Cheryl Petersen, PhD RNClinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Cheryl Petersen has worked in the field of pediatrics for 23 years. Her experience caring for loved ones living and dying from cancer, as well as her passion for oncology research, led her to pursue doctoral education. Dr. Petersen's dissertation research focused on the theory-based design and evaluation of an online spiritual care educational program that was developed with a team of interdisciplinary professionals to address the spiritual needs of children with cancer and their families.

Dr. Petersen has received a multitude of prestigious national honors for this work, including two American Cancer Society awards, a Schmitt Leadership Fellowship, and a Tylenol Future Care Scholar Award in which she was chosen from over 50,000 applicants from the fields of nursing, medicine, and other health care fields. She is extraordinarily proud that nurse members of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) from around the world participated in this research, in which nurses' completed an online program that integrated evidence-based approaches to spiritual care education. Nurses' levels of knowledge, attitudes, and spiritual care competence were evaluated before, after, and three months after completion of the program, with statistically significant results and very large effect sizes noted over time.