Yale Nursing Celebrates Faculty and Alumni Reaching FAAN Career Milestone

August 1, 2022

Yale School of Nursing (YSN) recently celebrated the selection of three faculty for Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN): Associate Professor Dr. Soohyun Nam, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, FAHA, Associate Professor Dr. Gina Novick ’83 MSN, ’09 PhD, CNM, FACNM, and Associate Clinical Faculty Dr. Bernadette Jao, DNP, RN, PMH-BC. The FAAN distinction is a significant career milestone for nurses, in which past and current accomplishments are honored by colleagues within and outside the profession. 

Dr. Soohyun Nam

Throughout her work, Dr. Nam has found that adults of diverse race/ethnicity experience multiple barriers to accessing and navigating healthcare systems and to managing their chronic diseases that often require substantial health behavior change and self-management. Her program of research has focused on understanding cardiometabolic health disparities and social, cultural, and affective determinants of health among racial-ethnic minorities. 

She has extensively studied and published on social determinants of health in racial, ethnic, and immigrant minority populations and health disparities, including racial discrimination, bio-behavioral stress responses, lifestyle health behaviors, social networks, and neighborhood. Among her most recent research is an insomnia intervention tailored to the needs of Black women.

Dr. Gina Novick

A longstanding member of the YSN faculty, Dr. Novick is an Associate Professor in the Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty. Her research and policy interests focus on understanding and implementing alternatives to conventional models of maternity care, including freestanding birth centers and group prenatal care. Her research examines the experience of low income, minority women receiving group prenatal care as well as barriers and facilitators to implementing, providing, and sustaining group prenatal care in prenatal clinics. 

Before COVID-19 hit Connecticut, Dr. Novick had been working on reintroducing a popular evidence-based group model of care to Yale New Haven Health with her colleagues and is hopeful she can continue that work when the pandemic recedes.

Dr. Bernadette Jao

Dr. Jao is the Associate Director of Patient and Nursing Services and Chief Nursing Officer of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in addition to serving as an Associate Clinical Professor at YSN. Her nearly 40 years of nursing experience include both the academic and private sectors and has served veterans within the VA for more than two decades. Her wide-ranging background includes providing leadership in Mental Health, Medical and Surgical Services, and Primary Care. 

Alumni Inductees

YSN is also delighted to celebrate the induction of multiple alumni this year.

Dr. Stephan Davis, ’16 DNP, MHSA, FACHE, FNAP is the Executive Director of Inclusive Leadership Education and the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served YSN in multiple roles since his graduation, including as an alumni representative on the IDEAS Council, as a YSN Alumni Board member, and as a Yale Alumni Association Board member.

Dr. Ronica Mukerjee ’17 DNP, MsA, FNP, PMHNP, LAc is a family nurse practitioner and acupuncturist who is also training to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. They are currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing Columbia University.

Recent YSN graduate Dr. Sharon Pearce ’21 DNP, CRNA, FAANA is now concentrating on Sharon Pearce Anesthesia, Speaking & Consulting in North Carolina. A former political candidate, while a student at YSN she spearheaded a candidate school for nurses looking to run for office.

Two-time alumnus Dr. Joyce Shea, ’83 MSN, ’02 DNSc, APRN, PMHCNS-BC is the Associated Dean of Graduate Studies and an Associate Professor of Nursing at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Dr. Shea was also recently named American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s (APNA) 2022 Psychiatric Nurse of the Year.

Dr. Jasper Erwin Tolarba, EdD(c), ’15 DNP, MSN, M.Ed., RN, CGNC, FACHE is currently at APEX Global Partners in New Jersey. As a Healthcare Leaders, Systems, Policy, DNP student at YSN, Dr. Tolarba concentrated on “The Role of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurse in Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) Model of Care.”

YSN Reception in DC

The inductees will be recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the Academy’s annual conference in October in Washington, DC. YSN is delighted to host a reception at the conference to congratulate new FAANs in person for the first time since 2019.

The newest Fellows represent 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 17 countries. The incoming class of 250 stands out as the largest cohort to date.