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Nursing Full-time Faculty

Rita Carey, MSN, RN
MSN: Mansfield University
BSN: West Chester University
ASN: Luzerne County Community Colleg
Diploma in Practical Nursing-WBACTC-School of Practical Nursing

Professor Carey completed her Master of Science in Nursing with a focus of Nursing Education from Mansfield University. She is member of Sigma Theta Tau International, American Nurses Association, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association and National League for Nursing. Her clinical experience has been in cardiac nursing, medical-surgical nursing, public health nursing, long-term care and rehabilitative nursing. Her most recent focus has been in nursing education. She teaches in the undergraduate program and clinical instruction.   Rita Carey

Audrey L Cunfer MSN, RN
Nursing Laboratories Manager

BSN: College Misericordia
MSN: Misericordia University

Mrs. Cunfer graduated from College Misericordia and later obtained her Master’s Degree from Misericordia University. Her experience includes Medical Surgical Nursing and has had most of her experience in Home Health Nursing. She has been certified as a Home Health Nurse by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She has worked at Misericordia University since 2008 as an adjunct faculty member in Clinical Simulation with junior and senior students and the Psychiatric-Mental Health and Medical Surgical Clinical Areas. Mrs. Cunfer is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.   Audrey Cunfer

Kathleen Devine Gelso, MSN, RN, CNE

Assistant Professor

1988 M.S.N. Misericordia University
1981 B.S.N. Villanova University

Professor Gelso's primary practice is in the Medical/Surgical areas. Her teaching includes junior nursing courses. She teaches in the traditional day program and the PTAEP.

Professor Gelso is a member of the Ethics Committee at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, the American Nurses Association, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, the National League of Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau International. She is currently the Faculty Counselor for Theta Phi Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau.

One inspirational thought that speaks to Professor Gelso is this: "Our healing as individuals is made full and complete through attending to the healing of others."

  Kathleen Gelso

Brenda L. Hage, PhD, DNP, CRNP
Professor of Nursing & Director of DNP Programs
313 Passan Hall, College of Health Sciences Building
(570) 674-6760


D.N.P. Chatham University
Ph.D. Virginia Commonwealth University
M.S.N Misericordia University
B.S.N University of the State of New York, Albany

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Hage is a tenured professor of nursing in the Nursing Department where she also serves as Director of Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs. Her primary teaching areas include advanced Bioethics and public policy; introduction to family practice; informatics; leadership; and the scholarship of inquiry in the MSN and DNP programs. Dr. Hage is a family nurse practitioner with clinical expertise in gerontology, rehabilitation, and family health. She is associated in clinical practice at a pro-bono family practice clinic, The Hope Center, Trucksville, PA and with the Keystone Migrant Health Clinic Program, Chambersburg, PA. Hage is board certified as a Family NP by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (NP-C), and as an Primary Care Adult Gerontological NP (AGPCNP-BC) and Informatics Nurse (R.N., B.C.) by the American Nurses Credentialing Corporation.

She is the 2003 recipient of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners' State Award for Excellence and the recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Nurse Practitioner Achievement Alumni Award at Misericordia University and a 2011 recipient of an Advanced Practice Nursing Scholarship Award from the Nightingale Foundation of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hage was appointed to the Pennsylvania Council of Aging by Governor Tom Corbett in December 2011. The Pennsylvania Council on Aging acts as an advisor to the governor and the Department of Aging on the planning, coordination and delivery of services to older adults. The council also serves as an advocate for the elderly in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hage’s research areas include health literacy, technology to support aging in place and improving cognition in older adults.



Michelle Hawkins, MSN, RN

Assistant Professor

1999 M.S.N. College Misericordia
1993 B.S. Wilkes University

Mrs. Hawkins experience has included Medical Surgical Nursing, Orthopedics, and School Nursing. She has been employed by Misericordia University since 2000 teaching in a variety of clinical and classroom settings. Her experience includes teaching in the traditional nursing program and the Part-time evening accelerated programs. Mrs. Hawkins is a member of the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing.

