A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Nursing Research and Education

Nursing Research and Education
The Division of Nursing Research and Education is nationally renowned for its collaborative, multidisciplinary scientific studies on oncology care. The research program is organized around two major themes: quality of life and symptom management. Studies range from diagnosis and treatment to survivorship and end-of-life care, providing valuable insights in cancer control and population science. Research conducted by this division has improved the care delivered to patients throughout the nation.
Research Objectives
  • Conducting collaborative research studies on quality of life and/or symptom management in City of Hope’s targeted areas: prostate, colorectal,pancreatic, ovarian,breast and lung cancers; leukemia, lymphoma and other hematologic disorders.
  • Providing nursing research presence and expertise at all Cancer Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee and Institutional Review Board meetings.
  • Exploring strategies for nurse retention, with an emphasis on decreasing the stress of working with a cancer patient population.
  • Expanding research participation and evidence-based practice activities toward achieving Magnet Status criteria.
  • Disseminating findings of research studies, including information available on palliative/end-of-life care and survivorship, to those at City of Hope and throughout the United States.
Programs for Health Professionals
City of Hope’s Division of Nursing Research and Education conducts interdisciplinary research organized around the quality of life and symptom management of oncology patients. Multiple courses are offered throughout the year to health professionals from across the country.

Current Research

Goal 1
Describe the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on quality of life and symptoms in cancer patients throughout the trajectory of disease.
Ongoing studies include:
  • Describing quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors with stomas
  • Describing illness perception, pain and symptom distress in gastrointestinal cancers

Goal 2
Test interventions to improve quality of life and symptom management for cancer patients from diagnosis and throughout treatment, survivorship and end of life care.
Ongoing studies include:
  • Palliative care for patients with all stages of lung cancer
  • Support for family caregivers
  • Palliative care for patients in Phase 1 clinical trials
  • Use of technology to deliver communication training
  • Survivorship care planning in gastrointestinal and lung cancers
  • Comprehensive program to support recovery for patients and informal caregivers after thoracic surgery

Goal 3
Develop and disseminate curricula on palliative/end-of-life care and survivorship for health professions involved in cancer patient care.
Ongoing studies include:
  • Disseminating the end-of-life curriculum for nursing faculty and clinical nurses
  • Disseminating and evaluating survivorship education for multidisciplinary teams caring from cancer patients
  • Disseminating and evaluating transdisciplinary palliative care education for psycho-oncology professionals
  • Communication skills for oncology nurses and other professionals
  • Interprofessional team training for palliative-care communication
City of Hope's Breakthroughs blog has featured articles on the study of palliative care for lung cancer patients, our caregiver study and an most recently an Institute of Medicine Report  and video about delivering high quality cancer care for patients and thier families.

Upcoming Conferences

National ELNEC Courses: 
For more information about ELNEC & registration, please visit www.aacn.nche.edu/elnec *Indicates that course will be offered and sponsored by Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA)
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Feb. 27-28, 2014: Glendale, CA
  • June 26-27, 2014: Washington, DC
  • April 10-11, 2014: Dallas, TX
  • *June 18-19, 2014: St. Paul, MN
  • *July 29-30, 2014: Washington, DC
  • *Oct. 20-22, 2014: Orlando, FL
  • April 10-11, 2014: Dallas, TX
  • *July 29-30, 2014: Chicago, IL
  • April 10-11, 2014: Dallas, TX
ELNEC-Critical Care
  • April 10-11, 2014: Dallas, TX
ELNEC-Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)
  • May 7-8, 2014: Durham, NC
  • Aug. 21-22, 2014: Portland, OR
Further Educational Opportunities
ExCEL In Social Work: Excellence in Cancer Education & Leadership
For more information and to apply, visit the course website or contact, Maggie Johnson: ExCEL@coh.org 626-256-4673 ext. 63202
Stress, Self-Care, and Well-Being for Nurses
This two-day seminar will provide didactic and experiential learning opportunities presented by nationally known faculty members to nurses at all levels of the organization and across all specialties.  The content will focus on stress and its effects, individually oriented self-care techniques, strategies for promoting self-care in the workplace, and techniques that promote nurses well-being.  Nursing leaders will find approaches presented in implementing pro-active self-care programs in the workplace. Contact, Licet Garcia: ligarcia@coh.org 626-256-4673 ext. 63130.
Clinical Trials Training
Contact: Liz Gourdine, mgourdine@coh.org 626-256-4673 ext. 63488.
  • June 5-6, 2014: Monrovia, CA
Spiritual Care at the Heart of Patient-Centered Care
This two day course will provide transdisciplinary healthcare professionals the opportunity to focus on aspects of spiritual care needs of patients throughout the trajectory of illness, as well as address their own spiritual care needs. This conference will focus on providing insight and strategies for better spiritual care of patients in the areas of communication, pediatrics, social work and chaplaincy, palliative medicine, psychology, survivorship, soul pain, prisons and, other cultures.  Also covered are issues of forgiveness, anger with God, and a physician’s personal insight into her own spiritual needs as a patient and how that ultimately affected her practice. Contact, Yvonne Rodriguez: yvrodriguez@coh.org 626-256-4673 ext. 62987.
Preparing Professional Nurses for Cancer Survivorship Care
Visit the course website. or contact: Liz Gourdine: mgourdine@coh.org 626-256-4673 ext. 63488.
Pain Resource Nurse (PRN) Training Course
Visit the course website. and contact: Maggie Johnson, mjohnson@coh.org 626-256-4673 ext. 63202.
  • September 17-19, 2014: Duarte, CA

