E. Carol Polifroni


Retired Faculty


Dr. Polifroni has a doctoral degree in education, curriculum theory and development, as well as higher education administration. Her research skills include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods with coursework in all areas. She is an expert in focus group methodology which often is used in educational research.

Polifroni has received more than $7.5 million in external grants over her career. She has led multi-site projects with interdisciplinary partners and single site initiatives within the community. As Ph.D. Program Director, Polifroni oversaw the research endeavors of all the doctoral students in a competitive research environment. She has been the major advisor to 19 Ph.D. graduates and an associate advisor to more than 25 Ph.D. and DNP graduates. Polifroni’s strength is mentoring in all aspects of academic life. She was the first School of Nursing recipient of the University’s advisor award and the second to receive the award from the University of Connecticut.  Much of her work is with former students illustrating enduring relationships in scholarly pursuits.

As a seasoned administrator, Polifroni served the school as interim dean in three instances and then dean for two years. Polifroni is the inaugural director of the UConn Office of Clinical Placement Coordination. The office is designed to streamline compliance requirements and monitoring for students and agency contracts. She directed the UConn Office of Public Engagement for three years overseeing a renewal of the Carnegie classification as a Community Engaged university and increasing service learning courses by 200%.

Research/Scholarship Interests

  • Meaning and joy
  • Burnout
  • Learning science
  • Preparing tomorrow’s educators


  • Ed.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • MA, New York University
  • BS, St. Anselm College

Honors & Awards

2018: Connecticut League for Nursing 65 over 65 Award

2014: Jane Murdock Life Long Learning Award, Connecticut League for Nursing

2014: Collaborative Spirit Award, Northern Chapter Connecticut Black Nurses Association

2012: Inducted, Fellow Academy of Nurse Educators NLN

2011: Diamond Jubilee Mary Jane Williams Lifetime Achievement Award, Connecticut Nurses Association

2011: Grand Marshal, UConn School of Nursing Commencement

2009: Dean’s Pendant, UConn School of Nursing

2003: Outstanding Service Award, UConn School of Nursing

2001: St. Anselm College Distinguished Alumnae Award for Academic Excellence

2000: UConn Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award

1997: Josephine Dolan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Education, Mu Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International

1993: Distinguished Service to Phi Kappa Phi

1989: Diamond Jubilee Vera Keane Award for Outstanding Service to C.N.A.

1987: Francini Distinguished Lecturer

1986: Carolyn Ladd Widmer Award for Outstanding Leadership, Mu Chapter Sigma Theta Tau

1981: Master Teacher Award, Felician College

Selected Publications

Polifroni, E.C. (2021) Philosophy of science: An introduction. In Butts, J. and Rich, K. (2021). Philosophies and Theories in Advanced Nursing Practice. 3rd ed., Jones and Bartlett.

Diaz, D. A., Miller, R. J., & Polifroni, E. C. (2017). High school/Summer camper health and dietary considerations. In C. Foisy-Doll, & K. Leighton (Eds.).  Simulation champions: Fostering courage, caring, & connection . Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer. AJN 2017 Book of Year (1st place) Nursing Information Technology.

Polifroni, EC. and Bourassa, D. (2016). Economics and finance 101 for the 2nd ed CNL Clinical Nurse Leaders Certification Exam Review Handbook. Pp. 165-176. NY: Springer.


Dunnack, H., Van Hoof, T., Banfi, V., & Polifroni, C. (In press). Scoping review of distributed practice in nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives.

Moriarty Daley, A., Polifroni, E.C. & Sadler, L. (2021). Here I don’t feel like a stranger: Adolescents’ perspectives on school based health centers. Journal of School Nursing (in press).

Hahn, J., Galuska, L., Polifroni, C., & Dunnack, H. (2021). Joy and Meaning in Nurse Manager Practice: A Narrative Analysis. Journal of Nursing Administration 51:1 (38-42). 

Moriarty Daley, A., Polifroni, E.C. & Sadler, L. (2019). The Essential Elements of Adolescent Friendly Care in School Based Health Centers: A Mixed methods Study. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 47:7-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2019.03.005

Galuska, L., Hahn, J., Polifroni, C.  & Crow, G. (2018) A Narrative Analysis of Nurses’ Experiences with Meaning and Joy in Nursing Practice. Nursing Administration Quarterly. April June.

Sundean, L. J., Polifroni, E. C., Libal, K. & McGrath, J. M. (2017). The Rationale for Nurses on Boards in the Voices of Nurses Who Serve. Nursing Outlook https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2017.11.005

Moriarty, AD,& Polifroni, EC (2017). Contraceptive Care for Adolescents in School-Based Health Centers Is Essential!”: The Lived Experience of Nurse Practitioners. Journal of School Health. DOI: 10.1177/1059840517709503; http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/udU43YGCve699BZ2bDfS/full

Moriarty, A., Polifroni, EC & Sadler, L (2017). Treat Me Like a Normal Person!” A Meta-Ethnography of Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 36: 70-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2017.04.009

Sundean, L. & Polifroni, E.C. (2016). A Feminist Framework for Nurses on Boards. Journal of Professional Nursing. September October 2016.

Sundean, L. J., Polifroni, E. C., Libal, K. & McGrath, J. M. (2016). An integrative review about nurses on governing boards. Nursing Outlook. 65, 4, 361-371.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2017.01.009

Chafouleas, S. & Polifroni, E.C (2016). Integrated learning and health: A call for increasing coordination efforts International Journal of School & Educational Psychology http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21683603.2016.1130586

A portrait of professor E. Carol Polifroni.
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