Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science

CAPT (sel.) Heather C. King ’13 (PhD)
Regional Director, Nursing Research, Navy Medicine West Region

Heather King began her professional career as a nurse in 1995, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from San Diego State University. Upon graduation, she was accepted into the Navy Nurse Corps.

Her initial clinical experience was as a staff nurse on the internal medicine ward and cardiac care unit, where she learned about the needs of veterans who have served our country. In 2000, she was accepted into the Navy Nurse Corps Duty Under Instruction Program for Nurse Anesthesia and graduated in 2003 with a Master of Science Degree from Georgetown University.

In the six years that followed, she provided anesthetic care to veterans in a variety of clinical and operational settings. Her operational experience fueled her interest in research, as she considered the gaps in care for veterans returning home from combat missions.

In 2009, King was accepted into the PhD program at the University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science from which she graduated in 2013. Her dissertation research examined the effects of acupuncture on sleep disturbances among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her current research focuses on the care of military veterans. To date she has been awarded more than $2.4 million in grants to conduct this important work.

King has a wonderful husband, Tom, and son Riley. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, and reading.