A nurse researcher for more than two decades, Professor Donna Felber Neff focuses her research on understanding determinants of patient outcomes and identifying leverage points for improving patient care systems primarily with older adult populations. In a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for example, Neff examined how access to primary care from advanced practice registered nurses in underserved areas is affected by state nurse practitioner policies and regulations. Currently, she is collaborating with researchers from two other Florida universities on a nearly $2 million NIH-funded study to establish the Florida Registry for Aging Studies. The three-year effort seeks to establish a population of diverse older adults who are able and willing to participate in funded clinical research studies, and is examining intergenerational influence to recruit and enroll participants. Neff is also an expert in survey development and administration, big data analysis and nurse recruitment.

  • PhD, Case Western Reserve University
  • MSN, The University of Akron
  • BSN, The University of Akron
  • ADNS, Erie Community College
Selected Editorial Activities
  • Associate Editor, Nursing2022
  • Research Coordinator, Nursing2022
  • Associate Editor, Issues in Mental Health Nursing
  • Reviewer, Research in Nursing & Health
Selected Award & Honors
  • Women’s History Month Honoree, UCF Faculty Excellence, 2021
  • Research Excellence Award, Florida Organization of Nurse Executives, 2014
  • University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, 2013
  • Distinguished Scholar and Fellow, National Academy of Practice, 2010
Selected Professional Activities
  • Board of Directors, American Association of Colleges of Nursing Research Leadership Network
  • Research Committee Member, Florida Organization of Nurse Executives
  • Southern Nursing Research Society
  • American Nurses Association
  • Sigma Honor Society of Nursing: Theta Epsilon Chapter

Expertise & Research

Research Areas
  • Aging & Vulnerable Populations
  • Quality, Safety & Patient Outcomes
  • Big Data
  • Community Health
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Gerontology
  • Health Services
  • Population Health: Older Adults
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Secondary Data Analysis
View Research Profile