DNP students Cindy Fagan (2nd from left) and HoChong Gilles (far right) pose with Del. Roxann Robinson, author of HB #793 that promotes practice autonomy for Virginia's nurse practitioners.
HoChong Gilles (far right) poses with Del. Roxann Robinson, author of HB #793 that promotes practice autonomy among Virginia's NPs.


DNP graduate and current president of the Virginia Council of Nurse Pracititoners HoChong Gilles was informed that she'll receive the Excellence in Advocacy Award from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners at their national conference this coming June.

Gilles, far right, is seen here with fellow VCNP leader and DNP graduate Cindy Fagan (second from left).

UVA Nursing professor Cathy Campbell and PhD student Lauren Catlett
Campbell, left, and Catlett, right, discussed the needs of transgender seniors at the end of life.


Associate professor Cathy Campbell, a hospice nurse, published a study in the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care about a the distinct needs of transgender senior citizens which included a case study of an intervention created by PhD student Lauren Catlett. The two discussed their work with UVA Today and on the podcast "Just Between Us."

UVA Nursing RN-to-BSN graduate Shelley Rush Evans, who graduated from a program that will be greatly expanded due to the generous $20 million gift from the Conways.
The largest gift in our history will expand the RN to BSN program for nurses like Shelly Rush-Evans who seek the benefits of a BSN.


The School received its largest gift ever - some $20 million - from philanthropists Joanne and Bill Conway. The new funding will support and develop two key undergraduate program pathways, double the clinical simulation learning center space from 9,500 square feet to 18,000 square feet, and offer scholarship support to students in the RN to BSN and transfer programs.

It will also enable two new sites to open for the hybrid RN to BSN, where classes will be held once a month: in addition to Charlottesville, the RN to BSN will expand into Richmond and Northern Virginia, too.


Dean Pam Cipriano, two-term American Nurses Association president, and current ANA president Ernest Grant were interviewed about the state of nursing on the hour-long, nationally-broadcast NPR program 1A. Calling the shots in the 'Year of the Nurse and Midwife.' 

Nurse practitioner and UVA Nursing DNP student Susan Stuart is honored by MS Society fore her work focusing on education programs for the newly diagnosed.
Stuart, right, was honored with the National MS Society's "Breakthroughs" Award in January 2020.


Nurse practitioner and DNP student Susan Stuart recently received the 2019 MS Breakthroughs Award (Stuart, right, is pictured with Chartese Berry, National MS Society president of the Greater DC/Maryland chapter)– Healthcare Professional Champion for the novel DNP education program she's developed (that is the focus of her capstone work) for newly diagnosed MS patients.

Stuart, director of nursing for the Multiple Sclerosis Patient-Centered Specialty Practice at Georgetown University Hospital's Department of Neurology, graduates from UVA this spring (PHOTO: Danielle Price).

UVA School of Nursing associate professor Jessica Keim-Malpass
Keim-Malpass's new study will look at how big data and predictive analytics might inform how best to use a dwindling drug supply.


Pediatric oncology nurse and associate prof Jessica Keim-Malpass earned a $133K National Science Foundation grant to study the clinical and economic effects of supply shortages of vincristine, a common pediatric cancer drug that is increasingly difficult to get.

Keim-Malpass and co-investigator Jenn Lobo, an assistant prof. of biomedical informatics at UVA, are analyzing the shortage to determine the actual impact in real time. Their study will "fill an important scientific gap in developing understanding of how decisions regarding shortages [of vincristine] are made in real time."

UVA School of Nursing professor Jeanne Alhusen
Alhusen, associate dean for research, studies maternal and early infant health outcomes, and has earned a host of prestigious grants.


Jeanne Alhusen, associate dean for research, was among just 13 faculty scholars honored with a Research Excellence Award at a Boar's Head ceremony with President Jim Ryan and Provost Liz Magill.

Alhusen’s research focuses on improving maternal and early infant health outcomes for disabled women and women living in poverty. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration and numerous foundations, and the goal of her work is to provide higher quality care to vulnerable populations.

She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Southern Nursing Research Society Early Science Investigator Award; the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses Award for Excellence in Research; and School of Nursing’s Faculty Research Mentor Award.

BSN student Natasha Coleman and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam pose during VNA Lobby Days in February 2020.
4th year BSN student Natasha Coleman spoke at the VNA's Lobby Days, earning kudos and a cameo with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.


VNA Lobby Days this year brought dozens of nurses to Richmond to advocate for a variety of health issues. Included among them was BSN student Natasha Coleman, a Governor's Fellow from summer 2019 and a former intern for the Richmond City Health District, who was invited to speak about nursing in this, the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

"Advocacy means publicly supporting what is right," Coleman told the crowd. "We all see the challenges that our patients are going through, and it extends past the walls of the hospital. We must approach our work from both a clinical and policy perspective, so we can better advocate and better care for our patients."

