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Doctoral Dissertations

The PhD dissertation is a summation of original research, conducted solely by the candidate on a topic of significance to the development of nursing science. Upon successful defense of a dissertation proposal, a student begins conducting dissertation research. A committee comprising of School of Nursing faculty, as well as external members, directs and evaluates the research and writing of each candidate's dissertation.

Previous Dissertation Titles


Karen Alexander  
"The Effect of Mindfulness Intervention on the Depression Symptoms of Mothers in Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder"

Marge DiCuccio
The Relationship between Perceptions of Patient Safety Culture, Nurse Advocacy, and Nurse Sensitive Patient Outcomes

Catherine Recznik
"The Comparison of Two Methods of Pediatric Triage Education"


Salena Wright Brown
"The Experiences of Registered Nurses Who are Injured by Interpersonal Violence While on Duty in an Emergency Department"

Renee Gilhousen
"The Lived Experience of Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) While Residing in a Rural Region of Northern Appalachia"

Bill Gourash
"Retention and Attrition in Bariatric Sugery Research: A Qualitative Study"

April Kidd
"Mammography Utilization in African American Women"

Natalene Kramer
"Parents of Children Who Had Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: A Mixed Methods Study"

Cathy Lyden
"Job Satisfaction and Empowerment of Self-Employed Nurse Practitioners: A Mixed Methods Study"

Courtney Proie
"An Examination of Factors Affecting Hemoglobin A1C Levels and Self-Care Behaviors among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in Primary Care Settings"

Thecly Hines Scott
"Perceptions of Care During the Prenatal Period: An Ethnonursing Study of African American Childbearing Women within the Military Health System"


Emerson Ea
"Self Care Among Filipino Immigrants in the United States Who Have Hypertension"

Evie Lengetti
"A Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing the Impact of an Innovative Approach to Educating New to Practice Nurses"

Mary Malitas
"Exploring Variables Related to Post-Operative Depression in Cardiac Patients"

Michael G. Neiswonger
"Registered Nurses' Perceptions of Organizational Power and Its Relationship to Perception of Physician-Perpetrated Verbal Abuse, Stress and Coping"

Julie Valentine
"Justice Denied: Low Submission Rates of Sexual Assault Kits and Predicting Variables"

Lisa Whitfield-Harris
"The Lived Experience of Black Nurse Faculty in Predominately White Schools of Nursing"


Aaron A. Bellow, Jr.
"A Comparative Analysis of Two Low-Acuity Flow Processes in an Emergency Department"

Kathy Burger
"Examining the Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Attention Regulation Efficiency in Nursing Students"

Carolyn Cutilli
"Health Literacy, Health Disparities and Sources of Health Information in U.S. Older Adults"

Karin Page-Cutrara
The Impact of Structured Prebriefing on Nursing Students' Competency Performance, Clinical Judgment and Experience in Simulation"

Tarsha Jones
"Predictors of Breast Cancer Screening and Cancer Genetic Services Use Among African American Female Breast Cancer Survivors"

Sharon Kern
"Relationship of Uncertainty, Perceived Threat, Stress, Positive Appraisal, and Daily Spiritual Experiences in Women with Breast Cancer: A Transitions Perspective."

Karen Rousseau
"An Exploration of the Culture Care Experiences of Puerto Rican Families with a Child with Special Health Care Needs as Perceived by the Family Caregiver"

Cindy Schaefer
"Low Health Literacy Interventions and Resources Used at Community Health Centers Using Decision Support from the Care Model"

Tamara Wardell
"Perceptions of Expert Practice by Active Licensed Registered Nurse Therapeutic Touch Practitioners"


Jeannette Kates
"Treatment-related Decisional Conflict, Quality of Life, and Co-morbid Illness in Older Adults with Cancer"

Lori Rizzo
"A Retrospective Data Analysis in Veterans with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Using Wagner's Chronic Care Model to Explore Medication Adherence."

