Debra Joy Hart, RN BFA, CLL-E, CT, CHP, Joyologist 
(Registered Nurse, Bachelors in Fine Arts, Certified Laughter Leader: Expert Level, Certified Thanatologist, Certified Humor Professional, Certified Joyologist)

Debra Joy Hart, RN, BFA, CT, CLL-E, CHP, Joyologist has been a nurse for over 30 years and is currently a nurse consultant. Her nursing and teaching experience is in alcohol/drug rehabilitation, hospice, long term care, men’s emergency and transitional shelter, and public health.

She’s the creator of the 1000 Red Nose Project NFP ™ and travels the world or sends her red noses to different countries, collecting pictures and handing out red noses to help promote peace, laughter and healthy humor in the world.

Debra Joy is a Spiritual Director and part time minister at Unity Church and Spiritual Center in Urbana, IL. Since receiving her certification in thanatology (CT), she provides spiritual and grief support to members of the community.

Every spring and summer for the last 22 years, Debra Joy, AKA “Daisy the Clown” has been part of a collaborative team, working with FCAN (Families’ and Children’s AIDS Network) to bring therapeutic programming to the families affected by HIV/AIDS. She lives at a camp each year with the families and initiates fun-filled activities for both parents and children. Debra Joy also gives workshops for the adults on how to welcome and include more humor and joy in their lives. Her programs topics: Parenting, Resilience, Grief and Loss, Disease Stress Management, Spirituality and Faith.

But wait! There’s More!

For three years, Debra Joy has chaired (2007, 2008) and co-chaired and facilitated (2011) Association for Applied and Therapeutic (AATH) INTERNATIONAL annual conference.

She has been a frequent presenter and workshop facilitator at World Laughter Tour Advanced Workshop weaving humor, laughter, science and silliness into her appearances.

Debra Joy juggles her skills as a humorist, nurse, clown and minister speaking around the world to corporations, colleges, healthcare settings and religious organizations. Her infectious spirit, laughter and wit are just a few of the tools she has in her clown medicine bag.


  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BFA, Art Education 1974-1979
  • Associates Degree in Applied Science Nursing: 1987-1989 Parkland College; Champaign, Illinois *Alpha Omega Candidate


  • Nationally Certified Bereavement Facilitator: American Academy of Bereavement (2001)
  • World Laughter Tour: Certified Laughter Leader-Expert (2008-present) and completed programs in Positive Activity Interventions.
  • World Laughter Tour: Certified Joyologist (2019)
  • Association for Death Education and Counseling: Certified Thanatologist (2017)
  • Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, Humor Academy: completed Level 3 working toward Certified Humor Professional
  • Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, Humor Academy: Certified Humor Professional (2019)


  • Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (1995-present)
  • Association for Death Education and Counseling (2015-present)
  • World Laughter Tour (2008-present)

Book Links

  • Debra Joy Hart RN: Contributing Author, Honorable Mention in 21 Peaceful Nurses; Essays on a Spiritually Guided Practice. Edited by Doris J. Popovich, RN MA and Joan Cantwell, RN, MA . Press, INC; Denver Colorado 2006
  • Debra Joy Hart RN: Contributing author in My Funny Major Medical. Edited by Karla Telega and Linton Robinson. Bauu Press; Winter Park, Co. 2012
  • Debra Joy Hart RN: Contributing author: EBooks Suck (But they don’t have too) Edited by Annie Passanisi and Jennie Mustafa-Julock. Kindle Edition. March 2013
  • Debra Joy Hart RN, BFA, CT, CLL-E: Author. Grandma D’s Bubbles: A Lesson in Life and Loss Author House 2015


  • Debra Joy Hart RN, CLL: The Active Seniors/ Boomers: 50 Plus Lifestyles News Gazette Publication Monthly article “M.I.R.T.H. Notes, 11/08-8/10
  • Debra Joy Hart RN. Humor Press Finalist. “How to Be (SAFELY) NOT NICE in a Politically Correct World.” August 2009.
  • Debra Joy Hart RN. Humor Press Semi-Finalist. “Evaluating God or “Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just me?” August 2010.
  • Debra Joy Hart RN CT. Contributing author: Grief Digest volume 14 Issue#1: That’s Not Funny: Taking the Risk to Grieve With Humor and Tears.” 2017

Other Resources

Newspaper and magazine articles quoting Deb on the therapeutic use of humor or featuring her:

  • Champaign Urbana News Gazette “Getting Personal.” 2013
  • University of Illinois Alumni Magazine Winter 2010
  • Champaign Urbana News Gazette: August 2009
  • The Lotus: Holistic Guide for the Mind Body and Spirit: April-July 2010
  • Central Illinois Health Magazine: October 2006
  • Champaign Urbana News- Gazette: August 27, 2006
  • The Octopus: July 24,1998
  • The Catholic Post: April 13,1997
  • Champaign Urbana News-Gazette: August 23, 1995
  • Mysterious Ways (Guideposts) to be released) 2017