Donna Felber Neff, Ph.D., R.N.

Associate Professor of Adult and Elderly Nursing

College of Nursing

2013 Awardee

The focus of Donna Felber Neff’s research is to understand determinants of patient health outcomes and identify leverage points for improving the systems in which they receive care.

Neff recently completed two funded studies focusing on the effects of hospital employment of internationally educated nurses (IENs) who provide direct care to hospitalized patients.

Neff has conducted a prospective quasi-experimental study examining the effectiveness of transitional home health care delivered by an advanced practice nurse (APN) caring for patients with COPD and compared to routine home care. The findings from that work identified the importance of APNs to provide transitional care to optimize patient outcomes at home.

Neff also collaborated in the analysis of a large clinical database to examine the effects of nurse practitioner (NP) interventions on clinic patient outcomes. Two secondary analyses were conducted/published using this large clinical data base and continued along her focus of examining the effects of nursing practice on patient outcomes.

Neff has continued in this research path and conducted a survey of almost 50,000 nurses in Florida. She conducted analysis of the large survey database, as well as aggregated data from other sources, including the American Hospital Association (AHA), Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Area Resource File, and the Florida Hospital Uniform Reporting System. Neff studied the impact of the hospitals’ proportion of IENs on patient adverse events, nurse reported hospital quality of care, and patient safety and nurse work environment. Neff continues to explore other research questions that will be derived from these databases.

Neff was also invited by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to submit a proposal for peer-review that will fund additional research related to US NP practice, specifically in medically underserved areas and professional shortage areas.

Neff has published her work in several national and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals including Health Care Management Review, Medical Care, Home Healthcare Nurse, and the Journal of Outcomes Management.