Central Appalachian Regional Education and Resource Center (CARERC)

Occupational & Environmental Health Nursing

The CARERC program in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing (OEHN) program serves to

  • Equip nurses to lead occupational research, educational initiatives, and practice specifically focused on Central Appalachia’s industries, culture, and environment.
  • Increase the capacity of schools of nursing in the Central Appalachian region to incorporate occupational/environmental health in their curricula.
  • Enhance opportunities for outreach and education of occupational/environmental health nursing through continuing education.

Trainees enroll at an institution highly respected for its leadership in nursing education. The University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing PhD program is ranked 9th in the nation by the National Research Council (2010) and 17th in faculty scholarship out of 111 private and public PhD programs in nursing (2009 Academic Analytics, LCC Report). The UK College of Nursing Graduate Program is tied at 21st among graduate schools of nursing according to U.S. News & World Report (America’s Best Graduate Schools 2012).

The OEHN program is led by Deborah B. Reed, PhD, MSPH, RN, FAAOHN, Distinguished Service Professor and Good Samaritan Endowed Chair, UK College of Nursing. Dr. Reed was appointed a Fellow of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses in 2013 and serves on the Editorial Board of Workplace Health and Safety. Through her affiliation with the NIOSH-funded Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, Dr. Reed also leads the 5-year, multi-site project Nurses Utilizing Research, Service and Education in Applied Practice (NURSE AP).

Meet Dr. Reed

Dr. Ellen Hahn, Deputy Director of the OEHN program, was appointed a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurses in 2011. She directs the UK Clean Indoor Air Partnership (CIAP), a community engagement and dissemination research center with more than 80 community partners, as well as the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy (KCSP).

Additional research interests abound within the UK College of Nursing, making it an incubator for new initiatives. For example, the Research and Interventions for Cardiovascular Health Program (RICH Heart) led by Drs. Debra Moser and Terry Lennie, is renowned for its research and mentoring of PhD nurse scholars. The Center for Biobehavioral Research in Self-Management of Cardiopulmonary Disease focuses on building interdisciplinary research.

In addition to the distinguished leadership of Drs. Reed and Hahn et al., the OEHN program is enriched by the experience and skills of additional supporting faculty members at not only the University of Kentucky but also East Tennessee State University and other regional institutions. These include, but are not limited to

  • Joy Wachs, PhD, FNP, FAAOHN; Professor of Nursing, ETSU; voluntary faculty, UK CON. Research includes hospital safety and occupational injuries among registered nurses.
  • Nora Warshawsky, PhD, RN; Assistant Professor (UK). Research interests include nurse manager work organization and management, burnout, patient outcomes.
  • Zim Okoli, PhD, RN; Assistant Professor (UK). Research interests include physical and behavioral health risks associated with environmental tobacco smoke exposure; secondhand smoke exposure measurement, biomarkers of exposure, and public policy.
  • Terrie Lennie, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN; Associate Dean for PhD Studies (UK). Interests include self-management of cardiovascular disease.

Program Entry. Students may enter the PhD program of study via one of two paths: the traditional post MSN and the BSN-PhD. Course work of MSN students can be completed in 2 years of full-time study. Course work for the BSN-PhD option can be completed in 3 years of full-time study. The doctoral study program is planned individually with each student in consultation with a faculty mentor assigned upon admission by matching student interest with faculty research. Learning experience covers nursing philosophy and theory development, research methods, statistics, and individualized cognates based on student research interest.

Core Courses – all OEHN PhD students
Core Courses Title
Occ/Env component
CPH 620Occupational Health
CPH 699Pro seminar in Occupational Safety and Health
CPH 698Occupational Safety and Health Field Surveys
NUR 760OEHN I: Principles and Practice
NUR 761OEHN II: Research and Policy
Philosophy and Theory
NUR 770 or PHI 560Philosophy of Scientific Method
NUR 778Pro Seminar in Contemporary Health & Nursing Policy Issues
NUR 790Knowledge Development in Nursing
Research Methods
NUR 771Research Residency
NUR 779Doctoral Seminar (repeated for a total of three semesters)
NUR 791Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research
NUR 792Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research
NUR 793Measurement of Nursing Phenomena
NUR 794Analysis, Interpretation and Presentation of Quantitative Data
STA 570Basic Statistical Analysis
STA 671Regression and Correlation
STA 672Design and Analysis of Experiments

Requirements for admission include a baccalaureate or Master’s degree from an accredited National League for Nursing or CCNE program, 3 references and 2 faculty interviews, a goal statement, and admission to the UK Graduate School. Selection is made by the PhD committee. For OEHN PhD applicants, the interviews are conducted by two members of the OEHN faculty.

NIOSH funds are used to support up to 3 PhD trainees each year; e.g., tuition and health insurance, limited stipends (full-time students only), and travel for scientific and professional conferences and research and training opportunities.

For more information contact
Deborah B. Reed, PhD, MSPH, RN, FAAOHN
Distinguished Service Professor and Good Samaritan Endowed Chair
University of Kentucky
College of Nursing
Room 553 CON Building
Lexington, KY 40536-0232