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UMass Worcester hosts annual PhD nursing student event


The University of Massachusetts, which offers a PhD in nursing program at each of its five campuses, hosted students and faculty from all five programs Oct. 2 at UMass Worcester for its fourth annual Five-Campus Nursing PhD Student Forum.

The event allowed students to reflect on their journeys and celebrate their futures as nursing researchers, leaders and educators.

Keynote speaker Jacqueline Fawcett, RN, PhD, FAAN, chair and professor, department of nursing at UMass Boston, presented “A Nursing Career in Retrospect (And a Hint of a Prospect with Words of Caution)” at the annual event.

Fawcett, a renowned pioneer in applying theory to nursing practice, is dedicated to helping nurses advance the science of nursing through theory and research. She has authored numerous books on the subject. In 1999, Fawcett joined the nursing faculty at UMass Boston and was named department chair in 2009. She established a specialty in healthcare policy for nurses, believing 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, RN, PhD, MBA, NEA-BC. In her presentation, “Nursing Implications of Healthcare Reform,” Noga analyzed the opportunities that await doctorally prepared nurses as healthcare reform in Massachusetts — and the nation — continues to unfold. The vice president of clinical affairs for the Massachusetts Hospital Association since 2007, Noga recently earned her PhD in nursing with a health policy specialty from UMass Boston.

Fawcett and Noga said they 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, 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.


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