Joellen Edwards, PhD, RN, FAAN, joined the UCF College of Nursing in 2015 as a professor and the Hugh F. and Jeannette McKean Endowed Chair of Nursing. She also currently is the chair of the Department of Nursing Systems.

Dr. Edwards is a nationally known expert on health policy and rural health, and has a special interest in women’s health issues. Her research on health policy has been widely published over the past 20 years. In Appalachian Tennessee, Edwards was one of the leaders in establishing and continuing a long-standing network of nurse-managed clinics that now serve thousands of rural and underserved patients each year.

Her research has been widely published and a recent manuscript with colleagues on “Factors Influencing Mental Health Screening and Treatment among Women in a Rural, South Central Appalachian Primary Care Clinic” was accepted for publication in the Journal of Rural Health. The manuscript presents the results of a qualitative study from the perspective of women and their providers. As an endowed chair in nursing at UCF, Edwards continues this research and the studies of barriers and facilitators of several preventative screenings in rural Florida women.

In 2012, she was principal investigator for a funded interagency research project looking at cancer awareness, prevention and treatment in the region with the Appalachian Regional Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also was an evaluator on a funded research project for “Getting East Tennessee Women Involved in their Health through Interactive Teaching” and principal investigator on a rural health professions project funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Rural Health.

Edwards is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Rural Health and has served on several state and national committees addressing rural health issues. Edwards is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and was nominated for her work with rural women’s health.

  • PhD, Ohio University
  • MSN, West Virginia University
  • BSN, Ohio University
Editorial Board
  • Journal of Rural Health

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