Profile photo Nienke Bleijenberg

Nienke Bleijenberg

Associate Professor

Strategic program(s):



Nienke Bleijenberg, RN, PhD, is an associate professor Nursing Science at the University Medical Center Utrecht and a professor (In Dutch: Lector) at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Her research programme is focusing early detection of functional decline and prevention of acute events such as an emergency department vist. By developing and evaluating complex interventions she aims to improve independence of older adults living at home. 

She worked for many years as a home care nurse in Utrecht with mostly geriatric patients living at home with high complex care needs. During her work it became apparent to her that scientific knowledge is needed in order to change and improve the care for older people and the gap between knowledge and practice. During her PhD study she developed a multicomponent proactive primary care program to enhance daily functioning of multimorbid, frail older people. In an ambitious randomized controlled trial, 52 primary care centers, over 3000 patients and more than 350 caregivers participated. Moreover, Dr. Bleijenberg developed a training program for the nurses in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. During her work as a PhD student Nienke completed the Post Graduate Master Epidemiology at Utrecht University. Between 2014-2018 she combined clinical work with research and teaching. Since 2012 she is involved as a teacher and coordinator at the master Clinical Health Sciences, Nursing Science (UU). Between 2014-2018 she was a yearly visiting scholar at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Division of Geriatrics, working with Dr Covinsky and Dr Smith.

Her knowledge extends to nursing, geriatrics in primary care, home care, and epidemiology

Nienke is a member of the National Association of Nurses, and a fellow of the European Association of Nursing Scientists (EANS). She is currently chair of the research group Care for Older people at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands


Research groups

Nursing Science in Cardiovascular Disease

Research aim

We aim to reduce the impact of cardiac disease on the lives of patients, their caregivers and on society. We focus on increasing the ability of patients to maintain their self-care, to monitor their symptoms and take appropriate action.

Go to group

Recent publications

What are the needs of frail older patients in the emergency department? Dorien Venema, Sigrid C.J.M. Vervoort, Janneke M. de Man-van Ginkel, Nienke Bleijenberg, Lisette Schoonhoven, Wietske H.W. Ham
International emergency nursing, 2023, vol. 67
Interventions to reduce interpersonal stigma towards patients with a mental dysregulation for ambulance and emergency department healthcare professionals Geurt Van de Glind, Niek Galenkamp, Nienke Bleijenberg, Lisette Schoonhoven, Floortje E. Scheepers, Julia Crilly, Mark van Veen, Wietske H.W. Ham
BMJ Open, 2023, vol. 13
Defining practice variation and exploring influencing factors on needs assessment in home care nursing Johanna Jose Isabella Elisabeth Van Dorst, Marit Schwenke, Nienke Bleijenberg, Judith Daniëlle De Jong, Adriana Anne Elisabeth Maria Brabers, Sandra M G Zwakhalen
Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2023, vol. 79, p.3426-3439
Factors That Influence the Use of eHealth in Home Care Elke Mathijssen, Wendela de Lange, Nienke Bleijenberg, Thijs van Houwelingen, Tiny Jaarsma, Jaap Trappenburg, Heleen Westland
Journal of Medical Internet Research, 2023, vol. 25
Functional Independence in the Community Dwelling Older People E. A.L.M. Molenaar, J. A. Barten, S. te Velde, L. van der Schoot, N. Bleijenberg, N. J. de Wit, C. Veenhof
Journal of population ageing, 2023, vol. 16, p.243-262
What matters most Jacoba Huizenga, Aukelien Scheffelaar, Nienke Bleijenberg, Jean Pierre Wilken, John Keady, Tine Van Regenmortel
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2023, vol. 38, p.1-13

Fellowships & Awards

2018: VIPER poster presentation at ICCHN conference

External positions

Coordinator Academic Nursing Learning and Innovation lab, Leidsche Rijn Julius Health Centers

Professor Care for Older People at University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Faculty Chair Care for the Chronically Ill and Elderly, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht