Associate Clinical Professor

DNP Program Director



DAL 7108


Dr. Thaxton has over 29 years of experience in nursing which includes several years of experience in critical care, palliative care, primary care, nursing leadership, curriculum development, program development, and nursing faculty. Dr. Thaxton graduated from George Washington University’s DNP program, she has devoted several years of her career to research surrounding the specific needs of children and adults with life-limiting illnesses. She has served as National Faculty for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) for several years. The ELNEC project is a national and international educational initiative to improve palliative care. Since 2000, ELNEC is a collaboration between the City of Hope, Duarte, California, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Washington, DC. Dr. Thaxton is one of the founding members/former Program Coordinator for the Duke Children’s Pediatric Quality of Life Team in Durham, North Carolina. She coordinated a grant-funded, year-long weekly multi-disciplinary course for Duke’s pediatric staff addressing "A Total Approach to Suffering in Children: Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care." In 2019, Dr. Thaxton received the D Magazine Excellence in Nursing Award and she was also designated as a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing (FPCN) which is bestowed upon Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) members who have made significant contributions to HPNA, the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC) and/or the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation (HPNF). In 2020, Dr. Thaxton was selected to Co-Chair the Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) Task Force Co-Chair for the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (NCHPC). In 2021, she received the DFW Great 100 Nurses award, and she was the recipient of the Nessa Coyle Palliative Leadership Award. Dr. Thaxton has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) and has led community fundraising activities for patients with end-stage kidney disease.


D.N.P., George Washington University, Nursing, Washington, D.C.
Post-Masters, Family Nurse Practitioner, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
M.A., Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, New York University, New York City, New York
B.S., Nursing, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia


Palliative Care; Oncology; Pediatric; Advance Care Planning; Nursing Burnout/Compassion Fatigue; Interdisciplinary Team Collaboration; Frail Elders; Ethics; Neonatal; Mentoring; Cancer Pain; Hospice Care

Latest Articles

Using the nurse coaching process to support bereaved staff during the COVID-19 crisis
Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care nursing (2021)
W E Rosa, K Levoy, V Battista, C Thaxton, K Greer

Palliative Nursing: The Core of COVID-19 Care
Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care Nursing (2020)
J A Paice, D Wholihan, C Dahlin, W E Rosa, P Mazanec

Preparing Nurses for Palliative Care in the NICU
Advances in Neonatal Care (2020)
B. Ferrell, Cheryl Thaxton, H. Murphy

The Future of Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care in Issue #50: Celebrating the Past and the Future of Pediatric Palliative/Hospice Care
ChiPPS E-Journal (2018)
P. Malloy, Cheryl Thaxton, V. Battista, B. Ferrell

Preparing oncology advance practice nurses (OAPRNs) to provide primary palliative care (PC)
Journal of Clinical Oncology (2018)
B. Ferrell, P. Malloy, P. Mazanec, J. Paice, P. Coyne

ELNEC-APRN: Meeting the needs of advanced practice nurses through education
Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care Nursing (2017)
C. M. Dahlin, P. J. Coyne, J. Paice, P. Malloy, Cheryl A. Thaxton


Role of the pediatric palliative advanced practice nurse
in Oxford Textbook of Advanced Practice Palliative Nursing (2nd ed.) | Oxford University Press (2021)
Cheryl Thaxton, Nicole Sartor

Pediatric palliative care
in Conversations in palliative care: Questions and answers with the experts (3rd ed.) | Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (2017)
V. Battista, Cheryl Thaxton

Palliative Care in the neonatal intensive care unit
in Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing (4th ed.) | Oxford University Press (2015)
Cheryl A. Thaxton, B. Carter, C. Hornik

Role of the pediatric palliative advanced practice nurse
in Oxford Textbook of Advanced Practice Palliative Nursing (1st ed.) | Oxford University Press (2015)
Cheryl Thaxton, L. Neubauer

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses-DFW Chapter
  • Elected Treasurer, North Texas Nurse Practitioners
  • Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
  • Texas DNP Organization

Honors & Awards

  • Nessa Coyle Palliative Leadership Award, Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (2021)
  • DFW Great 100 Nurses, The DFW Great 100 Nurses Inc (2021)
  • Excellence in Nursing Award, D Magazine (2019)
  • Designation, Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing (FPCN) (2019)
  • Nursing Excellence Award, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2019)
  • Compassionate Caregiver Award, Medical City McKinney (2019)