Joyce Victor-Chmil
"Effects of an Experiential Learning Model for Simulation on Clinical Nursing Judgement Development in Pre-Licensure Baccalaureate Nursing Students"

Missy Volino
"Factors Influencing Nurses' Intentions to Provide Weight Management Education to Hospitalized Obese Adult"

Robin Weaver
"The Impact of Structured Debriefing, Following Simulation, on BSN Student Development of Clinical Reasoning and Clinical Judgment Skills"


Elizabeth Collins
"Effect of Acupuncture on Menopausal Memory Changes in Women with Breast Cancer"

Halana Finnie
"The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach with Traumatized Children: Its Effectiveness in the Reduction of Locked Seclusion in an Inpatient Psychiatric Setting"

Maryann Godshall
"Exploring Learning of Pediatric Burn Patients through Storytelling"

Faye Grund
"Predictors of Health Promoting Lifestyles in Baccalaureate Nursing Students"

Jesus Hernandez
"The Struggle for Balance: Culture Care Worldview of Mexican Americans about Diabetes Mellitus an Ethnonursing Study"

Susan Imes
"Discovering the Culture Care Meanings and Care Expressions of Men with a Spinal Cord Injury from the Appalachian Region of West Virginia: An Ethnonursing Study"

Ruth Irwin
"The Evaluation of Teaching the Nursing Process Using Traditional Lecture, Campus Laboratory, Clinical, and the Addition of High Fidelity Human Simulation (HFHS) Unfolding Scenarios"

 Debbie Stayer
"Living with Dying in the Pediatric ICU: A Nursing Perspective"

Kimberly (Gregg) Wolf
"Somali Immigrant perceptions of Mental Health and Illness: An Ethnonursing Study"



Rachel Joseph
"Quality of Life of Parental Caregivers of Children (1-36 months) with a Tracheostomy"

Sally Bennett
"The Relationship Between Barcode Medication Administration Satisfaction and the Use of Workarounds Among Nurses"

Kimberly Curry-Lourenco
"The Lived Experience of Parenting a Child Adopted from an Institution in Eastern Europe"

Megan Infanti Mraz
"The Impact of the Symphonological Approach to Ethical Decision Making in Advanced Level Nursing Students"

Alicia Ribar
"The Meaning and Experiences of Healthy Eating In Mexican American Children: A Focused Ethnography"

Wendy Robinson
"The Role of the Forensic Nurse in Communities Experiencing Environmental Contamination"

Susan M. Strouse
"Nurse Educators' Perceptions about the Culture of Nursing and How They Bring Students into That Culture: A Focused Ethnography"


Valera Hascup
"Cultural Expressions, Meanings, Beliefs, and Practices of Mexican American Women During the Postpartum Period: An Ethnonursing Study"

Antonia Rae Torrey
"Development and Psychometric Evaluation of a Structured Instrument to Assess the Treatment Fidelity of a Brief Opportunistic Intervention Designed to Reduce Substance Use Among  Pregnant Women"

Annette M. Weiss
"Mothers Behind Bars: The Lived Experience"

Anne E. McKibbin
"Assessing the Learning Needs of South Carolina Nurses by Exploring Their Perceived Knowledge of Emergency Preparedness"



Lynn Wiles
"Basic Knowledge in Critical Care: A Comparison of Experienced and Newly Graduated Nurses Augmented with an Examination of Newly Graduated Nurses' Experience Making Clinical Judgments"

R. Eric Doerfler
"Clinical Trial of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Antiretroviral Side Effects in HIV Patients"

Jennifer S. Laurent
"The Pathway to Making Change: How Parents Promote the Health of their Overweight or Obese Child"

Julie Moss
"Discovering the Healthcare Beliefs and Practices of Rural Mestizo Ecuadorians: An Ethnonursing Study"

Etsuko Soeda
"Organ Donation in Japan:  A Longitudinal Study of Quality of Life of Living Liver Donors"

Carol S. Gorelick
"Personal Digital Assistants: Their Influence on Clinical Decision-Making and the Utilization of Evidence-Based Practice in Baccalaureate Nursing Students"


Kerri S. Risco
"Problem Definition and Hypothesis Generation by Recent Family Nurse Practitioner Graduates"

Hiroko Iwata
"The Experiences of Japanese Men During the Transition to Fatherhood"

Theresa  Morrison
"Retrospective Analysis of a Breast Health Program on Routine Annual Mammography in Low-Income, Uninsured Women"

Margaret Bowles
"Culture Care Beliefs, Meanings and Practices related to Health and Well-Being of South Sudanese 'Lost Boy and Lost Girl' Refugees"

Melissa Smith
"What is the Relationship between Quality of Life and Coping Strategies of Adults with Celiac Disease Adhering to a Gluten Free Diet?"

