- 2012 Visiting Assistant Professor

2006-2008 Faculty adjunct

Drexel University, Phildelphia, PA

2012 Online faculty adjunct

Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

2005 Instructor

2004 Faculty adjunct

Clinical/Research Experience:

Dr. Vitale has over 35 years of experience as a staff nurse, advanced practice nurse, nurse manager with supervisory and fiscal/budgetary responsibilities, consultant, nurse educator, nurse researcher and extensive, intercollaborative project management experience.

2008- Research Consultant

2008-2012 Project Facilitator for Center for Reiki Research

2004-2006 Nursing Research Consultant, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ

2002-2004 Director-Institutional Review Board, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ

2004. Director- Nursing Research, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ

2001. Cllnical Nurse Specialist (older adult), Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ

1999. Nursing Quality Coordinator, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ

1997. Public Health Nursing Supervisor/Administrator, Ocean County Health Dept., Toms River, NJ

1979. Public Health Staff Nurse, Ocean County Health Dept., Toms River, NJ

1976. Staff nurse, Barnert Hospital, Paterson, NJ

Research Experience and Other Scholarly Activities

Research Experience (Selected):

2008- 2012

Project facilitator and research consultant for the Center for Reiki Research (CRR) and Complementary and Alternative Medicine-Research Associates (CAM-RA)


Nursing research consultant, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ


Director of Nursing Research and Institutional Review Board, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ

Completed Research Projects:


Smith, M, Principle Investigator, Vitale, A.T.  & Ouslander, J. Co-Investigator. Touch Therapy for Insomnia in Nursing Home Residents, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, 2009*

Vitale, A.T. , Principle Investigator, Nurses’ Lived Experience of Reiki for Self-Care, Sigma Theta Tau International, Alpha Nu Chapter, Villanova University, 2008*

Vitale, A.T. Principle Investigator & O’Connor, P., Co-Investigator. Pain and Anxiety in Women Who Have Abdominal Hysterectomies:  An Experimental Study, American Holistic Nurses Association. 2001-2004*

Vitale, A. T. Principle Investigator, Vitello, L., & O’Connor, P., Co-Investigators.Nurses’ Spiritual Well-Being and Perceptions of Spiritual Care for Patients, Community Medical Center Foundation, Toms River, NJ 2004*

Vitale, A.T. Principle Investigator, & O’Connor, P. Co-Investigator.  2001-2003-The Effect of Nutrition and Exercise on Blood Pressure, Weight and Body Mass Index in  Community-Based Older Women:  A Pilot Study, Community Medical Center Foundation, Toms River, NJ ($1000). 2003*.

Research Projects (in progress):


Vitale, A.T. (Principle Investigator), Brownell, E., Baldwin, A. and Rand, W. Effect of Reiki on Pre and Post-Surgical Pain and Anxiety Levels in Orthopedic patients (feasibility study)  FDC Foundation ($84,651.00), 2010-2012*

Being conducted with The Center for Reiki Research

Grants (Pending):

Goodman, P (Principle Investigator), Reiki for the Management of Neuropathic

Pain in Soldiers with Extremity Trauma, Tri-Service Nursing Program, $233, 386* (to begin 2013)

Vitale, A.T. – research consultant and Reiki mentor

Other Scholarly Research/Research Consultation (Selected):

Vitale, A.T.  Reiki Research Dissemination Including Reiki Use in Self-Care (invited guest lecturer) for graduate course:  Contemplative Practices in Health and Illness at Villanova University College of Nursing, Villanova, PA, May 18, 2010

Vitale, A.T.  Research in Nursing, online undergraduate nursing course developed for Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ, 2008 (invited consultant)

Vitale, A.T. Manuscript consultation for a nursing research study:  Reiki Research and Post-Surgical Patients conducted at a Northeast major medical center,  2011-2012

Vitale, A.T. Research One on One Consultation, American Holistic Nurse Association, Louisville, Kentucky, June 2011 (1:1 research consultation mentor)


Research-Related Publications (Selected):

