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Villanova Nursing Celebrates New Faculty Fellows in American Academy of Nursing

Research, innovation and leadership once again are foundational for the Villanova Nursing faculty selected for induction in the American Academy of Nursing this October. Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor and the Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing celebrate and congratulate our colleagues on their prestigious honor. 

Bette Mariani

Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, ANEF

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor 

Dr. Mariani has distinguished herself across her 38-year career in nursing by her dedication to teaching, scholarship, and service to advance the science of nursing education and simulation. She served as president of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL), chair of the Research Committee, and received its Excellence in Academia award. She was further recognized by the National League for Nursing (NLN) as a fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education for her contributions to advancing the science and practice of nursing education.

Dr. Mariani is known as a leader and expert in simulation, debriefing, instrument development, and psychometric testing. Her pioneering work with standardized patients with disabilities led to the development of unfolding simulation case studies and teaching strategies for the NLN Advancing Care Excellence Series on Caring for People with Disability, which are now publicly available for use around the world. Dr. Mariani has disseminated her work through numerous publications, book chapters, and national and international presentations, and she serves as research brief editor for Nursing Education Perspectives. She has presented globally in Australia and Asia on best practices in simulation and has served as a consultant to promote international collaboration on simulation-based nursing education.

Dr. Mariani earned her BSN from Villanova University, MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and PhD from Widener University.

Melissa O'Connor

Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, FGSA

Associate Professor and Director, Gerontology Interest Group (GiG)

Addressing the needs of an unprecedented and understudied older adult population living in the community, Melissa O’Connor is among a small number of national nurse experts in the delivery of home health services to vulnerable older adults. Dr. O’Connor seeks to develop and test evidence-based interventions in home health to ensure vulnerable older adults receive the care they need to improve outcomes. Her current work focuses on creating a clinical decision support system to determine readiness for discharge to support home health clinicians as they make the critical decision to discharge vulnerable older adults from services.

Dr. O’Connor is one of 11 participants nationally in the inaugural cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowships for Nurse Leaders and Innovators. This fellowship program recognizes nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship. Dr. O’Connor is the recipient of several research awards and is a fellow in the Gerontological Society of America. She is founder and director of the Gerontology Interest Group at Villanova University, an interprofessional and campus-wide group of faculty and students.

In addition to serving as chair of the Board of Trustees for the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia, Dr. O’Connor serves on the Executive Committee for the Eastern Nursing Research Society. She is a former Patricia Archbold Scholar, Claire M. Fagin Postdoctoral Fellow and Doyle Research Fellow at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Drs. Mariani and O’Connor join other fellows from the Villanova Nursing faculty in the American Academy of Nursing:

Patricia K. Bradley, PhD, RN, FAAN

Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN

Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell, PhD, RN, FAAN

Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN

Tamara Kear, PhD, RN, CNN, FAAN

Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, ANEF

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Helene Moriarty, PhD, RN, FAAN

Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, FGSA

Nancy Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN

Suzanne C. Smeltzer, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Jennifer Yost, PhD, RN, FAAN