February 2022


January PhD Open House

 On behalf of the UF College of Nursing, we would like to thank everyone who attended our second PhD Open House. It was a pleasure to meet all of our prospective PhD students. Stay tuned for an announcement about our next edition!

If you could not make January's event and are interested in watching a recording, click here.


Here are some responses to "Frequently Asked Questions" from our last two Open House sessions!

What funding opportunities are available for students?

All of our PhD students receive some form of funding. Federal loans and financial aid are available for the fall, spring and summer semesters for graduate students. Multiple scholarships and assistantships are available and more information can be found here.

What is the time commitment? 

The PhD program is a full-time commitment. Students will be expected to participate in research and classwork on a weekly basis. For an example PhD class schedule for the fall, spring and summer semesters, visit here.

How do I apply?

To apply, all applicants must submit the University of Florida Graduate Program Application AND submit a NursingCAS application.

For complete information on how to apply, please visit the BSN to PhD or MSN to PhD homepage.

When are applications due?

Preference is given to applicants who submit all application materials by March 1, 2022.

After March 1, applications will be accepted on a space-available basis until the final application deadline of June 1, 2022. International applicants should apply as soon as possible to permit adequate time for processing.


My Life as a Gator Nursing PhD Student

Third-year PhD student Hussah Bubshait, MSN, RN, shared a little about her time in the program as a nurse researcher and parent to two toddlers.

Research Interests: Breastfeeding, Maternal mental health, 'Kangaroo care,' (a method of holding a baby that involves skin-to-skin contact), lactation outcomes

Mentor: Leslie Parker, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, FAAN

"I chose the UF College of Nursing for three reasons:

First, the study plan that is offered by the college. Being in the program three years, I have found that it has all  the education and training I need to be a successful, independent researcher in the future. 

Second, I want to study at the best school possible. I knew that earning a PhD degree from a top-ranked university would open doors to interesting places in the future. 

Third, some of my friends were studying at the university and they gave me lots of useful information about the school, the teachers and life in Gainesville. I just love the good things they said, which makes me proud to be part of this community. 

I always challenge myself to succeed and never give up. I have two children: Yahya, my son, and Haya, my daughter. I gave birth to my second child only 10 days before starting the PhD program. 

As a PhD student and a mother, my day is full of responsibilities. I spend a chunk of my time reading on my research area and working on my dissertation proposal. I can't spend a long time in the library, but I manage between housework, kids and schoolwork. Schedules are a huge part of my life in order to get everything done!"



Why I Chose A UF Nursing PhD

Second-year PhD student Caroline Deaterly, joined us to share how her mentorship experience shaped her journey to become a Gator Nurse scientist.

Watch Caroline's Story



PhD Faculty Profile

We caught up with Ellen Terry, PhD, assistant professor in the Biobehavioral Nursing Science Department at the UF College of Nursing. Her research interests involve investigating the influence of cognitive and emotional factors (e.g., pain catastrophizing, negative affect) on pain and pain processing.

How long have you been at the College of Nursing?

I have been at the College of Nursing since 2019.

Why did you decide to go into research?

As an undergraduate, I sought research experience under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Gatchel and received exposure to the biopsychosocial model of pain.  This model helped shape my conceptualization of pain by having a deeper appreciation of the physiological, psychological and social/environmental factors that contribute to and influence how pain is processed and perceived.  During my mentorship under Dr. Gatchel, I participated in clinical research and examined the efficacy of the biopsychosocial approach when treating chronic musculoskeletal pain (e.g., chronic spinal disorder).  Because of this, I became aware of the importance of research in informing the efficacy of treatments in clinical practice, as well as the positive impact that evidence-based treatments have on patients’ pain perception, psychological health and quality of life. 

What drew you to your area of research?

Because of the magnitude of pain as a public health problem, there is an urgent need to develop treatments to reduce pain using self-management strategies. This is particularly important for vulnerable populations, who tend to be under-represented in clinical trials and often have less access to effective pain therapies.

What are you currently working on?

I am conducting a cognitive-behavioral study designed to reduce pain catastrophizing (the tendency to ruminate about pain and to feel helpless to cope with pain) in older African American and non-Hispanic white adults with knee osteoarthritis.  This study will determine whether pain catastrophizing contributes to ethnic group differences in pain-related brain function, clinical pain and pain sensitivity, as well as whether this type of intervention can positively influence pain-related brain function. Ultimately, this project is a critical step toward facilitating an independent program of research focusing on developing culturally appropriate evidence-based behavioral interventions aimed at normalizing pain-related brain responses to help improve clinical outcomes, including pain and pain-related disability, in older racial and ethnic minorities with chronic pain. 

A fun fact about you?

I played basketball almost daily from age 10 to about age 20!


Miracle Worker

To double Gator Nurse alumna, patient care means more than holding a hand at the bedside. Her dedication to her patients transforms lives, one child at a time. Godwin works at the UF Health Center of Pediatric Neuromuscular and Rare Diseases to help develop new ways to care for patients with neuromuscular and rare disorders and connect patient with cutting-edge clinical research opportunities.

Her most rewarding role is the work she performs to make sure patients with SMA or other neuromuscular illnesses receive lifesaving treatment – without delay.

Read more


To learn more about the University of Florida College of Nursing's PhD programs, including faculty mentors and admissions information, visit here or contact Mailing Pauzauskie at mpauzauskie@ufl.edu!


Current PhD students, if you have information for Discover Magazine, submit it to Kyle Chambers at kylechambers61@ufl.edu!


Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!