Dr. Sarah Kagan, PhD, RN

Lucy Walker Honorary Term Professor of Gerontological Nursing


Sarah H. Kagan is the Lucy Walker Honorary Term Professor of Gerontological Nursing at Penn and holds clinical appointments in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery and in the Penn Center for Human Appearance. She is Adjunct Professor at the American University of Armenia, Visiting Professor at the Oxford Brookes University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, and Honorary Professor in the Department of Community Medicine, University of Hong Kong. Dr. Kagan’s education and training includes a bachelor of arts in behavioral science from the University of Chicago, a bachelor of science in nursing from Rush University, and a master’s degree in gerontological nursing and a PhD from the University of California San Francisco. Since arriving at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, Dr. Kagan's focus has been on teaching gerontology to students in nursing and other disciplines; practicing as a gerontological nurse; and conducting research in the experience of cancer for older and younger people. She currently directs the University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Nursing Honors Program and two clinically-based undergraduate international exchange programs in nursing – one in the United Kingdom and one in Australia.

In addition, Dr. Kagan teaches short term study abroad for the University of Pennsylvania in partnership with the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health. She also maintains an active program of clinical scholarship and practice in geriatric oncology which serves as a wellspring for her undergraduate pedagogy and anchors her understanding of the nurse-patient relationship and nursing care. Dr. Kagan’s work is acknowledged nationally and internationally as innovative, sophisticated and clinically relevant.

She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Kagan has held numerous visiting professorships at many notable institutions nationally and internationally. Among the awards she has received for her practice, research, and teaching are the Sigma Theta Tau International Founders Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. Dr. Kagan's participation in Growing Old Around the Globe is supported in part by the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence