With the ranks of nurses pursuing PhDs in nursing growing, the University of Massachusetts offers the degree program at each of its campuses. On Tuesday, Oct. 2, students and faculty from all five programs gathered for the fourth annual UMass Five-Campus Nursing PhD Student Forum, where they reflected on their past journeys and celebrated their futures as nursing researchers, leaders and educators.
Deans and faculty of all five programs collaborate to plan the annual event, held at University headquarters at the South Street campus in Shrewsbury, also home to much of UMass Worcester's Graduate School of Nursing. This year’s agenda was developed by co-chairs Carol Bova PhD, associate professor of nursing and medicine and director of the Phd in Nursing program at UMass Worcester, and Laura Hayman, PhD, professor of nursing and associate dean for research at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Boston.
Keynote speaker Jacqueline Fawcett, PhD, chair and professor of nursing at UMass Boston, presented “A Nursing Career in Retrospect (And a Hint of a Prospect with Words of Caution)” Dr. Fawcett is a renowned pioneer in applying theory to nursing practice who is dedicated to helping nurses advance the science of nursing through theory and research, and has authored numerous books on the subject. In 1999, she joined the nursing faculty at UMass Boston and was named chair of the department in 2009. There she established a specialty in health care policy for nurses, believing that nurses need to direct their attention to understanding issues and policy arguments and contribute to policy discussion with reasoned arguments and objectivity.
The UMass PhD alumni keynote speech was given by Patricia M. Noga, PhD, who, in her presentation "Nursing Implications of Healthcare Reform,” analyzed the opportunities that await doctorally prepared nurses as health care reform in Massachusetts—and the nation—continues to unfold. Vice president of clinical affairs for the Massachusetts Hospital Association since 2007, Dr. Noga recently earned her PhD in nursing with a health policy specialty from UMass Boston.
Fawcett and Noga appreciated meeting with current nursing PhD students as well as instructing them. “We want to convey the opportunities that exist and encourage students to get involved,” said Noga, who is a member of the Massachusetts Action Coalition, part of the national Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action formed by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Leaders.