News and Events

Activites planned for 2014 Homecoming Weekend

Alumni are invited back to Penn State for Homecoming the weekend of September 27–28. For the first time, the College of Nursing will hold a tailgate during Saturday's football game in addition to the Novosel Award brunch on Sunday. For details, visit:

College of Nursing accepting applications for online doctor of nursing practice (D.N.P.) degree program

On May 9, 2014, the Penn State Board of Trustees approved Penn State's first online doctoral program—a doctor of nursing practice (D.N.P.) to be offered through Penn State World Campus.

Applications must be submitted by January 15 to be considered for fall admission.

Nationally, the Institute of Medicine recommends doubling the number of nurses with a doctoral degree by 2020. With an emphasis on developing leadership skills and translation of research into practice settings, the D.N.P. will open a variety of career doors for nurses. The program is designed to prepare nurses for the highest level of clinical nursing practice.

Faculty recognized by Commission for Adult Learners

Two Nursing faculty members were recently honored by the Penn State Commission for Adult Learners for exemplary service provided to adult learners at Penn State.

Kathleen Mastrian, associate professor and Nursing campus coordinator for Penn State Shenango, received a 2014 Annual Recognition from the commission for developing an adult-friendly curriculum tailored to working nurses in the campus' RN to B.S. program.

Jo Anne Carrick, campus director at Penn State Shenango and former Nursing faculty member at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, was nominated for the 2014 Shirley Hendrick Award, which recognizes an administrator whose vision and accomplishments increase Penn State's effort to serve adult learners. Carrick was recognized for initiating the Nursing program at Penn State Behrend and obtaining grant dollars for additional evening courses for adult learners.

Nursing student receives Red Cross Lifesaving Merit Award

Paula Milone Nuzzo and Kelsey Robinson

Last summer, Nursing student Kelsey Robinson (a rising junior) used her training to save the life of a resident of the long-term care facility where she was employed. Kelsey was recently honored with the Lifesaving Merit Award from the American Red Cross Centre Communities Chapter, presented by Dean Paula Milone-Nuzzo, vice chair of the chapter's board of directors, at their annual recognition breakfast.

Buck receives grant to study symptom management for heart failure patients

Harleah Buck, assistant professor of nursing, has received a $149,500 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to study symptom management in patients with moderate to severe heart failure. The two-year study, which began May 1, addresses the NINR's priority of developing strategies to assist patients and their caregivers in managing chronic illness.

Alumna Liz King chosen as 2014 Top Nurse in Delaware

Penn State Nursing alumna Liz King was chosen as one of Delaware's 2014 Top Nurses by the Delaware Nurses Association. Liz tied for first place in the Clinical Nursing Inpatient category. Read about Liz's honor at

ENRS 26th Annual Scientific Sessions

Susan Loeb presiding at ENRS 2014

Associate Professor Susan Loeb presided over her final meeting as president of the Eastern Nursing Research Society during the 26th Annual Scientific Sessions April 9–11, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Harleah Buck with the 2014 John A. Hartford Geriatric Nursing Practice Award

Assistant Professor Harleah Buck was presented with the 2014 John A. Hartford Geriatric Nursing Practice Award during the closing brunch on April 11.

Leah Buck with HPNA award

Harleah Buck

Buck inducted as HPNA Fellow

Harleah Buck, assistant professor of nursing and co-director of the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, was recently inducted as a 2014 Fellow of Palliative Care Nursing (FPCN) by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). This honor is bestowed on HPNA members who are nursing leaders in education, management, advanced practice, and/or research. Those designated as Fellows have demonstrated extensive professional experience in hospice and palliative care and a significant commitment to scholarship in the field, and are responsible for engaging with other health care leaders in transforming palliative nursing.

Bernadette M. Melnyk

Bernadette M. Melnyk

2014 Jean Vallance Lecture in Nursing Innovation

"Improving Health Care Quality and Patient Outcomes with Evidence-based Practice and ARCC"

Speaker: Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN

Dean of the College of Nursing, Associate Vice President for Health Promotion, and Chief Wellness Officer
The Ohio State University

Saturday, April 5
10:00–11:30 a.m.
Biobehavioral Health Building, Ruth Pike Auditorium

Evans receives George W. Atherton Award

Michael Evans, assistant chief academic officer and instructor in nursing at Penn State Worthington Scranton, was one of six faculty members who received Penn State's 2014 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Recipients are full-time faculty who have demonstrated excellence in their primary responsibility of undergraduate teaching. Evans is also a student in the College of Nursing's Ph.D. degree program.

Michael Evans and Rodney Erickson

Michael Evans and Penn State President Rodney Erickson

Fick appointed to Institute of Medicine committee

Donna Fick, Distinguished Professor of Nursing and co-director of Penn State's Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, has been appointed to the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Aging.

With "Sim Man," Moffat family supports nursing education at Penn State Worthington Scranton

The Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust has once again helped to further nursing education in northeastern Pennsylvania with its recent gift of $60,000 to purchase a new Sim Man for nursing students at Penn State Worthington Scranton.

