Brendan Martin, PhD, MA

Brendan Martin

Brendan joined the Research Department in May 2018. He is an experienced researcher with more than 14 years in quantitative modeling and consulting, and over 60 peer-reviewed publications. As principal investigator, Brendan is currently spearheading NCSBN’s National Prelicensure-RN Study: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Nursing Education. Brendan is also leading additional projects focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the APRN workforce, and a longitudinal study examining the efficiency of the complaint intake process at Boards of Nursing.

Recent studies published include “Envisioning the Future of Nursing Regulation Through Research: A Global Agenda” (JNR, 2021), “Evaluating the Adverse Event Decision Pathway: A Survey of Canadian Nursing Leaders” (JNR, 2021), and “Is Hospital Nurse Staffing Legislation in the Public's Interest?: An Observational Study in New York State” (Medical Care, 2021).

Brendan also teaches the Fundamentals of Research course in NCSBN’s International Center for Regulatory Scholarship (ICRS) program.

Charlie O'Hara, PhD, MA

Data Scientist 1

Charlie joined the Research Department in November 2022. Charlie received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Southern California, and taught computational linguistics at the University of Michigan before coming to NCSBN. His research interests involve using natural language processing techniques to analyze unstructured data, and the advantages and limitations of artificial intelligence and large language model technology for nursing regulation. Currently, Charlie has been working with the department on the National Workforce Study, to better understand and characterize burn-out in the nursing workforce.

Elizabeth Zhong, PhD, MEd


Elizabeth has been a member of the Research Department since 2005. Elizabeth earned a PhD and an MEd in Research Methodology from the Loyola University of Chicago. Her focus for the past few years has been on nurse discipline. By analyzing data from different national nursing databases, Elizabeth hopes to develop deeper insight into what causes nursing practice errors, and how the incidence of such errors could be reduced.
Elizabeth has been leading a series of studies on at-risk nurses and developing models to identify risk factors for recidivism which will provide evidence for boards of nursing to use for developing more efficient remediation and discipline in nursing regulation. Meanwhile, Elizabeth has been working on a longitudinal study to evaluate the financial impact of adopting the eNLC on boards of nursing.
Elizabeth teaches the international version of the Fundamentals of Research course in NCSBN’s ICRS program.

Nicole K. Ozturk, PhD, MA


Nicole joined the Research Department in January 2020. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an M.A. from the University of Chicago focusing on research methodology. Nicole’s primary focus is education within the context of nursing regulation. Secondarily, she is examining the domestic and global nursing regulatory response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She serves as the co-PI on the National Workforce Survey, and the National Prelicensure-RN Study: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Nursing Education.
Forthcoming studies include “Prelicensure Nursing Clinical Simulation and Regulation during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A mixed-method study”, “Examining the Global Nursing Regulatory Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic”, and “Nursing Workforce Trends during the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Nicole also teaches Making Data Analysis Easy Using Python in NCSBN’s ICRS program.

Richard Smiley, MS, MA


Richard has been a member of the Research Department for 20 years. He earned a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Demography from Georgetown University. One of Richard’s most notable research contributions is the landmark NCSBN National Simulation Study which explored the role and outcomes of simulation in pre-licensure clinical nursing education. Currently, Richard is leading the following national studies: National Nursing Workforce Survey, and Outcomes of Substance Use Disorder Monitoring Programs for Nurses.
Richard teaches a Questionnaire Design course in NCSBN's ICRS Program.