Research Staff

Administrative Staff

Current NRE Programs for Health Professionals

Recognized nationwide for its innovative biomedical research, City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute is home to some of the most tenacious and creative minds in science.
City of Hope has a long-standing commitment to Continuing Medical Education (CME), sharing advances in cancer research and treatment with the health-care community through CME courses such as conferences, symposia and other on and off campus CME opportunities for medical professionals.
City of Hope is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country, the highest designation awarded by the National Cancer Institute to institutions that lead the way in cancer research, treatment, prevention and professional education.
Students and professionals at City of Hope can access a plethora of medical databases, scientific journals, course materials, special collections, and other useful resources at our 12,000 square foot Lee Graff Library.
Media Inquiries/Social Media

For media inquiries contact:

Dominique Grignetti


For sponsorships inquiries please contact:

Stefanie Sprester

Christine Nassr

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Blog
  • For breast cancer survivors, a common worry is a recurrence of their cancer. Currently, these patients are screened with regular mammograms, but there’s no way to tell who is more likely to have a recurrence and who is fully cleared of her cancer. A new blood test – reported in Cancer Research, a journal of the...
  • Metastasis — the spreading of cancer cells from a primary tumor site to other parts of the body — generally leads to poorer outcomes for patients, so oncologists and researchers are constantly seeking new ways to detect and thwart this malicious process. Now City of Hope researchers may have identified a substa...
  • Deodorant, plastic bottles, grilled foods, artificial sweeteners, soy products … Do any of these products really cause cancer? With so many cancer myths and urban legends out there, why not ask the experts? They can debunk cancer myths while sharing cancer facts that matter, such as risk factors, preventi...
  • Cancer risk varies by ethnicity, as does the risk of cancer-related death. But the size of those differences can be surprising, highlighting the health disparities that exist among various ethnic groups in the United States. Both cancer incidence and death rates for men are highest among African-Americans, acco...
  • George Winston, known worldwide for his impressionistic, genre-defying music, considers music to be his first language, and admits he often stumbles over words – especially when he attempts languages other than English. There’s one German phrase he’s determined to perfect, however: danke schön. Winston thinks h...
  • Few decisions are more important than those involving health care, and few decisions can have such lasting impact, not only on oneself but on relatives and loved ones. Those choices, especially, should be made in advance – carefully, deliberately, free of pain and stress, and with much weighing of values and pr...
  • Using a card game to make decisions about health care, especially as those decisions relate to the end of life, would seem to be a poor idea. It isn’t. The GoWish Game makes those overwhelming, but all-important decisions not just easy, but natural. On each card of the 36-card deck is listed what seriously ill,...
  • Young adults and adolescents with cancer face unique challenges both during their treatment and afterward. Not only are therapies for children and older adults not always appropriate for them, they also must come to terms with the disease and treatment’s impact on their relationships, finances, school or ...
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among women in the United States. It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer. In the past several years, various task force recommendations and studies have questioned the benefits of broad screening guidelines fo...
  • Paternal age and the health effects it has on potential offspring have been the focus of many studies, but few have examined the effect parental age has on the risk of adult-onset hormone-related cancers (breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer). A team of City of Hope researchers, lead by Yani Lu,...
  • Hormone therapy, which is prescribed to women for relief of menopausal symptoms such hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, has recently seen a decline in popularity (and use) due to its link to an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. But City of Hope researchers have found that menopausal h...
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms can’t be narrowed down to a single cancer, but they can be described by a defining characteristic: too many blood cells. The diseases bring with them a host of frustrating, potentially life-altering symptoms, and management of the diseases and their symptoms is crucial. An upcoming ...
  • More than 18,000 researchers, clinicians, advocates and other professionals will convene at the 105th American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting taking place in San Diego from April 5 to 9. With more than 6,000 findings being presented over this five-day period, the amount of information can...
  • Cancer of the prostate is the No. 2 cancer killer of men, behind lung cancer, accounting for more than 29,000 deaths annually in this country. But because prostate cancer advances slowly, good prostate health and early detection can make all the difference. Many prostate cancer tumors don’t require immedi...
  • Despite advances made in detecting and treating nonsmall cell lung cancer, its prognosis remains grim. Even patients whose cancers are caught at their earliest stage have only a 50 percent chance of five-year survival. This poor prognosis is due in part to the cancer’s ability to resist treatment, renderi...