One of the primary reasons why Penn State is recognized around the globe as a distinguished university is the sterling caliber of its faculty. As a World Campus student, you can learn from the same instructors who teach face-to-face classes on Penn State's 24 traditional campuses.
The following faculty members are among the instructors of the core courses in the Penn State World Campus RN to BSN nursing program:
Ashley Clark, M.S., B.S.
Ms. Clark’s expertise is medical–surgical nursing, which she teaches at the undergraduate level. She also teaches Fundamental clinicals and the senior clinical capstone course. She is currently enrolled in Penn State’s online doctor of nursing practice (D.N.P.) program.
Darlene Clark, M.S., RN
Ms. Clark teaches Physical Assessment, Fundamentals, Legal, Ethical and Genetic Issues in Nursing, Pharmacology, Nursing Informatics, and the Senior Capstone Clinical Experience. She has taught at Penn State since 1992.
Deborah Clark, M.S., BSN
Ms. Clark is the trauma education/outreach coordinator for a Level II trauma center. An RN for 37 years, she received a post-master's certificate in forensics from the University of Scranton and was one of the first sexual assault nurse examiners in her facility.
Patricia Conroy, MSN, RN
Ms. Conroy has clinical experience in the areas of intensive care, emergency room, operating room, cardiac catheterization lab, psychiatric care, and public health, among others. Her MSN is in community health nursing with a focus in women's health, and she has taught at Penn State since 2013.
Elizabeth Cutezo, M.S., RN
Ms. Cutezo has been teaching in Penn State's College of Nursing since 1982. Her expertise and area of interest is in family and community nursing, where she teaches at the undergraduate level. She also developed the Nursing 417 course in 2003 for RNs who are returning for their BSN degree.
Diane Daddario, MSN, ANP-C, ACNS-BC, RN-BC, CMSRN
Ms. Daddario's areas of expertise include adult health and psychiatric nursing. She works as a nurse practitioner focusing on home assessments and in-patient and out-patient psychiatric care.
Eric Doerfler, Ph.D., NP
Dr. Doerfler is an adult health nurse practitioner with expertise in alternative therapies, HIV/AIDS, and pain management and palliative care. His doctoral research was done in psychoneuroimmunology, and he is in practice part-time in a private NP–owned office, and board certified in classical homeopathic medicine and general adult practice.
Maureen Dunn, MSN, B.S.
Ms. Dunn's areas of expertise include complex health care needs, community health nursing, and online education. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Penn State and her master's degree from Robert Morris University. She is working toward her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Carlow University.
Michael Evans, MSN, M.S./Ed, RN, ACNS, CMSRN, CNE
Michael Evans is an assistant chief academic officer and an instructor of nursing at Penn State. His area of expertise is medical-surgical nursing, adult health, and nursing education. He also loves nursing research and disseminating knowledge to help advance the wonderful profession of nursing.
Lisa A. Firestine, MSN, RN
Ms. Firestine is an instructor of nursing for Penn State. She earned a bachelor of science in nursing at the University of Michigan and a master's in nursing with a critical care specialty from Indiana University. Her thesis focused on the relationship between perceived threat, coping, and coping effectiveness of individuals with coronary artery disease.
Aimee M. Hagerty, MSN, RN-BC
In the span of her 22-year nursing career, Ms. Hagerty has practiced as a medical-surgical staff nurse, infection control practitioner, clinical nurse educator, and is currently the director of Education and Transplant Quality at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania. She has taught for Penn State since 2010, where her major area of focus has been on medical-surgical and RN-BS courses.
Ellen Hollars, M.S., RN
Ellen Hollars received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Penn State. She is the chief operating officer for VNA Health System, serving 19 counties in Pennsylvania. While teaching is her passion, she is also a Certified Parish Nurse.
Maureen Connelly Jones, Ph.D., RN
Jill Kargo, MSN, CNE, RN
Jill Kargo is a nursing instructor in the Second Degree B.S. and RN to BSN program at Penn State. Her specialty areas are fundamentals, medical-surgical, and community health.
