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Paula Nelson-Marten, PhD, RN, AOCN

Associate Professor; Director, Palliative Care Certificate Program

Paula Nelson-Marten

Paula Nelson-Marten has interest in chronic illness, ethics, and end-of-life care; her teaching, research, practice, and service center on these three areas.  She believes that being knowledgeable about practice is crucial to her work, as nursing is a practice profession.  She is committed to the interdisciplinary model and works closely with the health-care team in her practice, teaching, and research.  She is active in the following national organizations: the American Association for Cancer Education (AACE)  and is an Associate Editor for their journal, Journal of Cancer Education; the Oncology Nursing Society; and the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association. Nelson-Marten has served as co-chair of the Quality-of-Life Taskforce of the Colorado Cancer Coalition of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Colorado Cancer Coalition.  She was a founding member of the Colorado Palliative Care Partnership and sat on the Board of Directors. This group has recently merged with the Colorado Hospice Organization to become the Colorado Center for Hospice and Palliative Care She serves as a member of the education committee of this new group.

She earned her bachelor's degree in biology, a master's degree in nursing, a second master's degree in oncology nursing, and a PhD.

Degree Awarding Institution ​Field of Study
PhD Research and Theory Development, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX Nursing
MS Texas Woman's University, Dallas Campus Oncology Nursing (CNS)
MS Graduate College of Nursing, New York Medical College, NYC Nursing (generic MS)
​BA Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN ​Biology
Title Organization Year
Dean's Teaching Award University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing 2005
Faculty Associate to the Center for Bioethics, Humanities and Law CU-SOM 2003
Nightingale Finalist Friends of the national institute of Nursing Research 1999
Roxane Scholar in Palliative Care Northwestern Medical Center, Chicago 1996
  1. Nelson-Marten, P., & Glover, J (2007). Ethical considerations In M. Langhorne, J. Fulton, & S. Otto (Eds.), Oncology nursing (5th ed., pp. 649-657) St Louis: Mosby.
  2. Nelson-Marten, P., & Braaten, J. (2006). Advance directives and legal issues In J. T. Panke & P. Coyne (Eds.), Conversations in Palliative Care (2nd ed, pp. 141-150). Pittsburgh: Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association.
  3. Nelson-Marten, P., & Glover, J. J. (2005). Selected ethical issues in cancer care. In J. K. Itano & K. N. Taoka (Eds.), Core Curriculum for Oncology Nursing (4th ed, pp. 909-920). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Science.
  4. Griffie, J., Nelson-Marten, P., & Muchka, S. (2004). Acknowledging the 'Elephant': Communication in palliative care. American Journal of Nursing, 104(1), 48-58.
  5. Kutner, J., Metcalfe, T., Vu, K., Fink, R., Nelson-Marten, P., Armstrong, J., & Seligman, P. (2005). Implementation of an Ad Hoc hospital-based palliative care consult service Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 28(5), 526-523.
  6. Matzo, M., Sherman, D.W., Nelson-Marten, P., Rhome, A., & Grant, M. (2004). Ethical and legal issues in end of life care: Content of the ELNEC curriculum and teaching strategies. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, 20(2).
  • 1/2006-5/07 PI, Palliative Care in MICU, Kemp-Smith Grant Award, College of Nursing Research Committee, $4,000.
    (Purpose—to develop baseline data and a focus for applying for NIH grant).
  • 2003-2005 Co-PI, Caregiver Burden in Caregivers of Aging Cancer Patients. NCI p-20 grant, larger grant to UCCC funded 2003-2008, $100.000 (5 % per year position). K. Roper, PI.
  • 2001-2005 PI, A Nursing Education Model: Palliative Care Beyond Hospice, NCI, Funded 2001-2004, $289,000. (25% of position) 2004-8/30-2005—one year no-cost extension.
  • Currently practice as an Advanced Practice Oncology Nurse with interest in Palliative Care Credentialed by the Medical Board of the University of Colorado Hospital to volunteer time as an advanced practice nurse Attend interdisciplinary rounds in MICU and on the Oncology Unit as a voice for palliative care.