Egan School of Nursing Update 2022

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Message from the Dean

O “As we dig out from the impact of the pandemic on our healthcare system, we have partnered intentionally with our healthcare colleagues to rebuild the health professions.”

ne of my favorite quotes from Shonda Rhimes goes like this: “Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” I love this quote for many reasons. While it paints a vivid picture, it also provides a road map, a process, a vision. We all encounter the Egan School with a dream. Our faculty and staff dream of fulfilling careers among amazing colleagues, educating students who will change the world. Our students dream of transformational educational experiences that lead to significant lives. Parents want children’s dreams to be realized. It is my job to create an Egan environment where these dreams come true. Over this past academic year, we have worked hard to bring the Egan School to new heights. As we dig out from the impact of the pandemic on our healthcare system, we have partnered intentionally with our healthcare colleagues to rebuild the health professions. We’ve undergone successful accreditation visits and created a new Master of Public Health program to improve the quality of life of those we serve. We’re expanding our reach with plans to offer our Accelerated Second Degree Nursing program in Austin, Texas, and new international offerings. We’ve worked to ensure our educational offerings are embedded within a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive educational environment. For all our hard work, the Egan School was ranked #53 among 3,000 nursing schools in the United States by Nursing Almanac, #22 among private nursing schools, #5 overall in the New England region and #3 overall in Connecticut. Moreover, U.S. News and World Report’s 2023 graduate program rankings revealed that Egan’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program ranks #76, and our master’s degree programs rank #80. Rankings are based on surveys of more than 600 nursing schools with accredited graduate nursing degree programs. For the second time, the Egan School has been designated a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, for the pedagogical expertise of our faculty. I could not be more proud of our faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, advisory board, clinical partners, and the many others who help to make our dreams come true. I can’t wait to see what is next for the Egan School, and I look forward to partnering with our community to discover our future Egan dreams. Thank you for all you do for the Egan School and please, be well. Sincerely yours,

Meredith Wallace Kazer PhD, APRN, FAAN Dean & Professor, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies ii FAL L 2 02 2 | EGAN UPDATE


Assistant Professor Steven Belmont, DNP, CRNA, APRN leads an anesthesia simulation with a student. Photo by Fairfield University Media Center


Meredith Kazer, PhD, APRN, FAAN Dean and Professor of Nursing Audrey Beauvais, DNP, MBA, RN Associate Dean for Clinical and Simulation Education Joyce Shea, DNSc, APRN, PMHCNS-BC Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Karen Corcoran, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs and Professor of Practice Sara Colabella ’08, MA’11 Senior Integrated Marketing Manager Nancy (Gelston) Dobos ’91 Designer Send Inquiries to: Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies Fairfield University 1073 North Benson Road Fairfield, CT 06824-5195 203-254-4000


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Fairfield Egan Forms Strategic Partnerships to Combat Nursing Shortage A Center of Excellence Fairfield Egan Launches Master of Public Health Program The Egan School Goes Southwest

Nurse Anesthesia Program Expansion

Learning From the World

Leading the Change Online Learning Comes to Fairfield Egan Faculty Newsbreakers



CCNE Accredited

Society for Simulation in Healthcare Accredited

National League for Nursing Center of Excellence

TOP 100

Best Grad Nursing Programs in the Nation U.S. News & World Report

Council on Education for Public Health Accredited 2 FAL L 2 02 2 | EGAN UPDATE

TOP 5%

in Best Nursing Schools College Factual


Employment Rate Six Months Post-Graduation


Doctorate of Nursing Practice in CT U.S. News & World Report


Best Nursing Practice Doctor’s Degree Schools in the New England Region College Factual

Council on Social Work Education Accredited


Despite the pandemic, universities including Fairfield Egan are experiencing an increased number of qualified students applying to nursing programs.