Clarisse Ottley
"The Lived Experience of the African American Pregnancy that Ends in Preterm Birth"


Patricia Pasky McMahon
“Assessing College Students Readiness to Change Alcohol Use Behavior Related to Perceptions of Acohol Effects on Sexual Assault”

Kimberly Curran Hopey
“Role Perceptions of Hospital Based Nurse Case Managers”

L. Susan Yetter
“The Experience of Older Men Who Live Alone: A Phenomenological Perspective ”

“Health Care Practices and Health Beliefs of Puerto Rican Women in Southeastern PA”

Susan Copley Cobb
"Social Presence, Satisfaction, and Perceived Learning of RN-to-BSN Students in Web-based Nursing Courses"

Linda Clerici Radzvin
"The Occurrence Of Moral Distress in Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists"

Tanya K. Altmann
"Nurses’ Attitudes Towards Continuing Formal Education: A Comparison by Level of Education and Geography"

Melanie Horbal Shuster
"Reliability of Urinary Bladder Pressure Measurement in Critical Care"

Tammy H. Anderer
"Health Promotion and Disease Management in Primary Care: A Comparison of Nurse Practitioner and Physician Practice Patterns on Four Selected HEDIS Outcomes"

Lana M. deRuyter
"Culture Care Education and Experiences of African American Students in Predominantly Euro American Associate Degree Nursing Programs"

Leigh Ann Chandler Poole
"Health Seeking Behaviors: Life Histories of African Americans, Who are Older, Have a Low Income, and Live in Rural South Alabama"

Suzanne Kandlbinder Kuhn
"The Process of Parental Bereavement Following the Violent Death of a Child"

Virginia (Ginger) Biddle
"Student Assistance Program Outcomes of Students at Risk for Suicide"


Andrea Dodge Ackermann
"Acquisition and Retention of CPR Knowledge and Skills for Junior Level Baccalaureate Nursing Students"

Kathleen Czekanski
"The Experience of Transitioning to the Caregiving Role for a Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Dementia"

Paul G. D'Amico
"Oncology Nurse's Attitude Toward Cancer Clinical Trials and Their Perception of Patient Understanding"

Trudy Hahn
"Patient Experiences with the New Nurse Practitioner Role in New Brunswick, Canada"

Judy A. Didion
"Adolescent Males Involvement in Pregnancy Prevention: Deliberate Action to Protect Future Goals"

Mary A. Kozy
"Positioning for Acceptance: How Women with HIV Infection Manage their Relationships"


Elizabeth Gazza
"The Experience of being a Full Time Nursing Faculty Member in a Baccalaureate Program"

Bonnie Dean
"Creating a Healthcare Culture of Patient Safety: A Retrospective Analysis of Change Readiness Associated with the Implementation of Computerized Provider Order Entry"

Janet Revay Bischof
"A Comparison of the Adult Patient with Heart Failure’s Quality of Life When Managed in Different Medical Settings: A Heart Failure Clinic and a Physician Practice"

Robin Chard
"How Perioperative Nurses Define, Attribute Causes of, and React to Intraoperative Nursing Errors"

Myrna Abi Abdallah Doumit
"The Lived Experience of Lebanese Oncology Patients Receiving Palliative Care"

Debra Pilling Hastings
"The Effects of Women’s Health and Life Experiences on Surgical Intervention"

Catherine Pearsall
"Detection and Management of Elder Abuse: Nurse Practitioner Self-Perceptions of Barriers and Strategies"

Lenore Kolljeski Resick
"The Meaning of Health Among Midlife Russian-Speaking Women in the United States"

Gretchen Claire Schumacher
"Culture Care Meanings, Beliefs, and Practices of Dominicans in a Rural Village of the Dominican Republic: An Ethnonursing Study Conceptualized Within the Culture Care Theory"

Diane Elizabeth Witt
"Growing Old on the Farm: An Ethnonursing Examination of Aging and Health Within the Agrarian Rural Subculture"



Catherine Archibald Johnson
"Understanding the Culture Care Practices of Rural Immigrant Mexican Women"

Shirley Ann Powe Smith
"Promoting the Health Needs of Homeless Women Residing in a Shelter in an Urban Community: A Participatory Action Research Study"

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah
"Generic and Professional Health Care Beliefs, Expressions, and Practices of Syrian Muslims Living in the Midwestern United States "


