Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

Yale School of Nursing Welcomes Inaugural Doctor of Nursing Practice Students

August 30, 2012

DNP Students PhotoshootYale University School of Nursing (YSN) launched its new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program with the start of classes this week on the New Haven campus.

Fourteen students from around the world are part of this inaugural class, bringing a myriad of backgrounds, experiences, and accomplishments to this hybrid program (intensive on-campus and on-line sessions). This class of students includes the only practicing nurse practitioner in all of Israel, the Lifetime Chief of the Mohegan Tribe in Conn., and a veteran of years of serving the very poor with Mother Teresa herself in the Sishu Bawan (orphanage) and Home for the Dying.

The DNP is a post-Master’s program targeting nurses with a Master’s degree in nursing or other closely related fields. The program is intended for mid-career nurses who seek to advance in the practice of nursing through leadership, management, and participation in interdisciplinary policy and politics.

“The DNP degree is a professional doctorate, in contrast to an academic research degree like the PhD,” commented Dr. Margaret Moss, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN, the Director of the Yale DNP program. “This is a terminal degree that prepares senior clinicians who also are seeking leadership and policy roles related to the future of healthcare.” 

“The post-master’s DNP program at YSN has developed content for students who have achieved specialty level practice and have been active in practice prior to further advancing their education,” added Dr. Moss.

It is well known that the nursing profession is facing a shortage of faculty, which is, in turn, already contributing to an overall shortage of nurses. Because of the nursing faculty shortage, schools have declined admission to qualified applicants. The DNP is seen as providing some relief to the shortage of practice-savvy nursing faculty.  In most cases, DNP-prepared faculty will fill appointments aimed at supporting clinical education in baccalaureate and master's programs. 

“Not only is the DNP program essential to align YSN' s academic initiatives with national trends and growing pressures to replenish the nursing professoriate, it will also support the continued recruitment of the most qualified students,” said Margaret Grey, DrPH, RN, FAAN, Dean and Annie Goodrich Professor. “The DNP degree affords YSN another opportunity to advance its leadership position in the profession by driving transformational change in health care delivery.” 

Below are short bios of the first Doctor of Nursing Practice class at Yale University: 

Eliana M. Aaron
Eliana is presently the only practicing nurse practitioner in Israel. As the Advanced Practice Nurse and Medical Officer, founder and supervisor of the US Consulate General Jerusalem Health Unit, she is responsible for the healthcare of US diplomats, family members, VIP US Government visitors and the local staff.  Previously, she was a lecturer and clinical instructor at Hebrew University School of Nursing. She holds degrees from Yeshiva University, New York, in psychology and Judaic Studies, New York University and Rutgers University. Eliana is an accomplished actress and artist, has three children, and enjoys international travel. She lives in Israel with her family.

Mary Bartlett
Mary is the co-medical Director of HAVEN Student-run Free Clinic, a collaborative project of the Yale Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Physician Associate, Public Health and the Fair Haven Community Health Center. She is also a part-time lecturer at the Yale School of Nursing and HIV specialist at Fair Haven Community Health Center. Her undergraduate degree is from Yale College in Women’s Studies and her nursing and advanced preparation was at the Yale School of Nursing. In her “free” time, Mary can be found chasing her five children and doing renovations on her 200-year old colonial home. She has also been the club champion at the Yale Golf Course. 

Nancy Blumenthal
Nancy is the Director of Clinical Practice and Senior Nurse Practitioner of the University of Pennsylvania Lung Transplant Program. She is widely published on subjects pertaining to end stage pulmonary disease and transplantation and has lectured regionally, nationally and internationally on the expanding role of Nurse Practitioners within the field of transplantation. Her degrees are from Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania. Nancy grew up outside of New Haven and spent many happy autumn afternoons at the Yale Bowl chanting the Bulldogs' fight song. 

Regina G. Daniels
Regina is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Major in the Army Nurse Corps. Presently stationed in South Carolina, she has served in Iraq and at Fort Lewis, WA, Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Sam Houston, TX.  Her nursing education was at the University of South Alabama and the Army’s Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing affiliated with Northeastern University, MA. Her husband, Mike, is also an Army Officer serving in South Carolina at the same duty station. 

Leonid Gorelik
Lenny is Nursing Care Coordinator of Ambulatory Surgery and Pre-Admission Testing at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, where he coordinates safe patient care throughout the busy pre-operative and post-operative continuum. His nursing education was obtained at Kingsborough Community College and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and earned a master’s degree in nursing administration from NYU. He was born in Belarus and moved to the United States at the age of three with his family. 

Michael Lord
Mike practices as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at the Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, PA and at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He earned his BSN at Misericordia University (PA) and his master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Published in his area of expertise, he is very active with both his state and national associations of nurse anesthetists. Mike is also a licensed medical massage therapist, and is a fully vested member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists as well as a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and Actors’ Equity Association. 