Yale New Haven Health System

Albertus Magnus College

Fairfield University, Gateway Community College, Quinnipiac University, and Southern Connecticut State University have joined Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) in a new partnership to combat the nursing shortage and allow universities to accept more students into nursing programs. The partnership with YNHHS will address these issues by recruiting more qualified nursing student candidates and subsequently helping candidates with employment. This partnership promises to graduate at least 557 additional nurses over the course of the next four years, in addition to those already enrolled. YNHHS will also provide clinical experiences and scholarships to students enrolled in Fairfield’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program. “Fairfield’s Egan School could not be prouder and more excited to join Yale in this important partnership,” said Dean Meredith Wallace Kazer, PhD, APRN. “Within this initiative, we will ensure high-quality healthcare for the patients and families we are honored to serve.” Despite the pandemic, universities including Fairfield Egan are experiencing an increased number of qualified students applying to nursing programs. “We weren’t sure how the pandemic would impact interest in the nursing profession,” Dean Kazer said. “We thought it may deter people but it’s the opposite. People want to come and want to be nurses. It’s up to us to increase that educational capacity to fill the pipeline.”

Answering the call for workforce readiness and the high demand for nurses, Fairfield University and Albertus Magnus College have entered a unique partnership where Albertus students can apply to Fairfield’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing (ASDNU) program. “This opportunity provides a practical, cost-effective pathway for our students who want to make a difference in today’s healthcare environment, where the need for qualified nurses is at a premium,” said vice president of academic affairs at Albertus Magnus Sean O’Connell, PhD. “So often, we hear from students that they think they’d make a great nurse, but they don’t have an undergraduate degree in nursing. This agreement with Albertus helps fulfill the urgent need for nurses,” said Dean Kazer. Egan’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing (ASDNU) program provides a distinctive opportunity for those with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in an accelerated format. The ASDNU program is designed to draw upon students’ prior education and experience, allowing them to earn a second bachelor’s degree in 15 months. Previous knowledge serves as a foundation for nursing courses, as students develop the social awareness, critical thinking skills, aesthetic sensibility, and values that will prepare them for the NCLEX E licensing exam. l

Learn more about the Accelerated Second Degree Nursing program at





t is an exciting time for the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. This summer, the National League for Nursing (NLN) announced that the Egan School was selected to be a NLN Center of Excellence for the second time. The Egan School will be formally designated during the Honors Convocation at the late-September 2022 NLN Education Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. About the designation, Dr. Meredith Kazer, dean of the Egan School, beamed with pride and gratitude. “I am beyond grateful for our Egan faculty and staff whose expertise and hard work earned this designation,” she said, “and grateful to our nursing students who embrace our Fairfield education and use it to make the world a better place.” Selection to become a Center of Excellence is based on the school’s sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, student learning, and professional development. The Egan School was specifically selected for its sustained efforts in “creating environments that promote the pedagogical expertise of faculty.” Egan’s programs use the latest in medical equipment and small classroom settings to provide a practical and engaging education for students. This is achieved while offering students a strong liberal arts education paired with the theory-based knowledge and skills that will allow them to work in the expanding fields of nursing and health studies. Students grow both personally and professionally to become committed and compassionate nurses, capable of providing professional E care to people in any setting. l

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FAIRFIELD EGAN LAUNCHES MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAM Launching in fall 2022, the fully online 45-credit Master of Public Health (MPH) program is designed to meet criteria for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). “An MPH will provide students with the skills and tools to change the conditions where people live, learn, work, pray, and play,” said professor of public health and MPH program director Anthony J. Santella, DrPH, MCHES. “Additionally, given the rise in both domestic and global public health threats, there is no time like the present to learn about the art and science of public health, and what is needed to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their full health potential,” he continued. The MPH program is a fully online, asynchronous program that can be completed in a relatively short period of time. It’s designed to meet the needs of a diverse student population, including new college graduates, individuals who have been working in public health or a related health field without formal training, and those looking for a career change. Rooted in science and social justice, an MPH prepares students for a variety of careers that are prevention-oriented, multi-disciplinary, and that promote conditions to protect and improve the health of people and communities. Public health workers are involved in a variety of roles including but not limited to: outbreak investigation, humanitarian response, cancer and heart disease prevention, injury and violence prevention, environmental toxicology, advocacy, immunization, bioterrorism surveillance, food and drug quality, public health nutrition, infectious disease control, and corporate wellness. The MPH program offers a customizable curriculum to meet the broad spectrum of in-demand careers within the field. Coursework reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the

