University of South Florida


Kailei Yan poses

From oncology nurse to researcher, PhD student researches cancer patient care

Cancer patients across the globe endure severe side effects from treatments that can drastically affect their quality of life. Kailei Yan, a third-year PhD student at the USF Health College of Nursing, is trailblazing research on the role of self-efficacy in mediating the relationship between symptoms and quality of life in cancer patients.

Yan was inspired to pursue research after Dr. Theresa Beckie, a researcher and faculty member at the college, presented in one of Yan’s undergraduate courses.

“That was the moment I became motivated to become a scientist,” says Yan. “And now, Dr. Beckie is my advisor!”

After earning her BSN from the college, Yan worked as an oncology nurse at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Watching patients endure the side effects of cancer and its treatment influenced her decision to pursue cancer research.

“I saw a lot of suffering,” says Yan. “I feel there should be some ways to relieve that. That’s my motivation.”


Yan says she is grateful for all the support she has received as a PhD student at the college. She was recently selected for the Southern Nursing Research Society Dissertation Research Award, an award Dr. Theresa Beckie reccomended Yan for.

"The work that Kailei Yan proposes is important because it seeks to determine the mechanism of action of interventions designed to improve quality of life of patients with cancer," says Dr. Beckie. 

With the continued support of the college and this grant, Yan will be able to delve deeper into her research and further contribute to the field of study.

The application for the USF Health College of Nursing’s PhD program opens on August 15.

Learn more about our PhD program

Return to article listing

About Department News

USF Health College of Nursing News highlights the great work of our trailblazing faculty, staff, and students! The College of Nursing is an integral part of USF Health and the University of South Florida. USF Health College of Nursing -- Where Nursing Trailblazers Belong!