Nursing program receives national Innovation in Professional Nursing Education Award

Dr. Cynthia Mailloux
The Misericordia University Department of Nursing has been named as the recipient of the 2012 Innovation in Professional Nursing Education Award by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Representatives of the nursing department received the award at the fall semi-annual AACN meeting in Washington, D.C. in October.

The Innovation in Professional Nursing Education Award recognizes the outstanding work of AACN member schools to re-envision traditional models for nursing education and lead programmatic change. The annual Innovation Award includes a $1,000 monetary prize.

“The members of our nursing faculty always strive for innovative ways to present key topics in nursing education,’’ explained Cynthia Mailloux, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Misericordia University Department of Nursing. “Being a member of and having our students participate in the Northeast Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition Summit is one way we can help our students meet the Institute of Medicine objectives of collaborative and interdisciplinary health care initiatives.

“Our students get to apply relationship building values to learn how to work together as a team of health care providers in order to deliver safe and effective treatment over several disciplines,’’ Dr. Mailloux added. “In addition to this experience, Professor (Kathy) Sheikh also provides a second Interprofessional Education experience to our nursing and speech-language pathology students by introducing concepts of pharmacology to both groups of students.’’

The Northeast Pennsylvania Interprofessional Education Coalition is a regional collaboration of 14 colleges and universities in northeastern Pennsylvania that fosters collaborative relationships among educational programs in various health care professions, including nursing, physician assistant, speech-language pathology, medical imaging, physical and occupational therapy, and more.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, especially since they are our national accrediting body,’’ adds Dr. Mailloux, who, along with Kathy Sheikh, M.S.N., C.R.N.P., assistant professor, received the award. “The nursing faculty is dedicated to educating and developing clinically proficient nurses who also provide compassionate care to their patients and their family members.’’

AACN is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. Through various educational, research, federal advocacy, data collection, publications and special programs, AACN works to establish quality standards for nursing education. It also assists deans and program directors to implement set standards, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research and practice, according to the AACN website.

Misericordia University offers three undergraduate nursing programs: traditional, full-time nursing students; part-time accelerated evening program for adult students; and the RN/Expressway Program. The undergraduate nursing programs are designed to meet the special educational and scheduling needs of adult and traditional students. They all lead to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

The oldest nursing program in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Misericordia University Nursing Department also offers graduate nursing programs. The graduate programs are designed to meet the special needs of current BSN registered nurses who desire an advanced practice specialization as a nurse practitioner.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education in health assessment, diagnosis and management of illnesses and injuries who can order tests and prescribe drugs. They practice in ambulatory, acute and long-term care settings, and diagnose, manage and treat acute and chronic health problems. These professionals are able to diagnose as well as treat many common health problems and therefore allow doctors to spend more time with patients that have complex medical problems.

MU’s post-master’s certificates in nursing education and family nurse practitioner are for nurses who already have a master’s degree. Misericordia designed the nursing education certificate to address the national demand for nurse educators.

Graduate programming leads to the Master of Science degree in nursing (MSN) and provides course work in a convenient part-time, one-day-a-week format. For more information about nursing programs at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6474 or log on to