Michelle Hawkins

Darlene Kuchinski-Donnelly, MSN, CRNP, RNC
Assistant Professor
Phone: 570-674-1866

Post-Masters Certificate, Nurse Practitioner: Misericordia University
MSN: Misericordia University
BSN: Misericordia University

Mrs. Donnelly’s clinical practice and teaching experience includes obstetrics, medical/surgical and pediatric nursing. She has taught in both the undergraduate and the graduate nursing programs. Mrs. Donnelly is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and is certified in Inpatient Obstetrical Nursing. She has been teaching at Misericordia University since 1999 in various courses.


Mrs. Donnelly is a member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International and National League for Nursing. She also teaches the Neonatal Resuscitation course for healthcare providers.

  Darlene Kuchinski-Donnelly

Cynthia Glawe Mailloux, PhD, RN, CNE
Associate Professor & Chairperson
(570) 674-6443
Ph.D. - Penn State University
M.S.N. - Misericordia University
B.S.N. - Wilkes University

Dr. Mailloux's area of practice includes pediatrics and nursing education. Her primary teaching responsibilities include nursing research and graduate nursing education courses. Her research interests have evolved around the principles of "learner empowerment" and "professional nurse autonomy" as she strives to understand how to better prepare nursing students for professional practice upon graduation. She is chairperson of the Nursing Department. She is a certified nurse educator (CNE).

Dr. Mailloux has received the 2004 Pennsylvania Nurse Research Award presented by the Pennsylvania State Nurse Association and in 2001 the Teaching Excellence Award from Penn State Worthington Scranton.

Dr. Mailloux is a member of the Pennsylvania State Nurse Association and the National League for Nursing. She serves on many university committees and contributes to her communities' educational goals as a Crestwood School Director.


Allison Maloney, MSN, RN

Assistant Professor

M.S.N. College Misericordia
B.S.N. Bloomsburg University

Professor Maloney earned her BSN from Bloomsburg University and her MSN from College Misericordia with a focus on Community Health. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Capella University with a focus on Nursing Education. Her current practice areas include Med/Surg, Behavioral Health and Community Outreach for Migrants. She has teaching experience in Med/Surg, Psych, Fundamentals and Transition to Practice.

Professor Maloney is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau and the National League of Nursing. Her research interests include teamwork and collaboration, and teaching and learning strategies.

Professor Maloney will be teaching in both the Psychiatric and Community Health courses at Misericordia in addition to teaching a NCLEX preparatory class to facilitate student success with taking the NCLEX exam.

Allison Maloney

Patricia Maloney MSN, RN
MSN Ed University of Phoenix
BSN Wilkes University

Professor Maloney has taught a variety of courses in areas of medical-surgical nursing. Drawing on an extensive background of professional experience in medical surgical and community nursing, she emphasizes the development of interpersonal skills and a sense of empathy in her students. A member of the National League of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International, she has also been involved in a variety of volunteer work.   Patricia Maloney

Vanessa A. Pannunzio Mayorowski, MSN, CRNP
Visiting Professor
Nursing Lab Coordinator
(570) 674-6721

Education: MSN - College Misericordia
BSN - Marywood University
Diploma - Community Medical Center School of Nursing

Vanessa is a family nurse practitioner. Her areas of clinical experience include family health and women'shealth. She is board certified in Family Practice as Family Nurse Pactitioner ( APRN-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Her primary teaching responsibilities include the nursing lab clinical skills courses for undergraduate juniors and senior nursing students.

She is a member of the American Nurses Association, National League of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau.

  Vanessa Mayorowski

Brenda Pavill, PhD, CRNP

Associate Professor

Dr. Pavill teaches across the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. She is certified as an Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner and maintains practice volunteering at a free health clinic. She has held an array of nursing positions from staff nurse to administrator in Maternal Child Nursing.

Her research interests focus on issues related to innovative teaching-learning strategies, nursing through the lens of literature, variables contributing to student success and the aesthetic side of nursing.

She is passionate nurses share their moments by telling their nursing stories and looks for avenues in supporting nurses to do so. Dr. Pavill is a member of several professional organizations such as Sigma Theta Tau, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and The Society of Pediatric Nurses. She has been the recipient of several teaching awards.