Patricia Murphy Bitar
"Self-Perception of Adolescents with Attention Deficit Disorder"

Margaret Mary Irwin
"Application of Symphonology in Patient Decision Making: Triangulation of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods"

Catherine Rose Kleiner
"Experiences of Pain in Elderly Patients Having Total Knee Arthroplasty"

Lori Beth Schumacher
"The Impact of Utilizing High-Fidelity Computer Simulation on Critical Thinking Abilities and Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Nursing Students"


Anne Roome Bavier
"Type of Disclosure Between Oncology Nurses and Patients/Families: An Exploratory Study"

Anne Watson Bongiorno
"Youth Evaluation of Tobacco Prevention Advertisements: Effects of Gender, Ethnicity & Grade"

Rosemary Schleicher Fliszar
"Culture Care of Puerto Rican Elderly in a Community Setting"

Margaret Jordan Halter
"The Influence of Stigma on Help Seeking Attitudes for Depression"

Judith Johnson Hilton
"A Comparison of Folic Acid Intake Among Young Women"

Carol J. Scotto
"Factors Influencing Adherence to Prescribed Health Regimens for People with Heart Failure"

Margaret Chaney Wilson
"Health Practices of Homeless Women"

Pamela J. Woods
"The Costs and Benefits of an Academic Residency Program on New Nurse Graduates' Satisfaction and Turnover"


Donna Anderson
"The Impact of Case Management on the Elderly in a Managed Care Environment: Member Understanding and Plausible Benefit"

Jennifer Surgala Couvillon
"What is the Experience of Nursing Faculty Who Teach Online?"

Theresa Gropelli
"Family Perceptions Concerning Physical Restraint of Family Members"

Rebecca Kurtz
"The Cultural Meaning of Spirituality Among Appalachian Christian Women: An Ethnography"

Cheryl Levitt
"Maternal Role Attainment Through Intercountry Adoption"

Anna McMcManus-Gay
"From Discord to Harmony: Creating a Stepfamily Paradigm"

Mary Ellen Smith
"Bone Marrow Donations: Factors Influencing Intention in African Americans"


Geraldine Budd
"The Paradox of Health: Experience of College Aged Women with Concerns about Eating Disorders"

Lynn Ellen George
"Women’s Perspectives of Experiences Following Early Discharge after Vaginal Childbirth"

Hwey-Fang Liang
"Understanding Culture Care Practice of Caregivers of Children with Cancer in Taiwan: An Ethnonursing Study"

Christine Dorothy Meyer
"Efficacy of Acupressure Treatment at Neiguan Point with Acupressure Bands for Chemotherapy Induced Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching"

Suzanne Marie O’Connell
"The Meaning of Hope for Professed Catholic Women Religious in Their Third Age of Life"

Susan Margaret O’Toole
"Relationship of Depression and Coping to Plasma ACTH and Cortisol Measures in Men and Women: A Bio-Psychosocial Approach"

Sharon Jane Pierce Thompson
"Framing History: The Meaning Parents Ascribe to Bereavement Photographs Received Following Perinatal Loss"



Judith DePalma
"Consumers' Definition of Quality of Care"

Carolyn Blaze Masters
"An Explanation of the Phenomenon of Addiction from the Perspective of Women in Recovery"

Carl Anthony Ross
"The Cultural Meaning of Health and Well Being: An Ethnography of Rural Men"

Lynn Colletta Simko
"Quality of Life of Adults with Congenital Heart Disease"

Roberta Zolkoski
"Clean Water for Chimbote, Peru: Transcultural Nursing in Participatory Action Research"


Joyce M. Knestrick
"The Lived Experience of Women Enrolled in a Medicaid Managed Care System"

Kathrine Mary Kolanko
"A Collective Case Study of Nursing Students with Learning Disabilities"

Debra Jean Kubinski
"Cognitive Development as an Outcome Measure of a Remediation Program Provided to High-Risk Baccalaureate Nursing Students"

Elizabeth Ann Palmer
"Family Perspectives and Experiences of Having a School Age Child with Asthma"


Barbara Ann Brown
"Factors Influencing the Drafting of Advance Directives by Elders: A Quasi-Experimental Study"

Malenda Kai Smith
"Leave or Somebody is Going to Die: African American Women's Experiences with Partner Abuse"