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Four New Faculty Join Fitzpatrick College of Nursing this Fall

The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing welcomes four exceptional new faculty this fall. Read more about their backgrounds below. 

Dr. Bridgette Brawner

Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN  

Following a national search, Villanova Nursing alumna and stellar researcher Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN returns to the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing in August 2021 as a tenured full professor and in January 2022, she will succeed the retiring Suzanne Smeltzer, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN as the Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations.

She has served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS) and a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Offices of the Provost and School of Nursing Dean. Her research program has centered on interventions to promote health equity and reduce health disparities. Dr. Brawner is also known for her expertise in mixed methods research. She has been the recipient of numerous prestigious honors, awards funded grants and memberships in honorary societies.

Dr. Brawner earned a BS Cum Laude with a major in Nursing from Villanova University in 2003 (minors: Psychology and Spanish), an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania in Psychiatric Mental Health Advance Practice Nursing--Specialty: Child and Family Therapy, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Nursing Science. She also earned her MDiv from the Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University. Dr. Brawner completed a Community Health Language Immersion Practicum from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Santiago, Dominican Republic.  

Dr. Brittany Koons

Brittany Koons, PhD, RN

Dr. Koons received her BSN, MSN and PhD from Villanova University Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. Her doctoral work focused on using big data in organ transplantation to examine risk profiles of international kidney transplant recipients and live donors. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship, supported by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar postdoctoral fellowship and sponsored by the National Institute of Nursing Research training program in Individualized Care for At Risk Older Adults at the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Her postdoctoral work focused on patient centered outcomes in lung transplantation. Dr. Koons’ research interests are in symptom science, physical frailty, quality of life, psychosocial assessment/outcomes, aging, and clinical outcomes in thoracic transplantation. Dr. Koons has multiple publications in these areas and has received several grants to support her research. 

Dr. Koons is also a clinically active nurse on the Cardiothoracic Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She has clinical expertise in managing complex care needs of patients requiring cardiac surgery, lung transplantation, and heart transplantation.She is an expert in caring for patients with the most advanced critical care technologies including advance mechanical circulatory support devices and continuous renal replacement therapy.

Dr. Michelle Lockett

Michelle Lockett, DNP, MSN, RN

Michelle Lockett, DNP, MSN, RN is a clinical assistant professor. She received her BSN from Florida A & M University, her MSN from Wilmington University, and her DNP from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr.  Lockett is a faculty lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Medical-Surgical Nursing and Physical Assessment courses. In addition, she has served as a clinical adjunct instructor for FCN.

She is a nursing clinical coordinator at Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine at Rittenhouse Good Shepherd hospital. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Health Exposure and Longevity Project, an organization established to make communities of color healthier.

Ms. Gwendolyn Morris

Gwendolyn Morris, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC

Gwendolyn Morris, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC is a clinical assistant instructor. She received her BSN from Temple University, her MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently enrolled in the PhD Program at Villanova University.

Ms. Morris has extensive experience in psychiatric-mental health nursing including her role as a nurse practitioner in the hospital and community settings. She comes to FCN with experience in teaching psychiatric-mental health nursing in the clinical setting, including in-person laboratory, hospital and community settings, as well as virtual clinical experiences.

Ms. Morris has served as a lecturer in psychiatric-mental health nursing at Rutgers University School of Nursing in Camden, NJ.