Erin Kitt-Lewis, Ph.D., RN
Dr. Kitt-Lewis has been an instructor in nursing at Penn State since 2004. She has experience teaching First-Year Seminar, Health Assessment, Fundamentals, Pharmacology, Medical–Surgical, Nursing Research, Cardiac Dysrhythmia, and other nursing elective courses. Her clinical expertise is in critical care, end-of-life/hospice, nursing home, and home health nursing. Dr. Kitt-Lewis’ research foci is on end-of-life/hospice, caregiving, and older adults.
Janet Knott, DNP, RN, CNE
Dr. Janet Knott has more than 20 years of clinical experience in both adult and pediatric intensive care. In 2012 she obtained a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and she is a Certified Nurse Educator. Ms. Knott is truly passionate about nursing and the education of present and future nurses, which is exemplified in her teaching.
Kim Kranz, M.S., BSN
Ms. Kranz's nursing experience began in the areas of oncology and medical-surgical nursing. For the past 20 years her area of expertise has been in the post-acute care market — primarily hospice, palliative, and home health care. She serves as vice president for one of the largest post-acute health care providers in Pennsylvania and Illinois. She has served as a faculty member at Penn State for more than 10 years. She has a passion for helping students excel and learn about the ever-changing environment of health care.
Suzanne Kuhn, Ph.D., CNE
Dr. Kuhn is an assistant professor of nursing and a coordinator for nursing programs at Penn State, having served in this role for 19 years. Her research agenda includes identifying bereavement variables among parents who have lost a child to violent death. Dr. Kuhn remains current in clinical practice as a home health registered nurse.
Nancy Laplante, Ph.D., AHN-BC
Dr. Laplante is a board certified advanced holistic nurse. Her research interests include an ethic of service, service-learning, the image of nursing, and creating authentic presence in online nursing courses. Dr. Laplante believes in a holistic approach to nursing education, integrating holistic principles in course work throughout undergraduate and graduate curriculum. She is a regular contributor to fundamental nursing textbooks and has published in the areas of holistic nursing education and service-learning.
Pamela Lawson, DNP, MSN, BSN
Dr. Lawson has worked in ICU/CCU/TCU/ED for the past 20 years as an RN. She currently teaches critical care courses and EKG interpretations courses for the College of Nursing. She also works for LifeLink in support of emergency care for all Penn State home football games. She is an instructor for Health Savers, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
Kathleen Mastrian, Ph.D., MSN, B.S.
Dr. Mastrian is an associate professor and a coordinator of nursing. Her areas of expertise include nursing informatics, ethical challenges in health care informatics, the RN transition to a bachelor of science in nursing, social problems, and technology-mediated instruction.
Delores McCreary, M.S., RN, CNE
Ms. McCreary has been teaching in the nursing program at Penn State Altoona since 1995. Her areas of expertise and interest are community health, management, and informatics. She teaches in the B.S., Second Degree, and RN to B.S.N. programs.
Sarah McVeigh, M.S., GCNS-BC, RN, WCC, CNE
Sarah McVeigh's areas of expertise include acute care (gerontology/adult health), clinical nurse specialist, wound care, and informatics.
Nickolaus J. Miehl, MSN, RN
Mr. Miehl, a nurse for the past 15 years, has more than 10 years of teaching experience. His clinical practice experience includes critical care, emergency, and forensic nursing. As a Ph.D. student, his research focuses on innovation and leadership in nursing education, including the application of complexity science and complexity leadership theory to the learning environment.
Melissa Miner, MSN, RN, CNE
Ms. Miner's areas of expertise include medical-surgical nursing, complementary/alternative therapies, service learning, and active learning of the adult student.
Cari Morrow, MSN, RN
Ms. Morrow, a graduate of Penn State with an M.S. in nursing in 2011, is board certified as an Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist. With an anticipated graduation from the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Wilkes University in May 2015, her clinical area of expertise is adult medical-surgical and critical care nursing.
Beth Morse, Ph.D., MSN, RN
Dr. Morse has been a nurse for 35 years. In 2009 she became director of nursing at Johns Hopkins International Medical Center in Singapore and later moved to Baltimore, where she was the first assistant director of nursing in anesthesia and critical care medicine. Prior to moving to Baltimore, she held several leadership positions, including director of nursing for oncology and palliative care at Hartford Hospital and nurse manager at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Rhianna Myers, MSN, B.S.