“Given the rise in both domestic and global public health threats, there is no time like the present to learn about the art and science of public health, and what is needed to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their full health potential.” Anthony J. Santella, DrPH, MCHES Professor of Public Health and MPH Program Director

field by offering students classes in biological sciences, environmental science, nursing, the humanities, social sciences, and administration. The program concludes with a two-semester capstone project involving an internship to gain hands-on experience. The MPH is an 18-month full-time/24-month part-time program. Admission to the program is open to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a strong personal statement. Students beginning in the fall 2022 semester are eligible for the MPH Achievement Scholarship and will receive $1,000 toward their E first semester and $500 toward each subsequent semester. l Learn more about the program at



The Egan School Goes Southwest Seeking to grow its programming while addressing the critical shortage of nursing professionals around the country, Fairfield’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies has recently announced plans to open a new facility in Austin, Texas.

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23,040-square-foot Austin property located at 7951 Shoal Creek Boulevard is being remodeled to mirror the facility on Fairfield’s Connecticut campus. The new location will have classrooms and several simulation labs, including a simulated intensive care unit and a surgical suite. “We had a list of criteria to help us determine the ideal location for the new school*,” said Dean Meredith Kazer, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN. “Competition from other nursing schools in the area, job availability, and high-quality clinical placements were all things to consider.” The deciding factor, Dean Kazer noted, came down to choosing an area that could support the most favorable clinical placements, which will help students attain professional competencies. Although the need for new nurses is well-known, it’s often a challenge to find capacity for these high-quality clinical experiences. The city of Austin checked all the boxes. “Not only were we able to facilitate excellent clinical affiliations there, we got an amazing reception,” said Dean Kazer. Fairfield Egan’s Texas clinical partnerships currently include Baylor Scott and White Health, AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, and Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. The 15-month, full-time program starts with highly qualified students who already have a bachelor’s degree. “It’s a good solution to the crisis of the country’s critical shortage of nurses,” Dean Kazer

said. Employment opportunities for nurses in the next decade are projected to grow 15 percent, faster than all other occupations. “There are nine institutions in the Central Texas area offering nursing programs, but only two offer second-degree programs,” said Lucina Kimpel, PhD, MSN, RN, who was recently hired as the new director of Fairfield Egan’s Austin program. “The second-degree program will be a welcome addition for those seeking a career change.” “Patients are coming in today with multi-dimensional health issues, and nurses need to think critically,” Dr. Kimpel added. “We see patients who would have been in intensive care years ago. Hospitals now are asking nurses to get involved in evidencebased practice, and you need a bachelor’s degree to have that background.” The Austin site will have classrooms and offices on the third floor, and several simulation labs (including a simulated ICU and surgical suite) on the floor above. The curriculum will be identical to the one used at Fairfield. The first cohort of 20 to 25 students will be admitted in May 2023, with a second cohort to enter the following January. It’s anticipated that other degree programs, such as the DNP with a concentration in nurse anesthesia, will eventually be offered at the Austin site as well. “Our job now is to get the word out about the strength of our program and to promote the Fairfield name in a new area of the E country,” said Dean Kazer. l

LEFT: Daytime view of the Austin

skyline and the Congress Avenue bridge crossing the Colorado River. Photo by Getty Images ABOVE FROM LEFT: Renderings for the state-of-the-art simulation labs and facility in Texas. Renderings by Newman Architects

Learn more at

*The Austin, Texas Second Degree Nursing Program is pending Texas Board of Nursing and NECHE approval EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2022 7

