Valerie Swigart

Health Promotion & Development
School of Nursing
440 Victoria Building
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

F: 412-624-8521


Dr. Valerie Swigart’s 30-year academic career has focused on the interface of technology, health care, ethics, and human behavior. She is an expert in qualitative research methods and teaching with technology. She has served as the principal investigator or co-investigator for numerous NIH-sponsored and smaller studies. Publications evolving from these studies have supported better understanding of the processes of surrogate decision making regarding life-sustaining technology, the impact of long term mechanical ventilation, homeless persons’ health care seeking behaviors, Middle Eastern women’s experiences of sexual harassment and domestic abuse, and the use of online education to support clinical language learning.

Dr. Swigart’s teaching activities focus on the use of technology to promote professional, interpersonal, and international aspects of health care ethics. She earned an Innovation in Education Award from the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence titled Teaching Ethics in the Era of Globalization. That award supported the production of an online Global Health Ethics Unit and established an ongoing International Dialogue between University of Pittsburgh nursing students and nursing students in China, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, and South Africa. She designed and implemented an online Clinical Ethics Teaching Module and a Clinical Ethics Course for continuing education of practitioners in the community.

In 2006 and again in 2014, Dr. Swigart won the Nursing Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award (from the School of Nursing). In 2008, she was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Swigart is the primary teacher for a massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students” and offered at; she is a collaborator on the Clinical Terminology Dictionary for Beginning International and U.S. Healthcare Providers at .

As a member of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, she is a frequent lecturer on topics related to clinical ethics and issues of social justice. She has worked with various committees to support international partnerships and develop SON curricula and learning experiences to enhance students’ global competence.

Clinical Emphasis

Primary health care

Scholarly Emphasis

Clinical ethics and social justice issues

Technology in nursing education

Internationalization of the nursing profession

Academic writing



Manuscript Development

Medical/Clinical Terminology