"So, while I am still very new to this profession and have yet to take the NCLEX to become a "real nurse" let us take this proclamation as a reminder of how much a difference each of us makes every day in the lives of Virginians. Thank you to all who came to celebrate and reflect on the impact that nurses and midwives have and will continue to make."



Virginia Tech professor Pamela Teaster headlined the winter Office for Nursing Research Forum with a lecture on possibilities for a UVA/VT partnership.

Teaster, a professor of human development and family science at Tech, is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and recipient of the Isabella Horton Grant Award for Guardianship (National College of Probate Judges), the Rosalie Wolf Award for Research on Elder Abuse, the Outstanding Affiliate Member Award (Ky. Guardianship Association), and the Distinguished Educator Award (Ky. Association for Gerontology).

Former president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, she's received continuous funding for over 20 years for scholarship in the abuse of elders and vulnerable adults, guardianship, end-of-life issues, ethical treatment of older adults, and public policy and public affairs.

ONR Forums are offered roughly each month.

Christine Kennedy sitting in her office as Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the UVA School of Nursing
Kennedy is associate dean for academic programs, founder of the School's NNP and PNP-Acute Care programs, and a pediatric nurse practitioner.


Christine Kennedy, associate dean for academic programs, penned an op-ed in the Richmond Times Dispatch with colleagues (and UVA alumni) Shelly Smith and Debra Barksdale, of VCU, focused on the state's need to train more nurse practitioners.


A full roster of UVA School of Nursing representatives - from current students, to faculty, staff, and alumni - attended the AACN's CNL Conference in Texas in late February. All-told, some 13 UVA nurse affiliates took part, including:

Olivia Conn, Sabrina Cumpian, Pam DeGuzman, Emily Drake, Julianna Heyward, Christy Hodge, Bri Hundley, Mattie Hyler, Caroline Porco, Hannah Ritsema, Cindy Sinchak, and Elle Worley. CNL program manager Renee Breeden was also on hand.


Kim Acquaviva, the Betty Norman Norris Professor of Nursing, lost her wife Kathy Brandt - a nationally-known expert on end-of-life and palliative care issues - last summer, and has written and been interviewed about the experience extensively, including the piece she wrote for Virginia Nursing Legacy in fall 2019 just after Kathy died.

Acquaviva's alma mater, Penn State, wrote a feature in its alumni magazine the Penn Gazette on her powerful story - and the profound legacy Kathy Brandt leaves. 


A celebration of the life of Lucie S. Kelly of Charlottesville, Virginia, devoted supporter of UVA School of Nursing who died November 20, 2019, was held February 29 at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge.

Said associate professor Gina DeGennaro, current Beta Kappa president who knew Kelly intimately:

"Dr. Kelly was a friend to Sigma and to Beta Kappa especially. She was a brilliant nurse and known mostly for her bright leadership in the profession of nursing and her commitment to action. Lucie was leadership in action.

"As President of Sigma, Lucie led the national organization to international status. She was one of the esteemed leaders in nursing at the helm of  Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She inspired nurses to embrace their leadership, their voice and their image to illustrate the future of nursing leadership through Sigma to create and sustain global health . . . 
"I appreciated our visits, her wisdom, her passion, and her bright sparkle. She role-modeled leadership and shared her passion for nurses as leaders. We were fortunate to benefit from her generous spirit and the nursing profession is stronger because she was in it."
UVA School of Nursing professor Pam DeGuzman working on her laptop
DeGuzman's novel, nurse-led tele-health intervention for cancer survivors was featured on WVTF, Virginia's NPR station.


Associate professor Pamela DeGuzman hopes to expand her pilot study offering tele-health support to cancer survivors that offers a model of care delivered by a nurse to individuals in rural areas who aren't often apt to seek follow-up care for physical and mental health problems.

DeGuzman and UVA Health nurse colleague Allen Cupp, statistician Ivy Hinton, and PhD student Veronica Bernacchi were featured on WVTF Radio IQ.


Professor Randy Jones delivered the Director's Lecture on his NIH-funded research focused on decision aids for men with advanced prostate cancer at the National Institute of Nursing Research in Bethesda, Md.

The lecture remains available on the NIH's web site for those wishing to tune in. 



The John A. Hartford Foundation's president, nurse Terry Fulmer, delivered the School's first-ever virtual McGehee Lecture focused on "Age-Friendly Health Systems." With nearly 50 million adults over age 65 in America, a number that's expected to double by the year 2050, Fulmer offered perspective and food-for-thought as a leader on issues related to aging, geriatrics, and elder abuse and neglect.

A recording of Fulmer's lecture remains online, and viewers may register to watch the hour-long discussion to receive CE credits.

