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:

Stephanie Barrett, RN, ONC

MSN, University of Hartford
BSN, University of Connecticut

Stephanie Barrett instructs students in NURS 440: Trauma/Critical Care. An experienced critical care and trauma nurse, she is also a nurse educator in a large academic medical center.

Patricia Conroy, RN


Patricia Conroy is a clinical nurse specialist with more than 11 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, along with extensive broad-based clinical nursing experience. In addition to her experience teaching nursing students who are candidates for the bachelor's degree, she has expertise in grassroots advocacy development and coalition building, with a background in managed care, disease management, development and refining of clinical guidelines, and outcomes assessment. She also has extensive experience in program development. She has received national recognition for her work in osteoporosis and post-menopausal women's health education.

Elizabeth Cutezo, CNE

MSN, Penn State
BSN, Penn State

Elizabeth Cutezo, an assistant teaching professor in the College of Nursing at Penn State, has work experience in the nursing areas of medical-surgical, intensive care, school nursing, home health nursing, and supervisory experience in nursing homes. Her educational focus is on family and community, diversity, epidemiology, veteran care, disaster preparedness, and technology use in community settings and in simulation laboratories. 

Diane Daddario, RN-BC, ANP-C, ACNS-BC, CMSRN

DNP, Wilkes University
MSN, Nursing, Bloomsburg University
BSN, Penn State

Dr. Diane Daddario is an instructor in nursing informatics, forensics, and transition, and the professional nursing role. She has more than 40 years of nursing experience in areas including adult health/medical-surgical, primary care, hospice, and behavioral health nursing — clinical practice and education, clinical bedside nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse practitioner. She serves on the International Council of Nurses Advanced Practice Sub-Group on Communication and the Editorial Board of MedSurg Journal. She is also a peer reviewer for several other journals, and she serves on the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Scholarly Review Committee.

Michael Evans, RN, ACNS, CMSRN, CNE

Ph.D., Nursing, Penn State                        
M.S.Ed., Adult Education, Capella University
MSN, Misericordia University
BSN, Penn State
A.S., Nursing, Penn State

Dr. Michael M. Evans is assistant chief academic officer and an associate teaching professor of nursing at Penn State, where he is responsible for teaching in the baccalaureate, RN to BSN, and graduate nursing programs. Dr. Evans is board certified in medical-surgical nursing and nursing education. He maintains his clinical expertise by working in the home health and hospice settings. He is an active researcher, and he has published in the areas of clinical practice and nursing education.

Lisa Firestine, RN

MSN, Indiana University
BSN, University of Michigan

Lisa Firestine has been a nursing instructor with Penn State World Campus since 2008. Prior to joining World Campus, she taught in a traditional classroom at Penn State University Park, as well as at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She has taught courses in medical-surgical nursing, health assessment, nursing ethics, informatics, nursing research, and leadership. She has also developed several electives in such areas as medical-surgical nursing, critical care nursing, and health assessment. Her thesis focused on the relationship between perceived threat, coping, and coping effectiveness of individuals with coronary artery disease. She has also published in the area of psychosocial issues in cardiac patients.

M. Ellen Hollars

MSN, Penn State
BSN, Penn State

M. Ellen Hollars provides instruction for Penn State World Campus Nursing Management Certificate courses and Independent Study courses, teaches part-time as a clinical instructor for undergraduate nursing students, and serves as the COO of VNA Health System. Her research and practice interests include community health, home health and hospice, person-centered care, care collaboration, geriatric outcomes, and models of care delivery for home health. She has served community organizations in both a leadership and volunteer capacity, and she is passionate about teaching, helping new RNs and RNs pursuing their BSNs to be the best nurses that they can possibly be.

Suzanne Kuhn, RN, CNE

Ph.D., Nursing, Duquesne University
MSN, Nursing, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
BSN, Nursing, St. Francis University

Dr. Suzanne Kuhn is the campus coordinator for nursing programs at Penn State Altoona. She has been a nurse educator for more than 25 years in a variety of areas, including pediatrics, medical-surgical nursing, fundamentals, professional role development, dying and death, and ethics. Her research interests include end-of life-issues, bereavement following the death of a child, health promotion and education, and companion animals.

Melissa Miner, RN, CNE

DNP, Waynesburg University
MSN, Duquesne University
BSN, Penn State

Dr. Melissa Miner has taught nursing to students in the diploma, associate degree, RN to BSN, and more recently BSN programs for nearly three decades. Her background in teaching and research primarily focuses on adult medical-surgical disorders. Dr. Miner also has teaching and research interests in evidence-based practice as it relates to research, health assessment, and community settings (i.e., hospice).  She is interested in reading about new topics, such as genomics and transitional care as it relates to nursing practice.

Mary Alyce Nelson, RN

MSN, Nursing, Bloomsburg University
BSN, Penn State

Mary Alyce Nelson is a student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Penn State. An instructor in the undergraduate program, she is also the Penn State World Campus coordinator for the online RN to BSN Program. She continues to work as a behavioral health nurse. She has held various administrative roles in inpatient, outpatient, and educational settings, and her areas of expertise are mental health and health care leadership. Her research area of interest is alternative models of mental health treatment in rural outpatient clinics. She is active in volunteer activities and professional organizations in the community.

Tiffany Patton, RN

MSN, Nursing Education and Administration, Mountain State University
BSN, Penn State

Tiffany Patton received her school nurse certification from Slippery Rock. Her background is in geriatrics, medical-surgical, psychology, school nursing, and management. She is a student in the doctoral program at Penn State through the College of Education.

Janet Ritenour, RN

MSN, West Virginia University

Janet Ritenour has focused on primary maternity nursing, and she is a certified hypnotherapist and aromatherapy practitioner. Her areas of expertise are women's health, alternative health, research, dying and death, and forensic nursing.