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Nurse Anesthesia Program Expansion


s a leader in healthcare education, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies continues to grow the highly competitive Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia program. Recently, Fairfield Egan expanded its role in the operations of the program following the departure of Bridgeport Anesthesia Associates. “With the growth of the program over the last 16 years, including the development of clinical affiliations with now 13 different centers, and with changes in the structure of nurse anesthesia programs nationally, the logical next step was to restructure the program with Fairfield University as the educational hub, surrounded by our clinical partners,” explained Nancy A. Moriber PhD, CRNA, APRN, assistant professor and program director of the renamed Fairfield University Nurse Anesthesia Program. This year, the program’s enrollment increased by 33 percent. In addition to this growth, Fairfield Egan formed new nursing anesthesia clinical affiliations and established a new partnership with Woodland Anesthesia Associates. This new partnership will present clinical opportunities at Trinity Health of New England sites including St. Mary’s Hospital LEFT: Nurse anesthesia students participating in a simulation. Photo by Fairfield University Media Center

in Waterbury, St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mass., and New York PresbyterianWeill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. In order to meet the needs of the growing program, Fairfield Egan on-boarded additional faculty. Program administration is housed at Fairfield University and is comprised of Dr. Moriber, program director; Steven Belmont DNP, CRNA, APRN, CFI, assistant program director; and Leigh Taylor, DNP, CRNA, APRN, coordinator of clinical education. Additionally, both Yale New Haven Health SystemBridgeport Hospital Campus and Woodland Anesthesia Associates have committed faculty support to the program. Fairfield University Assistant Professor Christine Aloi, DNP, CRNA, APRN who serves as Egan’s simulation coordinator, and Adjunct Professor Rose Piccolo E DNP, CRNA, APRN will also be a part of the faculty. l

“With the growth of the program over the last 16 years, including the development of clinical affiliations with now 13 different centers, and with changes in the structure of nurse anesthesia programs nationally, the logical next step was to restructure the program with Fairfield University as the educational hub, surrounded by our clinical partners.” Nancy A. Moriber PhD, CRNA, APRN Assistant Professor and Nurse Anesthesia Program Director




ver the past few years, Global Fairfield has launched an array of international study tracks — both semester-long and short-term — for nursing, social work, and public health in Galway, Ireland; Townsville, Australia; London, England; Barcelona, Spain; Florence, Italy; Athens, Greece; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fairfield’s portfolio of programs is designed specifically to challenge in the classroom and beyond, with learning opportunities that optimize the international setting and bring an elevated, global understanding to students’ experiences. Students are not just taking classes abroad, they are taking part in highly tailored academic experiences designed to elevate all aspects of their learning. One such experience is the faculty-led course in palliative care communication, taught in Galway, Ireland. This summer, 13 undergraduate and graduate nursing and communication students spent a weeklong immersion at the National University of Ireland in Galway to learn

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about palliative care communication. Led by faculty members Michael Pagano, PhD, professor of communication, and Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CHPPN, professor of nursing and director of the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care, the interdisciplinary, intercultural course allowed students to develop an understanding of palliative care and the critical role communication plays in achieving the interdependent goals of providers, patients, and families, in the United States and in Ireland. Over the course of the week, students attended lectures on palliative care at National University of Ireland in Galway. Elisabeth Kinsella ’23, a nursing major, chose this facultyled study abroad experience to gain insight into end-of-life communication, a field she describes as vastly important. “Through discussions with members of the Irish healthcare community, we captured a glimpse into the system of care in Ireland as we explored a wide range of topics,” Kinsella shared. “From compassionate pediatric care, to the vulnerability of dementia patients,

to maintaining a loved one’s dignity, to self-care and compassion fatigue, we were able to gather information and empathize with important healthcare communication topics.” Recognizing that this opportunity to learn about palliative care experience abroad was exceptional, Michelle Saglimbene DNP’23 and clinical faculty member, jumped at the chance to participate in the course. “This experience truly changed my life,” said Saglimbene. “I learned the importance of active, mindful listening and communication. I will always look back on this experience as something that has shaped who I am as a nurse, a mother, and a leader.” What have the participants learned that they could not have taken in from a class on the Fairfield campus? “The opportunity to explore a new culture,” Kinsella said. “While it’s one thing to read about and listen to lectures on Irish culture and healthcare, students gain an entirely new outlook when we are encouraged and able to explore E such topics with real people.” l


LEFT: Elisabeth Kinsella ’23 and Emma Shaw ’23 during the immersion experience.

ABOVE FROM LEFT: During a weeklong immersion at the National University of Ireland in Galway, students explored the city and its environs.

