February 2017 Newsletter

Recognized for Excellence

U.S. News & World Report Ranking Improves for Online MSN

The new Best Online Programs rankings from U.S. News & World Report validate the strength of our online MSN degree programs. In rankings released in early January, the online program rose to 12th in the country, up from our previous ranking of 23rd in 2016.

The School of Nursing Online offers MSN degrees in clinical nurse leader and nursing informatics, as well as a certificate in nursing research and a post-master’s doctor of nursing practice degree.

Pitt Nursing Is Affordable

The online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program was recognized as having one of the nation’s most affordable nursing leadership MSN Programs. Best Master’s Degrees evaluated nearly 100 programs in the United States for its listing, focusing on accredited graduate schools of nursing with rankings from national publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and The Princeton Review. Programs then were ranked on their affordability based on tuition data from the federal National Center for Education Statistics. 

The Place for Nursing Informatics

College Values Online placed Pitt Nursing’s online nursing informatics MSN program among the top 25 programs for 2016-2017. More than 80 programs across the United States were evaluated based on customization options, return on investment for students, scholarship and internship opportunities, and national and regional awards and recognition. 

We’re Not the Only Ones Who Love Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh was ranked fourth on Harper Bazaar’s list of 17 places to visit in 2017—and one of only two domestic locations. Between arts and culture, dining, and shopping, the publication thinks Pittsburgh has it all. We couldn’t agree more!


Save the Date: 44th Annual National Conference of the Professional Nurse Educators Group (PNEG)

Areas of focus for this year’s conference are Leadership, Policy/Advocacy, Evidence, and Technology. Sessions will explore how each of these foci can contribute to the successful adoption of nursing science outcomes into daily practice.

Novice and seasoned presenters are invited to submit abstracts on projects relevant to these areas and learning objectives.

  • Demonstrate leadership in professional nursing education to translate nursing science to enhance patient care outcomes
  • Engage in policy/advocacy activities to advance nursing science addressing quality patient care
  • Utilize evidence effectively in program development to engage learners to meet their learning needs
  • Incorporate appropriate educational technologies to enhance the effectiveness of teaching strategies

Abstracts will be accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 1; acceptances will be sent Monday, May 1. 



Inductions to the American Academy of Nursing

Congratulations to our alumni and faculty:

Induction into the academy is a selective and prestigious honor for nurse leaders. Fewer than 200 individuals were selected for 2016, representing 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 28 countries.


Nightingale Award Recipients

Our recipients were:

  • Betty Braxter (PhD ’03), assistant professor: Nursing Education—Academia
  • Marilyn Hravnak (MSN ’83), professor and PhD program coordinator: Nursing Research
  • Dawndra Jones (DNP ’14), vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, UPMC McKeesport: Nursing Administration—Executive/CNO
  • Taya Irizarry (BSN ’10), PhD student: Student PhD Scholarship Recipient
  • Eleanor Turi (BSN’16): BSN Student Scholarship Recipient

Mary Jo Cerepani, adjunct faculty, was also an awards finalist for the Advanced Practice RN award. 



Student Spotlight: Kayla Green

Green was riding a bus when an individual became severely ill, and went into cardiac arrest. Green took action, and performed CPR until first responders arrived—taking a step that saved the woman’s life.

Her dedication doesn’t stop, or start, there. Early in her nursing academic career, she volunteered as a “cuddler” in the NICU at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, holding and consoling infants who needed special attention and care. When she came back to the NICU as an employee, Green met an inconsolable infant with shaken baby syndrome, whose birth parents had abandoned her. Green would hold and comfort the child every day, and rearrange her schedule to do so.

In time, the infant went home with a foster family, and Green bought clothes for her to go home in. Green kept in touch with the family, and recently attended the child’s first birthday party and “Adoption Day” celebration when the foster family adopted her.