Marjorie Dobratz, RN, D.N.Sc.

Professor; Graduate Program Coordinator ; Graduate Faculty
Dobratz, Marjorie

Contact information

Dept: Healthcare Leadership
Room: CP 327
Phone: 253-692-5676


  • D.N.Sc., Nursing, University of San Diego, 1990.


Marjorie Dobratz joined the faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) in 1999, when she assumed the position of Nursing Program Director. Dr. Dobratz left the Director's position in 2008 to focus on research and teaching. She now coordinates the UWT Master of Nursing Program. Prior to her UWT appointment, Dr. Dobratz chaired the Department of Nursing at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. Known as the home of the Roy Adaptation Model (RAM), at Mount St. Mary's she began a life-long pursuit of integrating theoretical concepts within the RAM's framework. Along with her interest in adaptation nursing theory as a structure for advancing knowledge, Dr. Dobratz continues to research end-of-life issues: psychological adaptation, spirituality, terminal pain, and other hospice/palliative care concerns. Her practice experiences as a hospice coordinator, program developer, and research associate culminated in the development of the Life Closure Scale (LCS): a measure of psychological adaptation in death and dying. Dr. Dobratz also explores the impact of graduate teaching on healthcare outcomes.

Dr. Dobratz received her Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc.) at the Phillip Y. Hahn School of Nursing, University of San Diego, her MSN and BSN from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and her nursing diploma from the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland

Research Interest Areas:

  • Terminal pain
  • Psychological responses in dying persons
  • Measurement of psychological adaptation in hospice/palliative care populations
  • Development of Roy Adaptation Nursing Theory
  • End-of-life spirituality


  • Psychometrics
  • Qualitative and quantitative approaches

Recent Publications

Dobratz, M.C. (2011). Toward development of a middle-range theory of psychological adaptation in death and dying, Nursing Science Quarterly, 24 (3), 370-376.

Dobratz, M.C. (2010). A model of concensus formation for reconciling nursing's disciplinary matrix. Nursing Philosophy, 11 (1), 53-56.

Dobratz, M.C. (2009). Word choices of advanced cancer patients: Frequency of nociceptive and neuropathic pain. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, 25 (6), 469-475.

Dobratz, M.C. (2008). Moving Nursing Science Forward within the Framework of the Roy Adaptation Model, Nursing Science Quarterly, 21 (3), 255-259.

Dobratz, M.C. (2006). Enriching the Portrait: Methodological triangulation of life-closing theory. Advances in Nursing Science, 29 (3), 260-170.

Dobratz, M.C., Primomo, J., & Bjorling, E. (2006). Outcomes of scholarly inquiry: An analysis of master's of nursing students' projects/theses. Journal of Professional Nursing, 22 (5), 296-303

Dobratz, M. C. (2005). A comparative study of life-closing spirituality in home hospice patients. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 19 (3), 243-256.

Dobratz, M. C. (2005). Gently into the light: A call for the critical analysis of end-of-life outcomes. Advances in Nursing Science, 28 (2), 116-126.

Dobratz, M. C. (2004). The Life Closure Scale: Additional testing of a tool to measure psychological adaptation in death and dying. Research in Nursing & Health, 27 (1), 52-62.

Dobratz, M. C. (2004). Life closing spirituality and the philosophic assumptions of the Roy adaptation model. Nursing Science Quarterly, 17 (4), 335-338.

Dobratz, M. C., & Pilkington, B. K. (2004). A dialogue about two nursing science traditions: The Roy adaptation model and the human becoming. Nursing Science Quarterly, 17 (4), 301-307.

Dobratz, M. C. (2004) A comparative study of variables that have an impact on noncancer end-of-life diagnoses. Clinical Nursing Research, 13 (4), 309-325.

Dobratz, M. C. (2003). Issues and dilemmas of conducting research with vulnerable home hospice participants. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 35 (4), 371-376.

Dobratz, M. C. (2002-03). The self-transacting dying: Patterns of social-psychological adaptation in home hospice patients. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 46 (2), 147-163.