Marilyn Malerba
Lynn is the elected Lifetime Chief of the Mohegan Tribe in CT. She provides leadership and guidance to elected officials in the tribe as well as local, state and federal government, and her clinical background is in critical care nursing. She graduated from Hartford Hospital School of Nursing, St. Joseph’s College (CT) and the University of Connecticut Master’s in Public Administration program with a concentration in public policy. Lynn’s Mohegan name is Sôqsqa Mutáwi Mutáhash (Chief Many Hearts). This name was bestowed upon her by the medicine woman to reflect the work she has done in the past as a nurse and the work she does today. She bestowed this name upon her because she has held many hearts in her hands in the past as a cardiology nurse, the hearts of her tribal people today and those she has yet to know. 

Maud Meulstee
Born and raised in the Netherlands, before she found nursing, Maud worked overseas in India and Bangladesh for 10 years. She provided health care education, labor coaching and teaching for poor families and worked closely with Mother Teresa herself in the Sishu Bawan (orphanage) and Home for the Dying. Maud speaks fluent French, German, Dutch and English and was a language teacher at the University of Brussels prior to coming to the U.S. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner who works at the Cleveland Clinic in the Cardiology Specialty. Maud graduated from the University of Akron (BSN) and Case Western Reserve University (MSN).

Juraj Melek
George trained as an economist in Bratislava/Slovak Republic with a doctorate in that field. He works as Charge Nurse at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital and practices as a legal nurse consultant as well. He prepared for nursing at New Jersey City University and will complete his master’s degree in adult mental health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. George plans to combine his expertise in economics and nursing to improve the cost effectiveness of healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. 

Susanne Phillips
Susie is the Associate Director of Clinical Affairs and coordinates the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration at the University of California-Irvine College of Health Sciences, Program in Nursing Science. She is also the Director of the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center, a nurse-managed health center and faculty practice. Susie has worked as a legal nurse consultant and was a member and President of the Board of Registered Nursing in California. Her undergraduate and graduate nursing education was obtained at the California State University – Long Beach. She lives in Southern California. 

Jasper Tolarba
Jasper is presently the Off-Shift Nurse Leader at Yale-New Haven Hospital. In this role, he is responsible for coordination of leadership and educational resources for nursing practice on the off shifts. He identifies issues and trends that affect delivery of care throughout all patient care areas and brings them forward to respective units and departments' leadership. Jasper obtained his MSN degree with focus in nursing administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati and his undergraduate degree in nursing from Bicol University in the Philippines. He is certified as an adult critical care nurse by AACN and also works as an adjunct nursing professor at Sacred Heart University-Cambridge Campus. He graduated as an outstanding university student for service, having served as editor-in-chief of the Bicol University publication. Jasper was also rewarded as a Brueggeman Fellow by Xavier University for his work on intercultural beliefs affecting healthcare decisions. A dedicated family man with three lovely children, he enjoys travel and the outdoors. 

Bonnie Tong
Bonnie is a Nurse Practitioner on the ADS-Tele Cardiology Service at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York where she manages the care for acutely ill cardiac patients with ACS, CHF, pulmonary hypertension, valvular disease and arrhythmias as well as pre-operative care for patients undergoing LVAD or heart transplant work ups. She is also involved in the nurse practitioner community at her hospital as a member of the Nurse Practitioner Professional Practice Committee; she heads a study on NP job satisfaction, and is a co-editor of the Mount Sinai Hospital Nurse Practitioner newsletter. Additionally, Bonnie is adjunct faculty at NYU, teaching/mentoring student nurse practitioners. Bonnie was educated at Binghamton University in New York majoring in biology; her undergraduate and graduate education in nursing was at NYU. During her time at NYU, she studied abroad in Uganda where she took courses on the AIDS/HIV epidemic at Makarere University and spent her time there working with the medical staff at an STD clinic. 

Robin Wallin
Robin is the Health Services Coordinator for the Alexandria City Public Schools in VA. She coordinates district-wide health service programs for students and staff, and also practices as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Community Ambassador for Kaiser Permanente at the Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. in Alexandria, VA. Her undergraduate preparation was in international affairs at George Washington University; her nursing and graduate preparation is from Yale. She hopes one day to work in nursing leadership for an international medical relief organization. 

Laura Whittaker
Laura is currently employed as a Family Nurse Practitioner for The Peace Corps, and presently works with the health care team assessing the health needs and coordinating health care for over 82,000 Peace Corps volunteers in 72 countries worldwide. In this global capacity, she conducted quality assessments of health facilities in Benin, Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan. She served as a health care provider during the evacuation of Peace Corps volunteers from Mauritania, Guinea and Kazakhstan. Laura holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MPH from The Johns Hopkins University. In addition, she holds Post Masters Certificates as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and Nurse-Midwifery from Georgetown University. One of her most challenging yet most rewarding endeavors is setting up a small not-for-profit organization. "Nightingale Calling" will be a small NGO whose initial mission will be to raise scholarship money to send adolescent girls in Niger to nursing school. This will provide the young participants an option in life as they strive to avoid becoming child brides.