Fairfield University's School of Nursing adds 10 faculty members for VA Nursing Academy


Fairfield University's School of Nursing has added ten faculty members to its VA Nursing Academy, a pilot program that is part of the School's partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Fairfield was one of the first four schools selected from across the country to address the nursing shortage crisis impacting the nation's VA hospitals that is at the heart of this initiative.

Jeanne Novotny, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, said the faculty includes numerous Fairfield University alumni, nurses with decades of experience, some who have worked for the best hospitals in the region, as well as many who have cared for veterans at VA hospitals. "Their impressive range of expertise is helping the School of Nursing realize its mission to give students a comprehensive nursing education, one that addresses all aspects of patient care, from cardiac care, critical care, women's health, and elder care."

The VA faculty who all join Fairfield as assistant professors of nursing are:

Carolynn Bruno, MSN, RN, assistant professor, a graduate of Fairfield University who received her MSN at the University of Pennsylvania and a post-master's certificate at Sacred Heart. Her research is centered on cardiac care, childhood obesity, and the influence of faith in spiritual healing.

Suzanne Chaplik, MSN, RN, currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Utah through distance learning technology, has worked with the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in the medical intensive care unit. Her research includes pre-existing variables and outcome of cardiac arrest resuscitation, and factors that influence adherence versus non-adherence to medication for hypertension.

Jaclyn Conelius, Ph.D. (c), APRN, received her BSN at Fairfield and her MSN at Yale, and is working toward a Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. Her area of interest is cardiology, and she specializes in electrophysiology, focusing mostly on pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD) patients. Her research interests include electrophysiology, heart failure, women and heart disease, and disease prevention.

Carol Connery, MSN, RN, earned her MSN at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently completing a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Case Western Reserve University. Her areas of research interest include breastfeeding through empowerment, women's healthcare issues, childbearing practices, and simulation.

Sally Dalton, MSN, RN, spent the majority of her professional career working with burn survivors. For 20 years, she was the nurse manager of the only burn center in the State of Connecticut. She also managed the Wound Healing Center of Fairfield County, caring for burns and non-healing wounds, and was on the faculty for the American Burn Association since 2004, teaching burn care to physicians, nurses, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians across the nation. Dalton spent eleven years in the Army Reserve with burn survivors. Her research areas include disaster planning, wound care, suicide in the veteran population, and nursing education.

Lydia Greiner, MSN, APRN, who has been managing Fairfield's Health Promotion Center, which provides health services to the greater Bridgeport community, joins the VA faculty with experience as a clinical instructor for mental health and public health nursing. She also headed the federally-funded project, Youth Power Partnership, a three-year pilot project that seeks to identify best-practices for reduction of adolescent risk behaviors. Her research areas include vulnerable populations, access to care, mental health, and health promotion.

Bonnie Haupt, MSN, RN, a graduate of the University of Hartford and Southern Connecticut State College, worked at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and part-time as an adjunct clinical faculty member for Fairfield University.

Kathleen Lovanio, MSN, APRN, earned her MSN and a post-master's certificate at Fairfield. She's dedicated to preparing nursing students to be well educated to care for the older adult in all healthcare settings, the community, acute care, and long term care.

Mary Murphy, MSN, APRN, a graduate of Western Connecticut State University and Florida Atlantic, specializes in medical and critical care. She has cared for veterans at VA hospitals in California, Florida and Connecticut with health communication and assessment of the needs of veterans her primary focus.

Rachel Smith, MSN, RN, has been a staff nurse, educator, manager and director, primarily in critical care. Her areas of research interest include palliative care, leadership, mentoring, staffing issues, and horizontal violence.

The VA Nursing Academy faculty spend part of the week teaching students on the Fairfield campus, in the School of Nursing Robin Kanarek '96 Learning Resource Center, where students learn hands-on, nursing skills in a simulated hospital environment. The balance of the week is spent at the Veterans Administration Connecticut Healthcare System, also known as the West Haven VA Hospital, a clinical rotation site for Fairfield nursing students, where they teach nursing students their respective specialties.

To learn more about the School of Nursing and the VA Nursing Academy, please call (203) 254-4150 or visit http://www.fairfield.edu/son/index.html

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 3, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 154