Photos contributed by Elisabeth Kinsella ’23 and Michelle Saglimbene DNP’23


Alumna Meaghan Mooney ’05 Joins Advisory Board


eaghan Mooney ’05 has recently joined the Fairfield Egan Advisory Board, and she couldn’t be more excited to represent Fairfield University in her native city of Austin, Texas. “Fairfield was essential to me in my nursing career, and provided the foundation and tools I needed to be successful,” she said. “It’s an honor to be on the Advisory Board, and I’m sure a lot of my role will be helping with the new campus in Central Texas.” Indeed, Dean Kazer has acknowledged that her former student has already been a tremendous asset by facilitating the affiliation between Fairfield and Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin Hospital – where Mooney works as a patient navigator – for clinical placements. “The Ascension healthcare organization has hospitals throughout the Austin area, as well as outpatient clinics and a mental behavioral health facility,” Mooney said. Before Fairfield committed to building a new nursing school in Texas, “they reached out to local alumni to ask them about the area. Since I’m a nurse, I was able to give them a little extra insight about healthcare in the region, and I’m very happy that I was able to connect Dr. Kazer with the nursing leadership at Ascension.” Born and raised in Central Texas, Mooney was encouraged to go out-ofstate for college and spent four “terrific” years at Fairfield. After a few postgraduate years working in New York, she moved back to Texas. In her role as a patient navigator, she acts as a liaison between insurance groups and Ascension’s clinic staff to ensure good patient care. While there’s a nursing shortage around the country, the problem is magnified in the Austin area, which has been one of the fastest-growing metro regions in the country for more than a decade. The new Texas program, due to welcome its first cohort in May 2023, will alleviate some of that gap by focusing on educating seconddegree students in an accelerated, 15-month program. “Establishing this branch of the Fairfield Egan nursing program in Austin, and knowing that there will be the same level of quality nurses in the area is fantastic,” Mooney said. “I’m excited to be on the Board, and think it’s S wonderful that Fairfield will have a presence here in Texas.” l

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Assistant Professor Nancy Moriber PhD, CRNA, APRN, assists Tenzin Nelun ’23 in a simulation. Photo by Fairfield University Media Center

Leading the Change Founded last spring, the Fairfield Egan Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) task force was established to further advance diversity initiatives within the nursing school.


central focus of the Egan School’s mission is to improve healthcare outcomes. When the pandemic swept across the nation, longstanding inequities within the U.S. healthcare system were exposed. “We in Egan are called to respond by ensuring that students have implicit bias training, and that they are informed not only of the inequities within healthcare, but are a part of the change to provide safe and equitable healthcare to all people,” said JEDI task force co-chair and assistant professor of nursing Jenna LoGiudice, PhD, CNM, RN. During the academic year, the task force identified areas of focus and collaborated with the Center for Academic Excellence to develop inclusive syllabi and antiracist assessments. In the coming year, the JEDI task force plans to conduct a climate survey, engage faculty of all levels in training, increase representation in simulated experiences, endorse events that elevate diverse voices, and more. “The JEDI task force calls the Egan School to embody the larger Jesuit mission of respect and regard for the dignity of every human being, while also creating a culture of belonging and inclusivity within the school,” said Tanika Eaves, PhD, task force co-chair and assistant professor of social work. In addition to JEDI, in 2015 the Egan School launched the RISE program, formally known as the Zero Attrition Mission, in partnership with pre-health professions. This initiative aims to develop a culture of inclusivity within a traditionally homogenous environment, and to improve attrition rates of under-represented nursing student populations. The goal is

to serve as an additional resource to these students, through professional nursing mentorship, academic support, and the exploration of environmental factors contributing to success. “At our meetings we try to empower the students to selfadvocate,” said Jessica Alicea-Planas, PhD, RN, MPH, CHES. “We remind them of resources that are available to help them continue to be successful at Fairfield in the health professions programs, and our meetings offer place to find a community of students that they can relate to. We also have a Blackboard space where we post about scholarships, upcoming conferences, and opportunities that are specific to affinity groups or groups that are under-represented in the health professions.” Similarly, the Men in Nursing Club at Fairfield Egan became an official chapter of the American Association of Men in Nursing (AAMN); it is the only AAMN chapter in Connecticut. The club launched in 2014, following Dean Meredith Wallace Kazer’s, PhD, APRN, FAAN initiative to recruit men and retain them as students in Egan’s nursing program. Club participants can join the AAMN as student members. This grants them access to all that AAMN offers, including the career center, scholarship opportunities, and other benefits. “In the past, we have had male nursing leaders come and talk about specific career paths,” said club advisor Steven Belmont, DNP, CRNA, APRN, assistant program director and assistant professor for the Fairfield University Nurse Anesthesia Program. “The opportunities in nursing are endless, and I want S to introduce them to some of the possibilities.” l




