Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate DirectorDepartment of Public Relations(904) 620-2102
Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
Dr. John McDonough, University of North Florida Nurse Anesthetist Program director and nursing professor in the Brooks College of Health, has earned a degree of Doktor Habilitatus in the specialty of Nursing Science in Anesthesiology.
The degree, considered the highest academic qualification and post-doctoral degree, was recently awarded at a commencement ceremony at Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria. This distinction is achieved by few and never before by a certified registered nurse anesthetist.
“In his efforts to promote and support the nurse anesthesia profession, Dr. McDonough is recognized and appreciated both in the United States and throughout the world,” said Dr. Jürgen Osterbrink, dean of the Institute of Nursing Science and Practice at Paracelsus Medical University. “We congratulate him as the first certified registered nurse anesthetist to achieve this distinction of habilitation.”
This is also the first time that any nursing faculty member at the University has earned this distinction. “It’s amazing that a nurse has achieved this honor and how wonderful that Dr. McDonough is a faculty member in the School of Nursing,” said Dr. Pam Chally, dean of the Brooks College of Health at UNF.
The term “habilitation” is from the Latin habilis meaning “to enable,” “to impart,” “capacity to” or “to make fit”. In many European and some Asian countries, this distinction signifies McDonough, a Yulee resident and director of Graduate Studies in Nursing at UNF, now has the ability to independently supervise the research of not only doctoral candidates but other PhDs as well. The Doctor Habilitatus degree confers the title of “privatdozent,” giving him the authority, allowed by Paracelsus Medical University, to approve the granting of the PhD degree.
McDonough, a Yulee resident and director of Graduate Studies in Nursing at UNF, now has the ability to independently supervise the research of not only doctoral candidates but other PhDs as well. The Doctor Habilitatus degree confers the title of “privatdozent,” giving him the authority, allowed by Paracelsus Medical University, to approve the granting of the PhD degree.
In addition to a record of outstanding teaching in the field, evidence of substantial independent scholarship is required in order to earn this degree, which can take years to achieve. Extensive peer-reviewed research publications, including a major book publication are also expected. The dissertation, which culminates in an academic process of defense, is required before successful completion of this post-doctoral doctorate.
McDonough’s areas of expertise are anesthesiology and pain management. He has received several research grants and has published extensively in his area of expertise. He has won numerous awards, including the UNF Graduate Teaching Award, Austrian Military Surgeon General’s Distinguished Visitor Award and Outstanding Faculty Award from Uniformed Services University, to name a few.
He is an editorial board member of the American Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences as well as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Advanced Nursing Studies. He also just completed a four-year term serving on the Florida Board of Nursing, which requires a gubernatorial appointment with Senate confirmation.
McDonough earned both a doctorate in counseling and a master’s degree in adult education from Drake University, plus he received an additional master’s degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee in Memphis and earned his nurse anesthesia certificate from the V.A. Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
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