Mary Lynne Knighten headshot

Mary Lynne Knighten

Adjunct Professor


Dr. Mary Lynne Knighten is a board-certified nurse executive with nearly 35 years of progressive management experience leading patient care operations, ensuring legal and regulatory compliance, developing staff, building clinical programs, improving patient satisfaction and quality outcomes, mitigating cost inefficiencies, controlling budgets, conducting research, and negotiating contracts for major medical centers and teaching hospitals.

Dr. Knighten is a self-motivated leader, published author, and speaker, as well as an internationally recognized expert in patient-and family-centered care and faith community nursing. She is the EL DNP Program Director here at USF.


  • Scholarly Writing and Evidence-based Practice
  • Quality and Patient Safety

Research Areas

  • Patient- and family-centered care
  • Palliative care and hospice
  • Smoking cessation
  • Workforce development


  • President-elect Faith Community Nurses International
  • Chair ACNL Health Policy Committee
  • Board of Directors for St. Louise Resource Services
  • Advisory Board member for PFCC Partners


  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, University of San Francisco, 2012
  • Master's of Science in Nursing, Duquesne University, 1990
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, West Liberty University, 1986
  • Diploma, The Washington Hospital School of Nursing, 1982

Prior Experience

  • Adjunct Faculty and DNP Clinical Residency Coordinator, Azusa Pacific University
  • Adjunct Faculty RN-to-BSN distance learning program, Holy Names University
  • Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services, St. Francis Medical Center (Daughters of Charity Health System)

Awards & Distinctions

  • Inaugural Harry Orme, MD Partnership award for patient- and family-centered care, 2013

  • CHW Quality Summit Best Practice award for reducing community-acquired pneumonia, 2006

  • CHW Values in Action award for ‚ÄúCollaboration", 2005

Selected Publications

  • Ziebarth, D. J. & Knighten, M. L (2021). Wounded healers: Job termination in faith community nursing. Journal of Christian Nursing.

  • Knighten et al. (2021). Charting a new course: Developing advocacy skills in California's nurse leaders. AONL Voice of Nursing Leadership.

  • Knighten, M. L. (Winter 2020). Evidence-based practice in the role of the faith community nurse. Perspectives.

  • Ziebarth, D. J. & Knighten, M. L. (Summer 2020). The use of a Faith Community Nursing Theory to underpin research and guide practice. Perspectives.

  • Machon, M. Knighten, M.L. & Sohol, J. (2020) Improving clinical communication and collaboration through technology. Nurse Leader.

  • Knighten, M. L. (2018). Health care grant writing in acute, ambulatory, and community care chapter in K. T. Waxman (Ed.) Financial & business management for the doctor of nursing practice, (2nd Ed., pp 287-314).