Center for Nursing Excellencein Palliative Care

Mission Statement:

Improvingpalliative care for patients with life-threatening illness across the lifespanand their families by generating palliative nursing leaders through education,practice, and research.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and facilitating patient autonomy, access to information, and choice (National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, 2013).

What is Palliative Nursing?

Palliative nursing is an evidence-based nursing practice that includes the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of human responses to actual or potential life-limiting illness within the context of a dynamic caring relationship with the patient and family, in order to reduce or relieve suffering and optimize health. The essence of palliative nursing is honoring the individual patient in her or his journey; attending to psychological responses to the end of life, social and cultural factors, and spiritual aspects of care.


Professor & Edith F. Honeycutt Endowed Chair in Nursing 

Director, Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care
Debbie A.
Fuld palliative care fellowship program co-directors
Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship Program Co-Director

Center Coordinator

Center Coordinator


Advancing Knowledge to Improve Health Outcomes

Current Nursing Research in the Areas of Palliative Care

  • End-of-life communication, treatment decision making, and surrogate decision making
  • Quality of life
  • Symptom science
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Family caregiving
  • Palliative care integration into advanced illness management


Carolina Gustafson

Carolina is a current first year PhD student interested in end-of-life and palliative care interventions for young adult patients and their families in critical care settings. Currently she is studying the experiences of young adults with cystic fibrosis with a focus on palliative care and advanced care planning and transitions from pediatric to adult care. She graduated with her MSN from the Yale School of Nursing in 2018 as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner where her master’s thesis examined the palliative and end-of-life experiences of Muslim oncology patients. Her undergraduate degree was in Science, Technology, and Society with a focus on gender and science. She wrote her senior thesis on the gendered history of nursing through the lens of the development of hospice in America as a nurse-led movement.

Naziya Noorani

Naziya is a current PhD student interested in palliative care and quality of life outcomes of patients with end stage renal disease who are receiving dialysis. Currently, she is studying the influence of symptoms, functional status, and social vulnerability on the healthcare use of patients receiving dialysis. She received her BSN from Emory University in 2016 and her MSN in Nursing Education from Duke University in 2019.


Haerim Lee

Haerim is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care and received her PhD in Nursing (with a focus on oncology symptom science.) She earned her PhD from Emory University and her MSN and BSN from Seoul National University, South Korea. Her program of research seeks to address cancer-and treatment-related symptoms and optimize sexual health and the quality of life in individuals with cancer no matter where they are in the phase of illness. Her dissertation study examined sexual dysfunction and its association with obesity and the gut microbiome pre- and post-radiotherapy in women with gynecologic cancer, and her current research is focused on improving sexual health in older adults with cancer.

Palliative Care Pilot & Dissertation Research Grant Program

This program is to fertilize innovation in palliative care research and help accelerate development of palliative care research programs for junior investigators and student researchers. A call for proposal is announced annually.

Previous recipients of Pilot Grant:

  • Examining the Relationship between Economic Hardship and Quality of Life in the Outpatient Oncology Palliative Care Setting: A Pilot Study
    Sarah Belcher, PhD, RN, OCN
    Kate Yeager, PhD, RN, FAAN

Fuld Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program

Annually, the Center invites an eminent scholar in the fields of palliative care to inspire faculty, students, and local healthcare communities with a vision of excellence in palliative care education, practice, and research. This event typically occurs in April.

2023 Fuld Distinguished scholar:

Dr. Salimah Meghani
Faculty at Penn Nursing

Dr. Megahni at the University of Pennsylvania has been invited to visit Emory University in April (4/18 to 4/19), 2023. She is a renowned palliative care researcher specialized in pain and symptom management in the context of social inequality and disparities.

Salimah has a long-standing commitment to advancing the field of palliative care. Between 2005-2007, she served on the Taskforce to Improve Quality at the End of Life for Pennsylvanians and Patient Life-Sustaining Wishes Advisory Committee to assess the feasibility of POLST paradigm in Pennsylvania. Between 2012-2014.


