The University of Central Florida College of Nursing kicked off the spring semester last night with an evening lecture discussing the role of nursing leaders as the nation implements healthcare reform.

Peggy Reiley, senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Scottsdale Healthcare (Arizona), shared her knowledge and expertise, and discussed the implications of the Affordable Care Act on the role of nurse leaders, evaluated the forces necessitating health care reform, and identified opportunities for nurse leaders to get involved as the nation moves to a new model of accountability for “health care” versus “sick care.”

Reiley said, “Shifts in the current healthcare system are largely cost related. Some of these issues include overtreatment, over-reliance on technology and coordination of care. Nurses are involved in many of these issues and will need to be part of the solution for the future.”

The free lecture – Nurse Leaders Role in Health Care Reform: Leading a Journey of Transformation and Accountability – was open to the public and attended by healthcare administrators, clinical nurse leaders, community partners, prospective and current students, and nursing faculty. Nurses had the opportunity to earn one contact hour of continuing education credit.

“These lectures are important for expanding our knowledge as nurses,” said Joy Parchment, director of nursing strategy and implementation at Orlando Health and a student in UCF’s nursing Ph.D. program. “I chose to attend because I want to continually broaden my exposure to the latest evidence and research that influences decisions and affects the practice of nursing.”

Susan Clark, a clinical coordinator at Martin Health System in Stuart, Fla. and first-year student in UCF’s Executive Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program, says she values having ownership for the profession and staying current with the latest nursing trends because healthcare is an ever-changing environment.

The Jan. 10 event supported by Florida Blue, formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, is part of the college’s semiannual Nursing Distinguished Lecture Series where a national leader is invited to discuss current nursing leadership topics. The series spans two days, including the evening community lecture, followed by a day-long intensive seminar with the visiting professor and faculty and students in the college’s online Advanced Practice D.N.P. and Executive D.N.P. programs.

While both programs are offered online, the college brings faculty and students together twice a year at the beginning of the spring and fall semesters to discuss thought-provoking leadership topics with a national nursing leader.

To learn more about the college’s online D.N.P. programs, visit, or contact Dr. Julee Waldrop about the Advanced Practice D.N.P. at, or Dr. Diane Andrews about the Executive D.N.P. at