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National Expert on End-Of-Life Nursing Care to Speak
at Conference Sponsored by Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

February 15, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or

ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing will host a conference on end-of-life care Friday, March 18, in the Trustees Dining Room on the University’s Atlanta campus.  The conference will feature presentations by one of the leading experts in palliative care nursing, Dr. Betty Ferrell. The conference, titled “Bearing Witness to the Suffering of Others,” is open to all members of the nursing, theology, pharmacy and medical professions. In addition, nurses who attend may receive 4.5 contact hours on palliative care from the Georgia Nurses Association.

“Dr. Ferrell will illuminate the challenges those in the healing professions grapple with in providing compassionate care for individuals who are suffering,” said Dr. Susan S. Gunby, professor at the College and member of the committee that organized the conference. “She is a world-renowned nurse scientist and scholar who will enlighten the audience’s understanding of the true nature of suffering and how to utilize compassionate communication in rendering care. A significant part of Dr. Ferrell’s presentation will focus on the spiritual dimensions inherent within the provision of palliative care.”

Dr. Ferrell has been an oncology nursing for 33 years and has focused her clinical experience and research on pain management, quality of life and palliative care.  Dr. Ferrell is a research scientist at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is principal investigator of a project funded by the National Cancer Institute on “Palliative Care for Quality of Life and Symptom Concerns in Lung Cancer” and principal investigator of the “End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium” project. 

Dr. Ferrell is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals and texts. She has written or co-written eight books, including the Textbook of Palliative Nursing Care, now in its third edition, and she is co-author of the text, The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing published in 2008 by Oxford University Press and Making Health Care Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care (Templeton Press, 2010). In addition to her education as a nurse, Dr. Ferrell completed a master’s degree in theology, ethics and culture from Claremont Graduate University in 2007.

The conference is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and consists of three sessions on palliative and end-of-life care. At 9:15 a.m., Dr. Ferrell will give a presentation titled “The Nature of Suffering.” Then, at 11 a.m., she will give a presentation titled “Compassionate Communication.” Following lunch, she will give a presentation titled “Palliative Health Care Professionals as Spiritual Care Providers.” The event will conclude with a book signing and reception with Dr. Ferrell.

The cost of the conference is $50 by Feb. 15 and $75 thereafter, with a discount for Mercer faculty, staff and students. For more information on the conference, visit Contact Judy Mosteller at the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at (678) 547-6793 or for more information.

About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 108-year history, the College has graduated more than 6,600 nurses. Since its founding, the College has been dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in Nursing.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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