A US news 2021 badge surrounded by UVA Nursing's ranked program metrics


The School achieved another ascent in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in 2020's Guide to Best Grad Schools, including a No. 1-in-the-nation Clinical Nurse Leader master's program, a No. 10 Doctor of Nursing Practice-Family NP program, a No. 15 rank for its master's programs.

It is currently ranked No. 8 in the nation overall, among public schools of nursing.

Kenny, the UVA School of Nursing's official therapy dog, looks up at the camera


Kenny, the School's official therapy dog (owned by mental health nursing prof. Edie Barbero) kicked off the Compassionate Care Initiative's (CCI) first virtual drop ins, which began March 24 just days after UVA Grounds closed, and amplified in early April.

Currently, CCI is offering virtual live activities each and every day of the week, including a Monday "Compassion in Action" lecture/discussion series, twice-weekly yoga on Mondays and Fridays, office hours with Kenny each Tuesday, guided meditation twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a drop-in T'ai Chi class Wednesday morning and a creativity break with local artists each Wednesday evening, as well as daily mindful pauses.

Visit CCI's website for full details, or to register. 

UVA Nursing student Pam Sierschula pinned by sister Monica Kelly during online ceremony
RN to BSN grad Pam Sierschula was the first UVA student ever to earn a degree via Zoom.


Pam Sierschula, a former emergency room nurse who in 2018 enrolled in the RN to BSN program, had been in remission for more than two years when breast cancer returned in May 2019. After unsuccessful treatments ended earlier this month, Sierschula was told she had days or weeks to live, and transitioned to comfort care at home. Above, Sierschula was pinned by her sister Monica Kelly from the comfort of her kitchen table.

As her doting family looked on, the virtual graduation crowded more than 50 people onto the computer screen in Sierschula’s Charlottesville kitchen, including UVA President Jim Ryan, Provost Liz Magill, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Craig Kent, as well as School of Nursing Dean Pam Cipriano, Associate Dean Christine Kennedy, and RN-to-B.S.N program director Tomeka Dowling, Sierschula’s adviser, who officiated the ceremony. 

Professor Richard Westphal sits reading a book on a bench outside of the the UVA School of Nursing


Woodard Professor Richard Westphal, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, discussed the difficulties caused by stress injuries of those care providers on the COVID-19 frontlines. 

Westphal, who previously oversaw the U.S. Navy’s $117 million psychological health and traumatic brain injury programs, has offered a “Stress First Aid” course to firefighters, military personnel, police officers, nurses, physicians and others over the past 13 years. The approach – also part of UVA Health’s Be Wise campaign – also helps improve working conditions, units’ cohesion and resilience, communication and interpersonal behaviors. It also gives health care and emergency response workers a map to mitigate the effects of stress. 

Westphal led a "Compassion in Action" webinar on the topic with Schwartz Center colleagues, spoke to UVA Today about it, and discussed stress injuries with NBC 29.

Colorful handmade cloth masks sewn by UVA Nursing professor Beth Hundt


In the days after the stay-at-home orders were issued, critical care nurse Beth Hundt (PhD, `18), a new assistant professor of nursing at the School starting in fall, 2020, turned from quilting to sewing face masks, part of the promedica.org effort to secure protective gear for clinicians on the frontlines where masks were becoming scarce.

On April 3, the Centers for Disease Control issued a recommendation that all citizens wear masks in public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundt, who began donating her masks locally, has to date sewn more than 80. 

School of Nursing professor Vickie Southall poses with UVA rotunda in background
Southall, an award-winning educator, is a community health nurse and mentors nursing students during their clinical rotations.


Assistant professor Vickie Southall and BSN third-year students Nathaniel Henderson and Peyton Burrows' work at the Louisa County Resource Council food pantry was featured on WVTF-Radio IQ, the state's NPR station.

The story also made mention of nursing students' involvement in community health screenings, food distribution, and the research and development of a new dental voucher program for Louisa County residents who, according to their research, are among the least likely to have received access to dental care in the state of Virginia.


Nursing master's student, alumna, and UVA Health critical care nurse and paramedic Jessica Denomme (BSN `15) rallied together with engineering colleagues and others to develop a novel protective mask that could be 3-D printed. Read more about the effort in UVA Today.

2020 UVA School of Nursing Teaching Award winners Ashley Hurst and Richard Westphal
Hurst teaches a variety of ethics classes; Westphal is a former Navy leader who developed a program focused on stress injuries and Stress First Aid.


“Accidental professor” Ashley Hurst and stress first aid champion Richard Westphal each received a "Zoom-bomb" of the best variety: a virtual drop in from vice-provost Louis Nelson into their live classes with a happy bit of news. They'd each received all-University teaching awards.

Hurst and Westphal - two of just two dozen faculty honored in 2020 for their teaching and service - were chosen from among the University's nealry 1,600 professors. Normally, honorees would be honored at a spring ceremony, but due to COVID-19's physical distancing requirements, the announcement was made - appropriately - over Zoom.