Building Competences and Leadership

Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship Program

The Fuld Fellowship Program in Palliative Care was established in 2015 with generous gifts from the Fuld Trust. The goal of this program is to prepare nursing students to be leaders in improving quality of life for people with serious illnesses and their families by focused palliative care education, interdisciplinary practice, and research activities in their nursing curriculum. The program is led by co-directors, Shella Chawda, NP, and Debbie Gunter, FNP-BC, ACHPN, who are dedicated to nursing excellence in palliative care education and practice.

For more information about this program visit the Fuld Palliative Care Scholarship Page

Fuld Palliative Care Fellow Students

7th Cohort (2021-2022)

Ashley Rose is an MN+MSN student from Richmond, Virginia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia in 2017 and a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from Emory University in 2020. Ashley plans to become a Family Nurse Practitioner and looks forward to incorporating palliative care knowledge developed through the Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship into her nursing practice by providing patient-centered compassionate and supportive care to outpatient oncology patients and their families.
Kendra Taylor is a second-degree MN+MSN student originally from central Pennsylvania and will graduate in 2023. She comes to Emory after working in the public and private sectors in municipal and education policy and deciding that she wanted to change her career to one where she could work more directly with people. As a future family nurse practitioner, Kendra hopes to work in palliative care after graduation and return to her roots in a rural area.
Kristie Erin
A career-changer, Erin moved to Atlanta for nursing school after over a decade as an actor in Los Angeles! Her undergraduate degree was a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Case Western Reserve University, but when COVID-19 swept the world in 2020, she gained the clarity and courage to make a long-desired pivot to healthcare. Having lost her father in 2015 following a 7-year journey with esophageal cancer, palliative care has been near and dear to her heart for a long time; reading about Emory’s Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care is what influenced her to apply to a school on the opposite end of the country. Erin is on the Family Nurse Practitioner track and finds herself drawn to oncology, neurology, and orthopedics. She is especially interested in patient advocacy, bioethics, and the integration of palliative care for high quality of life and “good death”. She can think of no better use of her background in the arts than to apply her empathy and communication skills to help chronically and terminally ill patients and their families find comfort. Outside of nursing, Erin can be found baking, hiking, swimming, playing her autoharp, exploring the live music and theatre scene, and spending time with her fiancé and two sweet cats.

Past Cohorts

6th Cohort (2020-2021)
Nicole Alexander, Bobby Antalek

5th Cohort (2019-2020)
Ashley Cohen, Calla Michalak

4th Cohort (2018-2019)
Haley Lynn, Hannah Spero

3rd Cohort  (2017-2018)
Rachel Behrend, Emily Buzhardt

2nd Cohort  (2016-2017)
Maggie Carrillo

1st Cohort (2015-216)
Andrea Brubaker, Phillip Dillard, Allysa Rueschenberg

Fuld Palliative Care Monthly Seminars

July 2022 through June 2023
2nd Wednesday/Monthly

  • July 2022
    Palliative Care – What Is It and Who Is It For?
    Introduction to palliative care principles and practice
  • August 2022
    Hospice Care – What Is It and Who Is It For?
    Introduction to hospice care, levels of care, eligibility
  • September 2022
    Palliative Care – Communication is Key
    Palliative communication principles, “ask then tell,” “I wish” statements
  • October 2022
    Integrating Palliative Care into Primary Care
    Discussion regarding how to incorporate palliative care into the Primary Care Clinic
  • November 2022
    Palliative Care in the Transplant Population
    Discuss how palliative care principles can be part of the transplant world
  • December 2022
    No Seminar - Winter Holiday
  • January 11, 2023
    Advance Care Planning – Goals of Care
    What are goals of care? How to discuss?
  • February 8, 2023
    Legal and Ethical Aspects
    What are Advance care documents – POLST, POAHC, DNR 
  • March 2023
    No Seminar – Spring Break
  • April 12, 2023
    Palliative Care in the Neurologically Impaired Population
    Integration of palliative care principles in patients with Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and ALS 
  • May 10, 2023
    No Seminar Semester Over
  • June 14, 2023
    Palliative Care Wrap-Up
    Thoughts and Reflections


Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Emory University
1520 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-4027
Room 324

Felecia L. Stevenson
Program Coordinator/ Center for Palliative Care
Cell: 404-901-4280
Tel: 404-712-9909

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