Dorothy J Wholihan


Dorothy J Wholihan headshot

Dorothy J Wholihan


Clinical Professor
Program Director, Advanced Practice Palliative Care Specialty Sequence

1 212 992 9429

433 First Avenue
Room 533
New York, NY 10010
United States

Dorothy J Wholihan's additional information

Dorothy J. Wholihan, ACHPN, AGACNP-BC, GNP-BC, DNP, is the director of the Advanced Practice Palliative Care Specialty Sequence Program and a clinical associate professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. She is a palliative care nurse practitioner with over 30 years of nursing experience. She has practiced as an oncology and pain management clinical nurse specialist and is actively practicing as a nurse practitioner in palliative care. Her practice and research interests include spiritual aspects of care, teaching communication skills, and the care of veterans at end of life.

Wholihan received her DNP from George Washington University, MSN from Yale University, and BSN from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Post-Master's Certificate from Christian Specialty, General Theological Seminary, and a Post-Master's Certificate ANP from Uniformed Services, University of the Health Sciences.

DNP - George Washington University (2011)
Post-Master's Certificate - Christian Specialty, General Theological Seminary (2008)
Post-Master's Certificate, ANP - Uniformed Services, University of the Health Sciences (1999)
MSN - Yale University (1989)
BSN - University of Pennsylvania (1983)

Palliative care

American Association of Nurse Practitioners
American Nurses Association
Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association
National Faculty Member, End of Life Nursing Education Consortium
Sigma Theta Tau

Faculty Honors Awards

Distinguished Teaching Award, NYU Meyers (2019)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
Fellow, Palliative Care Nursing


Palliative Nursing: The Core of COVID-19 Care

Paice, J. A., Wholihan, D., Dahlin, C., Rosa, W. E., Mazanec, P., Long, C. O., Thaxton, C., & Greer, K. (2021). Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 23(1), 6-8. 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000709

 Palliative care for people with COVID-19 related symptoms.

Paice, J. A., Wholihan, D., Mazanec, P., Long, C., Thaxton, C., & Greer, K. (2020). Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 421-427.

 Palliative nursing: the core of COVID-19 care

Paice, J. A., Wholihan, D., Dahlin, C., Rosa, W. E., Mazanec, P., Long, C., Thaxton, C., & Greer, K. (2020). Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.

Psychological Issues of Patient Transition from Intensive Care to Palliative Care

Wholihan, D. (2019). Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, 31(4), 547-556. 10.1016/j.cnc.2019.07.010
End-of-life care in the intensive care unit is fraught with complicated psychological responses by patients, families, and staff. Empathic and mindful communication, inclusion of all integral staff in decision-making meetings, and multidimensional support of patients and families can ease the transition away from aggressive life-prolonging to comfort-oriented end of life care. Primary palliative care communication strategies can help clarify goals of care and facilitate transitions. Early integration of specialist palliative care is recommended.

 Anorexia-cachexia syndrome. 

Schack, E., & Wholihan, D. (2019). In Textbook of Palliative Care Nursing (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

A Framework for Integrating Oncology Palliative Care in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Education

Fennimore, L., Wholihan, D., Breakwell, S., Malloy, P., Virani, R., & Ferrell, B. (2018). Journal of Professional Nursing, 34(6), 444-448. 10.1016/j.profnurs.2018.09.003
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) faculty play a critical role in preparing students to meet the complex needs of the nation as the number of cancer rates and survivors rise (National Cancer Institute, 2018) and as an unprecedented number of older Americans enter into the healthcare system with complicated comorbidities (Whitehead, 2016). Palliative care has dramatically expanded over the past decade and has been increasingly accepted as a standard of care for people with cancer and other serious, chronic, or life-limiting illnesses. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are recognized as important providers of palliative care (Walling et al., 2017). A 2-day course was held with support from the National Cancer Institute to enhance integration of palliative oncology care into DNP curriculum. The course participants (N = 183), consisting of DNP faculty or deans, practicing DNP clinicians, and students, received detailed annotated slides, case studies, and suggested activities to increase student engagement with the learning process. Course content was developed and delivered by palliative care experts and DNP faculty skilled in curriculum design. Participants were required to develop goals on how to enhance their school's DNP curriculum with the course content. They provided updates regarding their progress at integrating the content into their school's curriculum at 6, 12, and 18 months post course. Results demonstrated an increase in incorporating oncology palliative care in DNP scholarly projects and clinical opportunities. Challenges to inclusion of this content in DNP curricula included lack of: perceived time in curriculum; faculty educated in palliative care; and available clinical sites.

Access to Hospice Care.

Wholihan, D. (2017). In The Encyclopedia of Elder Care (4th ed.).. Springer Publishing.

The doctrine of double effect: A review for the bedside nurse providing end-of-life care

Wholihan, D., & Olson, E. (2017). Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 19(3), 205-211. 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000348
Nurses on the front lines of palliative care are frequently presented with ethically challenging situations involving the use of palliative sedation and increasing opioids at the end of life. The doctrine of double effect is an ethical principle dating back to the 13th century that explains how the bad consequences of an action can be considered ethically justified if the original intent was for good intention. This article examines the doctrine of double effect through case examples and presents supporting and opposing opinions about its relevance to clinical practice. Implications for nursing care are discussed.

Palliative Care.

Wholihan, D. (2017). In The Encyclopedia of Elder Care (4th ed.).. Springer Publishing.

 Care of Veterans

Wholihan, D., & Bixby, K. (2017). In Conversations in Palliative Care. (4th ed.).