ETSU’s Ousley co-authors book on recognizing, diagnosing common skin conditions


JOHNSON CITY (August 5, 2014) – When Dr. Lisa Ousley started taking photographs of her patients’ various skin diseases more than 10 years ago, she had hopes the growing catalog would help her in making diagnoses throughout her career as a nurse.

Now a doctor of nursing practice, Ousley, who serves as East Tennessee State University’s clinical services director for Student/University Health Services, is using those hundreds of photographs to help other health providers, too.

“We were hoping to create a reference book that would increase a provider’s proficiency at the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of common dermatological disorders,” Ousley said of the book she co-authored with fellow DNP Faye Lyons. “It’s the first reference book on dermatology written by nurses, for nurses.”

“Dermatology For the Advanced Practice Nurse,” published by Springer Publishing Company, hit bookshelves in late July. It details the 60 most common conditions in dermatological care and includes approximately 100 of Ousley’s photos as well as others contributed by ETSU nurse practitioners. The electronic version of the book includes another 200 photos of skin conditions captured by Ousley over the years.

Ousley said she has always been drawn to the research of skin and skin disorders.

“It is our largest organ and much of health and disease is reflected on this six-to-eight-pound organ that everybody has,” she said. “It’s super interesting and I just seem to have a knack for diagnosing skin issues.”

While Ousley has seen a handful of rare skin diseases throughout her career, she says the 60 conditions featured in her book are the ones health providers are most likely to see in their patients.

“In medicine, we refer to a common diagnosis as a horse and the uncommon ones are zebras,” Ousley said. “I tell providers, ‘Don’t worry about learning everything there is to know about the zebra, focus on recognizing all of the horses.’”

She hopes her new book will help nurses and other health care providers do just that.

“Dermatology For the Advanced Practice Nurse” can be purchased online at It is also available on, and other websites.

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