Released on December 14, 2023

As a patient and nurse, Karenna Thatcher ’17MSN knows firsthand the power of empathy in healthcare and is using that insight to help enhance the patient experience at one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems.

Karenna Thatcher '17MSN '23DNP stands outside AdventHealth
Karenna Thatcher ’17MSN (Photo by Dana Saccoccio)

Is empathy something that’s just nice to have or is it essential to providing quality care? That’s the question Karenna Thatcher ’17MSN asked a few years ago at the start of her doctoral program at UCF.

The answer, she found out, is that not only is empathy essential to quality care, it also can be learned and improved upon, which was the basis of her quality improvement project for the Nurse Executive Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at UCF’s College of Nursing.

When Thatcher walks across the stage at UCF commencement on Friday, her UCF project will be taking the next step too — as it’s currently contributing to a potential new systemwide learning experience at AdventHealth.

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