Brenda Pavill

Kathleen R. Sheikh, MSN, CRNP

Assistant Professor


M.S.N. Misericordia University
B.S.N. Villanova University
Diploma Lankenau Hospital School of Nursing

Ms. Sheikh is board certified by the ANCC as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC). She is teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate program. Additionally, she is currently practicing in the area of Women's Health in an independent nurse practitioner practice. Special areas of interest are palliative care and the health care of vulnerable populations. She is a certified nurse educator (CNE).

Ms. Sheikh is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Nurse Practitioners, and the Nurse Practitioners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is an officer and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Theta Phi Chapter at Misericordia University.

Kathleen Sheikh

Cathy Speace, MSN, RN, CSN

Assistant Professor

MSN - University of Pennsylvania
BSN - University of Pennsylvania
Diploma - Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing

Mrs. Speace's experience has been in critical care, school nursing, and nursing education. Her teaching responsibilities include clinical instruction in medical-surgical nursing for the traditional day program and clinical instruction in community health nursing for the online RN to BSN program. Professionally, she is a member of the Pennsylvania State Nurse's Association and Sigman Theta Tau International.

Cathy Speace

Christina Tomkins  MSN, CRNP,
Assistant Professor Clinical Track
Phone: (570) 674-6714
2008 MSN Family Nurse Practitioner – Bloomsburg University
2005 MSN Adult Nurse Practitioner – Bloomsburg University
1996 BSN – Bloomsburg University
1996 PreHospital RN (PHRN) – Emergency Medical Institute
1990 ASN – Luzerne County Community College

Mrs. Tomkins is the Junior Level Coordinator for the Nursing Program. She has a diverse background in nursing with areas of expertise in Critical Care Nursing, Emergency Nursing, Trauma Nursing, and PreHospital Nursing. Primary areas of instruction include Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Medical/Surgical Nursing. Mrs. Tomkins holds a variety of certifications including Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), Certified Critical-Care Nurse (CCRN), and Pediatric and Adult Trauma certifications. She is licensed in the state of Pennsylvania as a PreHospital RN. She is also board certified as and Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP-BC) and a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC).

Mrs. Tomkins is a member of Sigma Thets Tau, Emergency Nurses Association, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and American College of Nurse Practitioners. She is also an active part of the Student Nurses Association of PA (SNAP) at Misericordia University.

  Christina Tomkins

Annette M. Weiss, PhD, RN, CNE
Assistant Professor
Director, Expressway RN Program
Phone: (570) 674-6358
Ph.D. - Duquesne University
Post Master's Certificate in Forensic Nursing - Duquesne University
M.S.N. - University of Hartford
B.S.N. - The Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Weiss serves as the Director of the RN Expressway Program. Her primary teaching responsibilities include nursing research and professional concepts. Her clinical background is in neonatal intensive care and medical-surgical nursing. Her research interests include incarcerated mothers and perceived learning of online students. She is a certified nurse educator (CNE).

Dr. Weiss received the 2008 Laura Martin Endowed Scholarship from Duquesne University, and the 2009 Sigma Theta Tau Research Award from the Theta Phi Chapter. She is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, National League for Nursing and the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Her community involvement includes being the grant coordinator for her local volunteer fire department and VISION volunteer through her church. Dr. Weiss serves on campus as a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Penn State Alumni Nursing Program group and is a Penn State Alumni Mentor. She works as a CPR instructor for the American Heart Association and a Divemaster for PADI. .

  Annette Weiss

Pam Welsh, MSN, CRNP, RN Assistant Professor
Phone: 570-674-6177

MSN-Misericordia University
BSN-Misericordia University

Professor Welsh graduated from Luzerne County Community College with her Associates Degree in Nursing and obtained both her Bachelors and Master’s degree in Nursing from Misericordia University. She is starting her third semester at Wilkes University in the Doctorate of Nursing Program with a focus on improving preventive health seeking behaviors of the warehouse distribution employee. She is certified by the American Academy of Nurse practitioners and she is a current member of the Nurse Practitioners of Northeast Pennsylvania. She is also a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society. She has been employed by Misericordia as adjunct nursing faculty since 2005 for the following undergraduate and graduate courses respectively: Principles of Pharmacy, Health Assessment Across the Lifespan, Childbearing and Family Health, and Clinical Management of Family Health.

/td>Pamela Welsh