Dr. Cardoza ’11 graduated as the first Ph.D. recipient since the reinstatement of Adelphi's Ph.D. program in nursing.

SON’s First Ph.D. of Nursing Graduate

By Rebecca Benison

Adelphi’s reinstatement of the Ph.D. degree program in nursing has reached its first milestone, with Maureen Cardoza ’11 graduating as the School of Nursing’s first Ph.D. recipient in May 2011.

“My acceptance into the first cohort of nursing Ph.D. students in 2006 was an honor,” says Dr. Cardoza. “The most defining moment was when the Adelphi University IRB [Institutional Review Board] approved my research proposal, which enabled me to begin my research study.”

Dr. Cardoza’s study focused on variables associated with people who have elective, nontraumatic total hip replacements. Her research involved examining patients in two stages, preoperative and six weeks postoperative. Specifically, she measured their levels of self-efficacy, pain, and functional ability. “The results of this study indicated that total hip replacement patients are not fully aware preoperatively of what they may encounter following total hip replacement surgery,” she says. Even so, the patients’ ultimate relief from pain seemed to vastly improve their quality of life. “Participants reported sustained self-efficacy within the six week post-operative timeframe despite a decrease in their functional ability—which is encouraging,” she says, “considering the prolonged rehabilitation period following hip replacements continues for as long as one year.” So while patients’ range of motion may be limited, they are able to fulfill most, if not all, daily tasks.

An assistant professor at the New York Institute of Technology’s School of Health Professions, Department of Nursing, Dr. Cardoza says that even though the project is now complete, she will continue to explore issues that impact the quality of life for aging individuals. Her dedication to the field of nursing and sharing of knowledge have contributed greatly to Dr. Cardoza’s impressive accomplishments, which include presenting her research at the International Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning. She credits her success to the support of two SON faculty, Dr. William

Daniel Roberts and Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Director Patricia Donohue-Porter—both mentors who helped to frame her research and navigate the dissertation process.

“I am quite proud of Dr. Cardoza’s accomplishments,” says Dr. Donohue-Porter. “Her doctoral dissertation will contribute to advancing the nursing care of patients undergoing hip replacement, and will impact the nursing practice.”

Adelphi’s first Ph.D. degree program in nursing (1982–2002) graduated 153 nursing leaders. In 2006, the program was reinstated, and Dr. Cardoza was among the first group of accepted students. Currently, there are 22 students enrolled in the program, which prepares the next wave of creative thinkers, teachers, and leaders who will contribute to and enhance the future of healthcare.

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