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, R.N., Ph.D., M.A., F.A.A.N., F.P.C.N., C.H.P.N. has been in nursing for 40 years. Her clinical expertise and research are focused on pain management, quality of life and palliative care.
Ferrell is the director of the Division of Nursing Research and Education and a professor at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and her publications have appeared in more than 400 peer-reviewed journals and texts. 
She is principal investigator of a research project funded by the National Cancer Institute on “Palliative Care for Patients with Solid Tumors on Phase 1 Clinical Trials,” and is principal investigator for the “End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC)” project. She directs several other funded projects related to palliative care in cancer centers and quality of life issues. She was co-chairperson of the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care.  
Ferrell completed a master’s degree in theology, ethics and culture from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. She has authored 11 books, including the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing, published by Oxford University Press (4th edition published in 2015). She is co-author of The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing (Oxford University Press, 2008) and Making Health Care Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care (Templeton Press, 2010). 
In 2013, Ferrell was named as one of “30 Visionaries” in the field by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


  • 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.

  • 2018, Graduation speaker for the Loma Linda University School of Nursing
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