Peer Reviewed Articles*Data-based

Kryak, E., & Vitale, A.T. (2011)  Reiki and its journey into a hospital setting.  Holistic Nursing Practice,  25(5); 1-8

Baldwin, A.L., Vitale, A.T., Brownell, E., Scicinski, J., Kearn, M., & Rand, W. (2010).  The Touchstone Process:  An ongoing critical evaluation of Reiki in the scientific literature.  Holistic Nursing Practice, 24(3) 260-276

Vitale, A.T. (2009).  Nurses’ Lived Experience of Reiki for Self Care.  Holistic Nursing Practice,23(3), 129-145

Vitale, A.T. (2007).  An integrative review of Reiki touch therapy research.  Holistic NursingPractice, 21(4), 167-179.

Vitale, A.T. & O’Connor, P.A (2006).  The effect of Reiki on pain and anxiety in women with abdominal hysterectomies:  A quasi-experimental pilot study   Holistic Nursing Practice 20(6), 263-271

Vitale, A.T.  (2006). The use of selected energy touch modalities as supportive nursing interventions:  Are we there yet? Holistic Nursing Practice, 20(4), 191-196.


Presentations (Selected):

Invited, Refereed

International/National/Organizational Meetings

Vitale, A. T. & Brownell, E. Reiki in Hospitals Workshop, Oct 27th-28th, Philadelphia, PA (with Center for Reiki Research), 2012

Vitale, A.T. The Caring Touch:  Reiki for Pain Management- Emerging Trends and Future Possibilities, Nursing Pain Management Society, Baltimore, MD, Sept, 2012

Vitale, A.T.  Integrating Reiki into Hospitals- Emerging Trends and Future Possibilities, American Holistic Nurses Association, Louisville, Kentucky, June, 2011

Smith, M., & Vitale, A.T. Hand Massage for Insomnia in Nursing Home Residents, American Holistic Nurses Association Convention, Colorado Springs, Colorado June, 2010

Vitale, A.T.  Reiki Research Dissemination:  The Touchstone Project, American Holistic Nurses Association Convention, Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 2010

Vitale, A.T.  Nurses’ Lived Experience of Reiki for Self-Care:  Enhancing Health Through Daily Stress Management, Podium presentation at Sigma Theta Tau 40th Biennial Convention, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2009

Vitale, A.T.  An Integrative Review of Reiki Touch Therapy:  Implications for Nursing Practice and Research, Podium presentation at Sigma Theta Tau International Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, 2007

Vitale, A.T., Vitello, L., & O’Connor, P. Nurses’ Spiritual Well-Being and Perceptions of Spiritual Care for Patients, Poster presentation at Spirituality Conference at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 2004

Vitale, A.T. Promoting Research at the Bedside, Podium presentation at Organization of Nurse Executives (ONE), Princeton, NJ, 2004

Nucero, P., & Vitale, A.T. Promoting a Research-Friendly Environment, Podium presentation at Institute for Nursing Magnet Conference, Newark, NJ, 2004

Vitale, A. T. & O’Connor, P. Pain and Anxiety in Women with Abdominal Hysterectomies:  An Experimental Study, Podium presentation at Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference, Toronto, Canada, 2003

Vitale, A.T. Reiki for Post-Operative Pain and Anxiety Management, Podium presentation at Research Colloquium,  St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Paterson, NJ, 2002

Vitale, A.T  & O’Connor, P.  The Nursing Research Process: An Interactive Approach.  Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ,  2002

Regional Meetings

Vitale, A.T. Reiki and Self-Care, Podium presentation at New Jersey State Nurses’ Association Care for the Caregiver Day, Pemberton, New Jersey, 2008

Vitale, A.T. Research Critiques, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ, 2005

Vitale, A.T. Pain and Anxiety In Women with Abdominal Hysterectomies:  An Experimental Study, Podium presentation at Research Day, Hamilton Hospital (RWJ), Hamilton, NJ, 2004

Vitale, A.T Self Care for the Healer:  Energy Therapies and Reiki, Region 6- New Jersey State Nurses Association, Somers Pt, NJ, 2003

