An oncology certified nurse with more than two decades of experience in the field, Dr. Victoria Loerzel has focused her research on improving symptom management and quality of life for older adults with cancer. She was the first nurse researcher to identify misperceptions of older adults related to common evidence-based strategies as being ineffective at self-managing symptoms at home. After receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health, she became the first nurse scientist to develop and test an innovative avatar-based simulation to give to older cancer patients before discharge to improve their quality of life by visualizing the consequences of self-care decisions after chemotherapy. The study serves as a model of serious gaming for older adults and using technology in education.

Dr. Loerzel has received numerous honors for her research, including being inducted as a class of 2019 fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Nursing, an honor given to highly distinguished nurse leaders; her appointment to the Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Professorship in Oncology Nursing at UCF, which she has held since 2016; and being named Nurse Researcher of the Year by the Florida Nurses Association in 2017.

In addition to her academic appointments within the College of Nursing, she is leveraging her expertise in gerontology nursing as a member of the Disability, Aging, and Technology UCF faculty cluster initiative, is a nurse scientist at Orlando Health, and recently served as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Research Early Career Review Program.

She joined the UCF nursing faculty in 2005.

Research Interests

As the Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Professor in Oncology Nursing, Dr. Loerzel’s research primary research interests include older persons with cancer, quality of life, symptom self-management, and cognitive representations of symptoms and illness. Her primary research goal is to assist older adults to self-manage treatment-related side effects and optimize health at all stages of the cancer trajectory by developing new and innovative methods to educate them about symptom self-management options. Secondary research interests include educating nursing students about oncology and end of life topics.


  • ’07PhD, University of Central Florida
  • MSN, Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
  • BSN, Florida Atlantic University

Expertise & Research