Sim Man is a realistic, full-body adult patient simulator that provides comprehensive clinical functions needed to teach the essential skills of airway, breathing, cardiac, and circulation management. Sim Man includes wireless touch-screen simulated patient monitors that give concise clinical feedback to students, including snapshots of twelve lead ECGs and patient X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic tools. Devices such as Sim Man have revolutionized nursing education by creating hundreds of real-life health scenarios that students typically do not experience during clinical rotations.

The Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust has been a loyal supporter of the Nursing curriculum at Worthington Scranton with gifts totaling close to $200,000. In addition to Sim Man, the trust has supported nursing lab renovations, the campus' Pediatric Health Fair, and outreach activities for the elderly.

Kitko receives AHA funding for heart failure study

Lisa Kitko, assistant professor of nursing at Penn State, has received a Beginning Grant-in-Aid from the American Heart Association Great Rivers Affiliate for her research on “Transitioning to the Terminal Phase of Heart Failure with an LVAD-DT in Place.” Read the story here.

Bicking Kinsey selected as CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officer

Doctoral student Cara Bicking Kinsey has been selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer for the Class of 2014. Read the story on Penn State News.

CON faculty contribute to nursing textbooks

Several College of Nursing faculty have made contributions to two recently published clinical textbooks. Kesha Baptiste-Roberts co-edited and contributed chapters for Obesity During Pregnancy in Clinical Practice, published by Springer in December. Lisa Kitko, Gwen McGhan, and Janice Penrod wrote a chapter in the 8th edition of Nursing Theorists and Their Work (ed. Martha Raile Alligood), published by Mosby in October. Read the full story here.

Loeb recognized as Fellow in Gerontological Society of America

Associate Professor Susan Loeb has been awarded Fellow status in the Gerontological Society of America, the highest class of membership within the society. Read the Penn State News story here.

College of Nursing gives students 'spooky' assignment to stress patient safety

For Halloween week, the College of Nursing transformed their Simulation Laboratory into a "Hospital Room of Horrors" as a teaching tool for upper-division students. Read the story here.

Loeb receives IAFN Achievement Award

Susan J. Loeb, associate professor of nursing, received the 2013 International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) Achievement Award Oct. 22 at the association’s International Conference on Forensic Nursing Science and Practice in Anaheim, Calif. Read the story on Penn State News.

Adamshick Receives 2013 Novosel Award

Pamela Zenz Adamshick, associate professor of nursing at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., received the 2013 Shirley Novosel Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award, presented by the Penn State Nursing Alumni Society, at the College of Nursing’s third annual Homecoming brunch on Oct. 13.

Cushman Recognized as Outstanding Yale Nursing Alumna

Congratulations to Dr. Peg Cushman, assistant professor, who was one of 90 outstanding Yale School of Nursing alumni recognized at the school's 90th anniversary kickoff weekend Oct. 5. The nurses highlighted "are representative of the thousands of Yale nurses who have made and will continue to make significant impacts on all aspects of health care and in the lives of people across the world."

2013 Homecoming Brunch

Sunday, October 13
10:00 a.m. to Noon
College of Nursing Simulation Lab, Ground Floor, HHD East Building

11:00 a.m. — Presentation of the 2013 Shirley Novosel Outstanding Nursing Alumni Award to Pamela Zenz Adamshick, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC

We look forward to seeing our alumni there!

SON is now the Penn State College of Nursing

The Penn State Board of Trustees approved the School of Nursing's change of status to a College of Nursing, effective immediately, at its meeting September 20. Read the story here.

Harrisburg Nursing program receives donation from Select Medical

In September, Penn State Harrisburg received a substantial donation from Select Medical in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to benefit its Nursing program. The funds will be used to staff the program's nursing simulation laboratory, fund nursing scholarships, and create programs for high school students to explore nursing careers. We express our appreciation to Select Medical for their support and commitment to our Nursing program.

SON receives HRSA grant for interprofessional education

The School of Nursing has received a $1.12 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to support interprofessional education and collaboration between students in the school’s Nurse Practitioner program and medical students in Penn State’s College of Medicine. Read the full story on Penn State News.

Hartzell Recognized through "Honor Your Caregiver" Program

Student nurse Kara Hartzell was recently honored for her work on the Med/Surg unit at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, Pa. The "Honor Your Caregiver" program gives patients and their families the opportunity to show their gratitude to a caregiver who played a special role in their care. Kara received a certificate, pin, and letter from a patient who felt that she provided care that exceeded expectations. Kudos to Kara for making a difference in patients' lives.

Kara Hartzell receives the Honor Your Caregiver Award

Hartzell Recognized through "Honor Your Caregiver" Program

Sawyer Receives Funding from Soistman Endowment

Assistant Professor Amy Sawyer has received funding for her sleep research from the College of Health and Human Development's Fran and Holly Soistman Faculty Development Endowment. Read the story at Penn State News.

Past News from the Penn State College of Nursing