s nationwide data continues to show a steady increase in the popularity of post-graduate level online education, Fairfield Egan has launched two fully online master’s programs under the health studies branch: Healthcare Administration and Public Health. “Fairfield University’s online master’s programs in Healthcare Administration and Public Health offer a unique combination of flexibility with part-time and full-time options,” said Robert Schnieders, the University’s newly appointed vice president of online strategy and innovation. “The faculty you’ll be taught by are in the nationally accredited Egan School and, in the case of the MS in Healthcare Administration, also the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. Both are highly interactive programs where you’ll engage in practical and interdisciplinary coursework and build your professional network.” The growth of online graduate programs is part of the University’s long-range strategic goal to expand its reach to those who wish to seek to advance their careers through online learning. With healthcare being one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy, Egan’s online programs offer working professionals the ability to pursue a graduate degree and strengthen their skill set without having to leave their current job. Developed by the Egan School with support of the Dolan School of Business, the MS in Healthcare Administration (MHA) program provides students the knowledge and experience to pursue a wide range of healthcare-related careers. The program complements various fields of study, from nursing, to science, to business, even if students enroll without prior healthcare experience or education.

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As part of the degree, all students complete a capstone experience that allows them to create a professional healthcare business plan. Additionally, as a participant in the American College of Healthcare Executives – ACHE Higher Education Network, students are able to network with executives in the industry. “The asynchronous format provides the flexibility for student learners to manage course work within their individual schedules and to apply learning in a “just-in-time” manner,” explained Lisa Sundean, PhD, MHA, RN, program director and assistant professor. “As such, the move to the asynchronous and online format is a student-centered offering.” Egan’s newest graduate program, the Master of Public Health, offers a customizable interdisciplinary curriculum to

meet the broad spectrum of in-demand careers within the field. The program concludes with a two-semester capstone project involving an internship to gain hands-on experience. “The major benefits of online learning include self-paced learning, being able to learn from your home or workplace, being able to work full-time while studying — which helps students gain experience alongside earning the degree, and acquiring new technical skills,” said professor of public health and MPH E program director Anthony J. Santella, DrPH, MCHES. l To learn more about Fairfield’s online graduate programs, visit

Egan School Welcomes New Advisory Board Chair

Bonnie Molloy, PhD, CRNA

The Egan Update sat down with Dr. Bonnie Molloy, research director and continuing education coordinator at Bridgeport Anesthesia Associates. Dr. Molloy has recently agreed to helm the Egan School’s board of advisors. You have been involved with Fairfield’s Egan School for many years. How did that connection come about? It seems I’ve always been involved with Fairfield. My husband [Edward Molloy ’62, MD, an internist in Fairfield] is an alumnus, as is our son, who graduated in 1993 with a degree in accounting. We live on Fairfield beach and have always had good relationships with the students there, both as neighbors and as babysitters. Over the years, many Fairfield nursing students have worked in my husband’s office. I can say we truly feel a sense of community with the University. Your scholarship concerns vision loss after surgery. How did you become interested in that area of study? I had a patient once who woke up with post-operative blindness. It was robotic surgery, which was new at the time. The patient had been in the severe head-down position for a long time, and we didn’t realize that the position was causing periorbital swelling and elevated intraocular pressure. I dug into it and received a $50,000 post-doctoral fellowship grant from the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology. Fairfield University helped me allocate the monies to student CRNA research assistants for the Yale research studies. Based on the study results we introduced interventions of eye drops and mid-surgical time outs. My next series of studies will involve the “sight saver mask” which monitors intraoperative sensory evoke potentials to the posterior optic nerve, thus preventing potential cases of blindness. Are there any new directions for the Egan School that you can discuss? One important initiative would be to open up more varied clinical sites for undergraduate and graduate students. We’re becoming less hospital-based, and nurses are practicing more advanced treatments because of a lack of primary care. Ambulatory surgery is the way of the future. I give anesthesia in orthopedic sites, ocular surgery centers, etc. Nurses will be running regular family practice offices in the future. So, we’re thinking of more opportunities for students in off-base sites. I respect Meredith [Dean Kazer] so much, and I look forward to working closely with her Advisory Board, to escalate the programs we have to the next level. The Fairfield Egan deans have always been advanced critical E thinkers, and that’s why the nursing school has one of the top programs in the country. l EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2022 15

