A world-class city filled with art and culture and an incredible campus that offers cutting edge resources–that’s what students receive at Penn Nursing. And that’s just the start. Penn Nursing and the wider university offer something for everyone, as well as a lifelong community.

Penn Nursing is globally known for educating dynamic nurses—because our School values evidence-based science and health equity. That’s where our expertise lies, whether in research, practice, community health, or beyond. Everything we do upholds a through-line of innovation, encouraging our exceptional students, alumni, and faculty share their knowledge and skills to reshape health care.

Penn Nursing students are bold and unafraid, ready to embrace any challenge that comes their way. Whether you are exploring a career in nursing or interested in advancing your nursing career, a Penn Nursing education will help you meet your goals and become an innovative leader, prepared to change the face of health and wellness.

Penn Nursing is the #1-ranked nursing school in the world. Its highly-ranked programs help develop highly-skilled leaders in health care who are prepared to work alongside communities to tackle issues of health equity and social justice to improve health and wellness for everyone.

Penn Nursing’s rigorous academic curricula are taught by world renowned experts, ensuring that students at every level receive an exceptional Ivy League education. From augmented reality classrooms and clinical simulations to coursework that includes experiential global travel to clinical placements in top notch facilities, a Penn Nursing education prepares our graduates to lead.

Improving Patient Experiences in Cancer Clinical Trials

Cancer clinical trials (CCTs) provide patients an opportunity to receive experimental drugs, tests, and/or procedures that can lead to remissions. For some, a CCT may seem like their only option. Yet little is known about the experiences of patient participants who withdraw from CCTs.

August 11, 2021
Photograph by Eric Sucar
Photograph by Eric Sucar

Now, a first-of-its-kind study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) helps to clarify the post-trial needs of these patients and define what constitutes responsible transitions when patients exit CCTs.

“Understanding the post-trial needs of patients with cancer and their families represents a measure of ethical respect of the many contributions that patients with cancer make to advancing our scientific knowledge and finding treatments that save lives,” says Connie M. Ulrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Lillian S. Brunner Chair in Medical and Surgical Nursing, Professor of Nursing, Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and lead investigator. The study, “Experiences of Patients After Withdrawal from Cancer Clinical Trials” is set for publication on the JAMA Network.

The study highlighted three important points:

  • Patients exiting CCTs feel intense symptoms, emotions, and awareness that their life spans are short and options seem limited.
  • Limited discussions with exiting patients about their immediate post-trial care needs leave many feeling that there is no clear path forward.
  • Good communication that deliberately includes attention to post-trial needs throughout the CCT is needed to help scared and disappointed patients navigate their next steps.

Co-authors of the article include four from Penn Nursing: Anessa Foxwell, MSN, CRNP, ACHPN, GNu; Deborah Tiller; Therese Richmond, PhD, RN, FAAN, Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation; and Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health. Other co-authors include Kathleen Knafl, of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Qiuping Zhou, of the School of Nursing at George Washington University; Cynthia Paidipati, of the School of Nursing at Loyola University; Sarah Ratcliffe, of the University of Virginia; Gwenyth Wallen and Christine Grady, both of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center; Thomas Gordon, of the University of Massachusetts; and Victoria Miller, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Ulrich is supported in part by grant R01CA196131 from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Ratcliffe is supported in part by grant R01NR014865 from the NIH. Foxwell is supported in part by grant T32NR009356 from the NIH and the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health.

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