Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., M.A., F.A.A.N., F.P.C.N.

  • Director and Professor, Division of Nursing Research and Education, Department of Population Sciences

Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., M.A., F.A.A.N., F.P.C.N.

Research Focus :
  • Pallative Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Pain Management
  • End-of-Life Care
  • Interprofessional Education

Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., has been in nursing for more than 37 years and has focused her clinical expertise and research in pain management, quality of life, and palliative care. Dr. Ferrell is the Director in the Division of Nursing Research and Education and a Professor in the Department of Population Sciences within Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope.

In 2013, Dr. Ferrell was named one of the 30 Visionaries in the field by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and she has over 350 publications in peer-reviewed journals and texts. She is Principal Investigator of a Program funded by the National Cancer Institute on “Palliative Care for Quality of Life and Symptom Concerns in Lung Cancer” and Principal Investigator of the “End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC)” project.

She directs several other funded projects related to palliative care in cancer centers and QOL issues. Dr. Ferrell is a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and was Chairperson of the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. Dr. Ferrell completed a Masters degree in Theology, Ethics and Culture from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. She has authored nine books including her latest book Communication in Palliative Nursing (Oxford University Press, 2013). Other titles include: Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing, 4th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2015), Making Health Care Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care (Templeton Press, 2010), and The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing (Oxford University Press, 2008).


  • 2007, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA., M.A., Theology/Ethics/Culture
  • 1984, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX., Ph.D., Nursing
  • 1980, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK., M.S., Nursing
  • 1977, Central State University, Edmond, OK., B.S., Nursing

My research program includes areas of quality of life (QOL), pain management and palliative care.  In the area of QOL, we are currently exploring QOL concerns in studies of Lung Cancer and in Ovarian Cancer. We are also evaluating QOL concerns in both patients and their family caregivers as they receive chemotherapy through clinical trails.  This project Simultaneous Care evaluates needs during active treatment and ways to best offer support.

In 2005, we launched a new project funded by the National Cancer Institute on Barriers to Pain and Fatigue Management.  In the area of palliative and end of life care, over the past 5 years we have trained more than 2,600 nurses through our End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project.  This national project includes education in several targeted groups including pediatrics, nursing faculty in undergraduate and graduate programs, and oncology nursing.

Information listed here is obtained from Pubmed, a public database; City of Hope is not responsible for its accuracy.

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