FACULTY NEWSBREAKERS Joyce Shea, DNSc, APRN, PMHCNS-BC was named the recipient of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s (APNA) 2022 Psychiatric Nurse of the Year. Jessica Alicea Planas, PhD, RN, MPH, CHES, associate professor of nursing, was one of 14 individuals in the nursing field to be honored as AL DÍA’s Top Nurses. Associate Professors Jaclyn Conelius, PhD, FNP-BC, FHRS, CHSE, FNAP and Dorothy Vittner, PhD(c), MSN, BSN were both inducted as fellows into the American Academy of Nursing as FAANs on October 9, 2021. Under the directorship of Professor Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CHPP with continuing educational support from Associate Professor Diana Mager, DNP, RN-B, the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education received the 2021 Josephine A. Dolan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Education from the CT Nurses Association, during their annual meeting on September 28, 2021. Simulation Educator, Elizabeth DenbyCallahan, MSN, RN was elected to co-chair the CLN Healthcare Simulation Network of CT (HSNCT), a statewide group that is leading simulation efforts for nursing and healthcare education.

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Associate Professor Linda Roney, EdD, RN-BC, CPEN, CNE was selected to participate in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 2021 Digital Academy. This educational opportunity is made possible through a collaboration between AACN and Apple. Participants will work with Apple development executives and Apple distinguished educators to receive training and tools to sharpen skills as digital content creators. Assistant Professor Steve Belmont, DNP, MSN was elected to serve a three-year term on the board of directors for the Connecticut Association of Nurse Anesthetists (CTANA).

Associate Professor Christine Denhup was approved for a pre-tenure leave and Associate Professor Jenna LoGiudice, PhD, CNM, RN, Professor Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CHPP and Associate Professor Kathryn Phillips, PhD, ANPBC were approved for sabbatical leaves during the 2022-23 academic year. Associate Professors Jaclyn Conelius, PhD, FNP-BC, FHRS, CHSE, FNAP, Diana Mager, DNP, RN-BC, and Joyce Shea, DNSc, APRN, PMHCNS-BC were all recommended for promotion to the rank of full professor.

Associate Professor Jessica Planas, PhD, RN, MS/MPH, CHES had a Q&A session titled “What Does a Registered Nurse Do? A Day in the Life” published online by Study. com, to share insights with prospective nursing students. is a leading online education resource making learning accessible for more than 30 million students and educators a month. Associate Professor Kathryn Phillips, PhD, ANP-BC was invited to join the editorial board of Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. Associate Professor Audrey Beauvais, DNP, MBA, RN was elected to serve as a member of the NLN Board of Governors from 2021-2024 and published the following textbook: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, an Interpersonal Approach, 3rd edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

RIGHT: Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing

program student Rene Zelaya Favila demonstrates skills in the “Fundamentals of Nursing” course. BACK COVER: Students engage in a simulation; doctoral students at Commencement.

Photos by Fairfield University Media Center

Consistent with the mission of Fairfield University to develop men and women for others, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies inspires students to become leaders in healthcare. These students are actively engaged with faculty in practice, research, scholarship, and service. As a Jesuit institution, a central focus of our care is to improve health outcomes with particular attention given to the needs of the underserved or vulnerable populations.


1073 North Benson Road Fairfield, Connecticut 06824-5195


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