Lisa Kitko, Ph.D., RN, CCRN

photo of Lisa Kitko

Assistant Professor of Nursing; Coordinator for Graduate CNS Option

Contact Information

307H Health and Human Development East Building
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-865-6625


Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2010, Nursing (minor: Gerontology)
M.S., The Pennsylvania State University, 2001, Nursing (Clinical Nurse Specialist option)
B.S.N., University of Pittsburgh, 1990

Research Interests


  • Heart failure/mechanical circulatory support
  • Family support/caregivers
  • Palliative care/end of life

Funded Research Projects

Current Research

Co–Principal Investigator. Palliative care algorithms for heart failure dyads: One-year versus two-year predicted survival, NIH/NINR (1RO1NRO113419-01); PI/PD: J. Hupcey; Co-I: J. Boehmer; Co-I: M. Kreher; 9/26/2011–6/30/2015.

Principal Investigator. Tuition assistance for minority and disadvantaged nursing students in Pennsylvania, HRSA; Co-I: P. Milone-Nuzzo; Co-I: J. Carrick; 7/01/2011–6/30/2012.

Completed Research

Principal Investigator: Minority Advanced Careers in Nursing (MACaN), EOPC; Funded yearly 2005–2010.

Principal Investigator: The work of spousal caregiving in heart failure, Sigma Theta Tau, Beta Sigma Chapter Research Grant; 2009–2010.


Nursing Education Nominee, Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania 

Janet A. Williamson Excellence in Teaching Award, Penn State School of Nursing

Grantmakers in Aging, GIA Fellows Program

Selected Publications


J. E. Hupcey, K. Fenstermacher, and L. Kitko. 2011. Palliative needs of spousal caregivers of patients with heart failure followed up at specialized heart failure centers. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing 13(3):142–150.

J. E. Hupcey, K. Fenstermacher, L. Kitko, and J. Penrod. 2010. Achieving medical stability: Wives' experience with heart failure. Clinical Nursing Research 19(3):211–229.

J. E. Hupcey and L. Kitko. 2008. Factors which influence the health-seeking behaviors of patients experiencing acute stroke. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 40(6):333–340.

E. H. Finke, J. Light, and L. Kitko. 2008. The effectiveness of nurse communication with patients with complex communication needs: A systematic review and focus on the augmentative and alternative communication. Journal of Clinical Nursing 17(6):2102–2115.

Book Chapters

J. Penrod, L. Kitko, and C. F. Liu. 2010. Theory of illness trajectory. In Nursing Theorists and Their Work, 7th ed. (ed. M. R. Alligood and A. Marriner-Tomey), Elsevier.