Melissa L. Horning, PhD, RN, PHN

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Melissa L. Horning

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-1947

Office Address:
6-138G Weaver-Densford Hall

Mailing Address:
School of Nursing
University of Minnesota
5-140 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Ph.D, Nursing, Minor: Public Health, University of Minnesota, 2015

B.S., Nursing, College of St. Benedict, 2006


Professional Associations

  • Co-operative Membership:
    Child and Family Health
  • Other Memberships:
    Minnesota Obesity Prevention Center
  • Center for Child and Family Health Promotion Research Center for Adolescent Nursing


Research Summary/Interests

  • Community-engaged, health promotion research with children, youth and families
  • Social ecological influences on adolescent health behaviors and nutrition
  • Public health nursing

Research Funding Grants


National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health R01: Fulkerson (PI) 2016-2020 

New Ulm at Home (NU-HOME) Purpose: To test the effectiveness of the NU-HOME program, a family-based health promotion intervention to prevent excess weight gain among 7-10 year old children. Role: Co-Investigator

Interdisciplinary Studies in Writing, Center for Writing Horning (PI) 2016-2017 Do Authentic Writing Environments in Nursing (AWE in Nursing) improve nursing student learning outcomes? Purpose: To evaluate whether implementation of an authentic written capstone project, one that mirrors future career responsibilities, enhances student learning outcomes and engagement in nursing students.

University of Minnesota Foundation Fulkerson (PI) 2014-2017 Parents and Kids Prevent Diabetes Purpose: Develop and pilot test a family-focused Type II diabetes prevention program for children at-risk for diabetes. Role: Co-Investigator (2016-2017)


National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health R01DK08400: Fulkerson (PI) 2010-2016 Annual Direct costs: $426,000 Study: Health Home Offerings via the Mealtime Environment (HOME) Plus Project Purpose: To test the efficacy of a family-based obesity prevention program with families of school-age children. Role: Co-Investigator (2015-2016)

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research F31NR014748: Horning (PI) 2014-2015 Total direct costs: $40,770 Study: Child and Parent Influences on Food Choices and Purchasing: Contributions to Obesity Purpose: Secondary analysis of HOME Plus study data to investigate multilevel influences on parent and child food purchases using a social ecological framework (dissertation). Role: Principal Investigator. Research Sponsors: Jayne A. Fulkerson, PhD; Mary Story, PhD


Published Refereed Journal Articles

Loth, K. A., Friend, S. E., Horning, M. Fulkerson, J. A., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (Accepted 2016). Directive and non-directed food-related parenting practices: Associations between an expanded conceptualization of food-related parenting practices and child dietary intake and weight outcomes. Appetite.

Horning, M. L., Fulkerson, J. A. & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2016). Associations between nine family dinner frequency measures and child weight, dietary and psychosocial outcomes. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 116(6):991-999. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.12.018

Fulkerson, J. A., Friend, S., Flattum, C., Horning, M. Draxten, M. . . . Kubik, M. (2015). Promoting healthful family meals to prevent childhood obesity: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of the Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 12(154), 1-12. doi:10.1186/s12966-015-0320-3

Flattum, C. F., Draxten, M., Horning, M. L., Fulkerson, J, Neumark-Sztainer, D., & Story, M. (2015). HOME Plus: Program design and implementation of a family-focused, community-based intervention to promote the frequency and healthfulness of family meals, reduce children’s sedentary behavior, and prevent obesity. International Journal for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 12(53),1-9. doi:1186/s12966-015- 0211-7.

Horning, M. L., & Fulkerson, J. A. (2015). A systematic review on the affordability of a healthful diet for families in the United States. Public Health Nursing. 32(1), 68-80. doi:10.1111/phn.12145.

Fulkerson, J. A., Larson, N. I., Horning, M. L., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2014). A review of associations between family or shared meal frequency and dietary and weight status outcomes across the lifespan. Journal of Nutrition, Education, and Behavior, 46, 2-19. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2013.07.012

Horning, M. L., &Braun, C. (2006). The lived experience of families who are told their child will die at or shortly after birth. Journal of Undergraduate Nursing Scholarship. 8(1), 1-5.


Board Certifications

Minnesota Board of Nursing Registered Nursing License 2006-Present

Public Health Nurse 2006-Present