“Most of us don't think anything of small, everyday injuries – that's because these injuries or wounds usually heal without any problems. However, many wounds don't heal properly. Sometimes it's the type of wound. Wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, leg ulcers from chronic venous or artery disease, bedsores, traumatic injuries and even surgical wounds may not heal. The problems are a lack of knowledge about how to diagnose & treat wounds and lack of access (funding) to proper therapies, medical technologies and trained wound-care professionals. The result is millions of untreated and mistreated patients each year. This problem is compounded by disparity in detection of wounds and early skin and tissue damage."

At UCLA, Dr. Barbara Bates-Jensen is engaged in clinical research and education that highlights wound care best practices and focused on eliminating the disparities that exist in detection of skin and tissue damage among persons of color. Her research on pressure injuries (previously termed pressure ulcers or bedsores) and chronic wound care (screening, detection methods, assessment, and management) focuses on vulnerable populations such as nursing home residents, elders, veterans with spinal cord injury, and critically ill patients. Chronic wounds, such as ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and leg ulcers have become a silent global epidemic, in part because of poor outcomes associated with inadequate care. But also because of limited public awareness on the financial costs of patient care. Working with UCLA professors in computer science and bioengineering, Dr. Bates-Jensen helped invent a wound care medical device that measures skin and tissue damage before it becomes visible on the skin surface. Dr. Bates-Jensen is the author and developer of the Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool (BWAT) a wound assessment tool that is used worldwide and incorporated into multiple EHRs. The research her team is doing has the potential to improve sustainable patient wound care throughout the global medical community.

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Gerontology nursing, chronic care, wound care, palliative care, global education, behavioral observation studies, clinical trials, cohort observational studies.

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

Research: Pressure injuries & wound care (screening, prevention, assessment & management), health disparity in wound care, quality of care, and implementation science (translating research evidence into practice) in long term care and other practice settings.

Clinical: Gerontology nursing, spinal cord injury and pressure injuries, chronic care, and wound care.

Professional Activities

2007-2008National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, Committee for Developing Pressure Ulcer  Treatment Clinical Practice Guidelines

2008-2010Association for Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC), Board of Directors

2012-2016Association for Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC), Secretary

2022-presentAssociation for Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC), President


University of Nebraska, BSN, 1981, Nursing

University of California, Los Angeles, MN, 1992, Nursing

University of California, Los Angeles, PhD, 1998, Nursing

Honors and Awards

2010JWOCN Research Manuscript Award for manuscript entitled, "Subepidermal  Moisture is Associated with Early Pressure Ulcer Damage in Nursing Home  Residents with Dark Skin Tones: Pilot Findings". 

2010Inducted as Fellow in American Academy of Nursing

2018UCLA School of Nursing, Faculty Award for Excellence in Nursing Science

2021Kosiak Award from the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel for significant contributions to the prevention and management of pressure injuries through leadership in research, education and practice


McCreath, HE, Bates-Jensen, BM, Nakagami, G, Patlan, A, Booth, H, Connolly, D, Truong, C, Woldai, A. Use of Munsell Color Charts to objectively measure skin color in nursing home residents at risk for pressure ulcer development. J Adv Nurs. 2016 Apr 8. 

Guihan M, Murphy D, Rogers TJ, Parachuri R, Sae Richardson M, Lee KK, Bates-Jensen BM. Documentation of preventive care for pressure ulcers initiated during annual evaluations in SCI. J Spinal Cord Med. 2016 May;39(3):290-300. 

Guihan M, Sohn MW, Bauman WA, Spungen AM, Powell-Cope GM, Thomason SS, Collins JF, Bates-Jensen BM. The difficulty in identifying factors responsible for pressure ulcer healing in veterans with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Jun 30. pii: S0003-9993(16)30267-2. 

Bates-Jensen BM, McCreath HE, Patlan A. Subepidermal Moisture Detection of Pressure Induced Tissue Damage on the Trunk: The Pressure Ulcer Detection (PUD) Study Outcomes. Wound Repair Regen. 2017; 25(3): 502-11. PMID: 28494507

Carlson M, Vigen CL, Rubayi S, Blanche EI, Blanchard J, Atkins M, Bates-Jensen B, Garber SL, Pyatak EA, Diaz J, Florindez LI, Hay JW, Mallinson T, Unger JB, Azen SP, Scott M, Cogan A, Clark F. Lifestyle intervention for adults with spinal cord injury: Results of the USC-RLANRC Pressure Ulcer Prevention Study. J Spinal Cord Med. 2019 Jan;42(1):2-19. PMID: 28414254.

Bates-Jensen, BM, McCreath, HE, Nakagami, G. Patlan, A. Subepidermal moisture detection of heel pressure injury: the Pressure Ulcer Detection study outcomes. International Wound Journal. 2018; 15(2): 297-309. PMID:29250926. 

Bates-Jensen BM, McCreath, HE, Harputu, D, Patlan, A. Reliability of the Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool for pressure injury assessment: the pressure ulcer detection study. Wound Repair Regen 2019 27(4): 386-395. PMID: 30828890. 

Bates-Jensen BM, Reilly S, Hilliard C, Patton D, Moore Z. Subepidermal Moisture and Pressure Injury in a Pediatric Population: A Prospective Observational Study. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2020 Jul/Aug; 47(4):329-335. PMID: 33290010. 

Bates-Jensen, BM, Anber, K, Chen, M, Collins, S, Esparza, A, Gieschen, K, Haglund , E, Lim, JY, Lin,  C, Taw, E, Rodriguez, S, Truong, M, Tubillo, P, Xiao, A, McCreath, HE. Natural History of Pressure Injury Among Ethnically, Racially Diverse Nursing Home Residents: The Pressure Ulcer Detection Study . J Gerontol Nurs. 2021, Mar 1;47(3): 37-46. PMID: 33626163., 

Burkhart, L, Skemp, L, Siddiqui, S, Bates-Jensen, B. Developing a decision support tool to prevent community-acquired pressure injuries in spinal cord injury in ambulatory care: a nurse-led protocol for mixed methods research. Nursing Outlook. 2021,Mar-Apr; 69(2): 127-135. PMID: 33583605. 

Bates-Jensen, B.M. Assessment of the Patient with a Wound. In Doughty, D.B, & McNichol, L.L. (Eds). (2020). Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society Core Curriculum Wound Management textbook, 2nd ed, Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Bates-Jensen, BM. & Woefle, SL. Pressure Injuries: Practical Considerations in Prevention and Treatment. In Reichel, W. (Ed). (2022). Reichel’s Care of the Elderly, 8th ed., Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.