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News and Accomplishments

Presentations and Accomplishments



June 13, 2014 - Ursuline College announces new Dean of the Breen School of Nursing

Ursuline College welcomes seasoned nursing administrator Dr. Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, as the College’s new Dean of the Breen School of Nursing. Dr. Sharpnack will begin her position in July.

“I look forward to the opportunity to continue to contribute to the high standards, creative and relevant approaches to nursing education and furthering the academic partnerships that are the hallmarks of The Breen School of Nursing. I am honored to be able to contribute to the excellent legacy of this College and school of nursing,” Dr. Sharpnack said.

A resident of Chardon, Dr. Sharpnack has worked at the College since 2006, becoming Associate Dean of the Breen School in 2011. After eight-years without a nurse educator as a Board member, Gov. John Kasich appointed her to the Ohio Board of Nursing in February 2014. Dr. Sharpnack is the first member with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to serve in this capacity.

"Patricia Sharpnack brings to her deanship a wealth of both practical and academic experience. She is a seasoned administrator and an outstanding teacher and scholar. I fully expect that the quality and vision for which The Breen School of Nursing has been known will continue to flourish under her leadership. 2014-2015 will be an exciting year for the School and Ursuline College as a whole," JoAnne Podis, Ph.D., Ursuline College Vice President for Academic Affairs, said.

Dr. Sharpnack was also recently inducted as a Fellow into the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education. Dr. Sharpnack joins the academy’s 169 fellows representing nursing schools and programs throughout the United States. 

“The National League for Nursing relies on these accomplished individuals as allies in our efforts to prepare the numbers of excellent nurse educators we need if we are to eliminate the shortage of nurses plaguing America’s health care institutions,” Beverly Malone, NLN, CEO, said.

April 5, 2014

It is our pleasure to announce that Ms. Karen Link, RN, MSN, CNS, CNE was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award by the Ohio League for Nursing at the Annual OLN education Summit held in Columbus, Ohio!!! The educator selected for this award is chosen from nominees throughout the state.....so this is an incredible recognition - and well deserved! Those of us that attended the Summit were filled with pride for her - and Ursuline College.

Karen Link was recognized with the following summary of her nomination read at the Annual Meeting yesterday:

Karen Link has been an educator for more than 7 years, a clinical nurse specialist, and a nurse for more than 40 years. Her passion for excellence in teaching and her specialty of psychiatric and mental health nursing is unparalleled. She obtained the Certified Nurse Educator designation in 2013, demonstrating her commitment to teaching excellence. Her passion for removing the stigma from mental health diseases has resulted in her publishing patient education newsletters, presenting at national symposiums and promoting sensitivity to this issue with students and faculty alike. Her desire to sensitize nurses to mental health issues "happening to anyone" has resulted in her students scoring exceedingly high on standardized exams, communicating effectively with all patients and remembering that "crazy" is never a word to use! She continues to serve as a volunteer as a support group facilitator for the Alzheimer's Association .

She inspires students to better understand and communicate with all patients, many students highlight her classes in graduation speeches, and rank her as one - if not the best - instructor that they had throughout their education. Faculty call on her to consult in caring for students, and in looking for ways to be creative in their teaching. Karen Link makes it a mission to focus on developing strong nurses of the future through relevant and grounded teaching. One student reported that "I heard Ms. Link's words in my head as I took the NCLEX. Her teaching inspired me and will allow me to remember that mental health issues are not to be feared....but rather managed. They can happen to anyone!"

One unique component of Karen Link's teaching is her effective use of simulation. Students have commented on how the simulations she uses in her classroom teaching allow for a complete understanding of what patient's endure when living with mental illness. For example, one simulation she uses is to require students to attempt to complete activities while listening to voices a schizophrenic patient might experience. Students who complete this simulation comment on how this educational approach allows them to fully appreciate the complexity of mental health issues. Another effective tool that Karen employs in her classroom is the use of You Tube videos, such as David Letterman addressing his battle with depression. Her open dialogue in the classroom allows for students to share concerns, identify patients who may be manifesting mental health issues and employ self-care methodologies that promote healthy living.

Please congratulate her when you see her!

Dr. Mary Lind Crowe was recognized by the Greater Cleveland Nurses Association and will be fully featured in Cleveland Magazine for her work as an educator and her commitment to service of the Cleveland community, especially her efforts with the Cleveland Refugee and Immigration Center.

Dr. Laura Goliat was recognized by the Midwest Nursing Research Society for the Outstanding DNP Project Award! 

June 25, 2013  - Nursing Undergraduate and Graduate Programs Receive National Recognition

The Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing is one of six recipients to receive the 2013 NLN Hearst Foundations Excellence in Geriatric Education Awards. The award for Excellence in Geriatric Education is a multi-year competitive awards program recognizing nursing schools that demonstrate exceptional instruction and innovation when teaching care of older adults. A dozen schools of nursing will be selected for this prestigious honor between 2012 and 2015.

According Patricia A. Sharpnack, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing Programs at the Breen School of Nursing, “The number of people age 65 and older is expected to grow from 39 million in 2008 to 72 million by the year 2030. Faculty in the undergraduate program of The Breen School of Nursing used creative teaching methods to sensitize students to the special needs of the older adult in clinical experiences, simulation and in the classroom. We are honored by this recognition that differentiates our program and school as a model in nursing education.”

The Excellence in Geriatric Education Awards program is a component of the Hearst Foundation's $400,000 grant to the National League for Nursing (NLN) to expand Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors (ACES).

The Breen School of Nursing will receive the award at the NLN Education Summit in Washington, DC in September, 2013. The award will be presented by Dr. Judith Halstead, NLN President, and Dr. Beverly Malone, NLN CEO, along with representatives of the Hearst Foundations. Faculty from the Breen School of Nursing will present their innovative approaches to teaching geriatrics at an NLN Education Summit pre-Summit Invitational ACES workshop session.

Additionally, the Breen School of Nursing's Masters in Nursing program made the list of best MSN programs in the country by Masters Degree Online.