As a faculty member, Ms. Myers coordinates several undergraduate nursing courses and enjoys teaching trauma and critical care courses as a nursing elective for the RN to BSN program. In addition to nursing education, she is responsible for the development and implementation of a program of paramedicine, locally. She has been practicing as an emergency department nurse for the past 14 years. She has served as a staff nurse in a charge role as well as creating and delivering continuing education for nursing, EMS, and physician staff, along with maintaining ACLS, PALS, and Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, and Stabilization instructions for all members of the critical and acute care teams.
Kerri Nelson, MSN, BSN
Ms. Nelson began her nursing career as a medical-surgical nurse at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and later graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a master of nursing degree as an adult health clinical nurse specialist. She is a course coordinator for medical-surgical, ethics, and capstone courses. She is also enrolled in Penn State's DNP program.
Tiffany J. Patton, MSN, BSN
Ms. Patton has been an RN since graduating in 1998 from Penn State with her bachelor's degree in nursing. She received her school nurse certification from Slippery Rock and has her master's in nursing administration and education from Mountain State University. Her background includes geriatrics, medical-surgical, psychology, school nursing, and management. She is enrolled in the PhD program at Penn State through the College of Education.
Janet Ritenour MSN, RN
Ms. Ritenour has her MSN from West Virginia University with an emphasis on primary maternity nursing as well as a certified hypnotherapist and aromatherapy practitioner. Her areas of expertise are women's health, alternative health, research, dying and death, informatics, management, and leadership.
Angel Shannon, M.S., CRNP
A nurse for more than 20 years, Ms. Shannon has a background in critical care, chronic disease management, and community health. While she manages a full range of medical conditions, she maintains a passion for diabetes prevention and the care of older adults. Her research, writing, and teaching interests lie in understanding and addressing health disparities, particularly in older adults and medically underserved populations.
Cindy Sullivan, MSN, CRNP
Cindy Sullivan graduated from Bloomsburg University in 1995 with a BSN degree. As an RN, she has the majority of her nursing experience in the areas of medical-surgical and labor and delivery. She obtained her Nurse Practitioner in Family Health certification from Wilmington University in 2009 and has worked as a nurse practitioner for the past five years. Starting in family health, she has moved into rheumatology, where she continues to practice.
Ann Swartz, D.Ed., CRNP, CS, LTC (R) Army Nurse Corps
Dr. Swartz is a clinical specialist in adult mental health nursing, and a family nurse practitioner. Her clinical practice has always mixed trauma/surgery with psychiatry, in tertiary care and in the community. Her scholarly and current clinical interests relate to the body's role in learning, the role of touch in healing and self-awareness, trauma and learning, nature and health, and complex systems.
Brenda Terry-Manchester, MSN, BSN, CC
Ms. Terry-Manchester's background includes nursing administration and teaching. In addition, she operates a private counseling practice in the Lycoming County area. She is the director of Breast Health Services for Susquehanna Health. Her areas of expertise include adult health/critical care, administration, education, and mental health counseling.
Rebecca Toothaker, Ph.D., MSN, BSN
Dr. Toothaker received her PhD from the University of Phoenix in 2014, master's in nursing focus on education in 2007 from the University of Phoenix, bachelor's degree from Kutztown University, and Diploma of Nursing from the Reading Hospital School of Nursing. Her specialty areas include research, fundamentals, and management of nursing.
Stephanie Unger, Ph.D., M.S., CNE, RN
Dr. Unger is a Certified Nurse Educator. Her research interests include the areas of nursing audits, quality of life, family needs, and global health care. Her recent research focuses on utilization of tools for innovative teaching, and her current study is on the Inter-professional and Community Partnership Project.
Lucina Vender, MSN, B.S.
Donna Volpe, MSN, RN-BC
Donna Volpe's specialties include nursing fundamentals, obstetrics, mental health, leadership, and informatics.
Alison Walsh, MSN, OCN, CNE, RN
Alison Walsh's areas of expertise include medical/surgical nursing and nursing education. Her research focus is on heart failure and quality of life.
Lisa Ward, MSN, RN
Lisa Ward has been a registered nurse for 33 years. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing practice at Penn State.