Vitale, A.T. & McMurray, S. Self Care Practices for the Healer, AORN, Jersey Shore Chapter, Toms River, NJ, 2003

Vitale, A.T. & O’Connor, P. Evidenced-Based Best Nursing Practices, Podium presentation at Research Day, Community Medical Center, Toms River, NJ, 2001

Professional Licenses and Certifications

2009-present     Advanced Holistic Nurse certification (AHNCC)

2008-present     Registered Nurse- Florida- License # RN 9280883

2005-present     Registered Nurse – Pennsylvania- License # RN579484

2004-present     Reiki-Master level certification

1997-present      Home Health Clinical Nurse Specialist- New Jersey (Advanced Practice) – License # NC 61314

1997- present     AANC Home Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

1976- present     Registered Nurse – New Jersey – License # NO61314

2001                      Fundamentals of Clinical Research- Medical Research

2001                      Human Subjects Protection Program Certification (Fox Management Chase Cancer Center)

Professional Education

2008   PhD College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Focus:  Nursing Education

2006   Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ

Post graduate certificate in Distance Education

1996 MSN The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

Family Clinical Nurse Specialist- Older adult

1996   Post graduate certificate in Nursing Management

1976   BSN Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, NJ


Professional Organizations and Service

Professional Organizations and Service (alphabetical; selected):

American Holistic Nurses’ Association

2011-present- AHNA Education Committee (CE reviewer)

2011-present  AHNA research grant reviewer (invited)

2010- present- AHNA Research Committee

2000-present  – member

American Nurses’ Association

2009-present    Florida Nurses Association

2007-present     Pennsylvania State Nurses’ Association

1977-present     New Jersey State Nurses’ Association


Center for Reiki Research

2008-2012     Project Facilitator and research consultant


Eastern Nursing Research Society

2001- present   member

2010  State of the Science Congress in Nursing – Abstract reviewer

Explore- The Journal of Science and Healing

2011-present   – AdHoc reviewer (invited)


Florida State Nurses’ Association

2009-present      Research grant reviewer


Holistic Nursing Practice

2006-present   Editorial board; manuscript reviewer (invited)


International Association for Human Caring



Journal of Holistic Nursing

2011-present    Editorial board: manuscript reviewer


McMaster Plus/Pier/EBJournals (MORE EBN)

2007-present     Sentinel reader- complementary and alternative health care topics (invited)


New Jersey State Nurses’ Association

2007-2008         Resolutions Committee

2005-2007         INPAC

2004-2009         Board of Directors (elected)

2004-2009         Congress on Policy/Practice- Chairperson (elected)

2002-2007         Region 6- VP of Communications

1999-present      Advanced Practice Forum

1976-present      member


Phi Kappa Phi

2008-present       member (Villanova University chapter)


Reviews on Clinical Trials

2008-2010             Ad Hoc reviewer (invited)


Research Grants Council (Hong Kong, China)

2010- present        Research grants reviewer (invited)


Sigma Theta Tau International

2008-present      Iota Xi Chapter

2005-present      Alpha Nu Chapter

1995-present      Delta Nu Chapter

1997-1998          Delta Nu Nursing Research Day Committee- Co-Chair

Honors and Awards

2010  Faculty Enhancement Award, Florida Atlantic University, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing

2008 International Association of Human Caring- Jean Watson Student Award- (doctoral research student award)

2008 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Villanova University

2007 Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Alpha Nu Chapter of Villanova University- Education Award- 2007

2005, 2006 & 2007 Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia- Nurse Scholar Program scholarship recipient (doctoral education)

2005 New Jersey State Nurses’ Association, Region 6 – Scholarship recipient (doctoral education)

2001. American Holistic Nursing Association – 2003 Research Grant recipient

2001 Nursing Excellence Award, Community Medical Center

1996 Certificate of Academic Commendation, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society (academic commendation)

1985 & 1991 Leadership in Nursing Award, Ocean County Health Dept.

1976 Magna Cum Laude graduate, Fairleigh Dickinson University