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  • Meet Our Faculty

    Learn more about some of the featured faculty and leadership of Kaplan University's School of Nursing. Read about their experiences; find out more about their background; and discover who might be teaching your next class at Kaplan University.

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  • Chandice Covington Headshot

    Chandice Y. Covington, PhD, APRN, PPCNP(BC), FAAN, Dean and Vice President, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Chandice Covington is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and earned her Doctor of Philosophy in clinical nursing research from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas.

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    Marilyn Wideman

    Marilyn Wideman, DNP, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean, Online Nursing Programs, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Marilyn Wideman joined Kaplan University in 2016. Her responsibilities include overseeing and facilitating effective delivery of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs and providing strategic leadership for program development, revision, review, and accreditation.

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    Rachel Pawlisz

    Rachel Pawlisz, MBA, MJ, Assistant Dean of Students, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Ms. Rachel Pawlisz is an assistant dean of students at Kaplan University, serving the School of Nursing since 2010. In her role, she serves as an advocate for nursing students and works to promote excellence in student support services.

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    Susan Kieffer

    Susan Kieffer, DBA, MSN/Ed, RN Academic Chair, RN-to-BSN Program, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Susan Kieffer began her journey at Kaplan University in 2007 as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Nursing. Her responsibilities include the hiring, management, and evaluation of all BSN faculty members and participating in student recruitment and retention activities.

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    Deborah Adell

    Deborah Adell, PhD, ARNP Academic Chair, MSN and DNP Programs, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Adell had been the graduate academic chair since 2014. Her responsibilities at Kaplan University include hiring and managing all graduate faculties, overseeing the graduate curricula, and participating in advancing the mission of Kaplan University.

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    Andrea Gibson, MSN, RN, BA, Associate Dean, Campus Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Andrea Gibson joined the School of Nursing administration in 2013 as the Associate Dean of Campus Nursing. Her responsibilities include facilitating the delivery of the School's campus based nursing programs at the associate's and baccalaureate degree level.

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    Michele Pedulla, DNP, ARNP, CPNP-PC Assistant Chair of Graduate Programs, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Pedulla joined Kaplan University in 2012, and is currently the assistant chair of graduate programs. Her responsibilities include working on day-to-day activities, including scheduling of faculty and courses, addressing faculty and student issues, and course lead management.

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    Deborah Adelman, PhD, RN, NE-BC, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Adelman joined Kaplan University as the interim Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) academic chair in the School of Nursing in 2010. Her responsibilities included overseeing and facilitating effective delivery of the MSN program.

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    Lucy D. Alexander, PhD, RN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Alexander joined the School of Nursing in 2010. Her responsibilities include teaching and serving as course lead for the executive leader courses. She also serves as a member of the Kaplan University Institutional Review Board.

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    Amy Daly

    Amy Daly, PhD, RN, Program Lead, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Daly joined Kaplan University School of Nursing in 2009 as a Professor of Nursing in the RN-BSN program. In 2015, she assumed the position of DNP program lead, and she assists in providing leadership in designated program areas for the DNP Program focused on academic operations that support timely student matriculation to program completion.

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    Tina Eslinger-Vaughn, DNP, PHN, RN-C, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Tina Eslinger-Vaughn joined Kaplan University in 2007 as an adjunct instructor in the RN-BSN online program. Prior to joining Kaplan University, Dr. Vaughn has worked in a diversity of clinical settings with over 29 years in emergency care services.

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    Catherine Fant

    Catherine Fant, PhD, RN-BC, Course Lead, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Fant’s work experience encompasses both military and civilian environments. She functioned clinically in both settings in critical care and ED.

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    Elizabeth Frander

    Elizabeth Frander, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Frander teaches primarily in the DNP Program. Some of Dr. Frander’s other responsibilities include curriculum review, course lead duties, service on the Academic Policies Committee, and Assessment and Evaluation committee.

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    Jessica Isnetto

    Jessica Lorraine Isnetto, DNP, ARNP-C, FNP, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Jessica Isnetto is a full-time faculty member with Kaplan University School of Nursing. She teaches a variety of MSN courses including Women’s Health Focus and the final NP clinical course.

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    Cynthia Lewis-Washington, DNP, FNP-BC, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Lewis-Washington completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Birmingham School of Nursing in August 2009. Her responsibilities include serving as course lead in the family nurse practitioner program and she is a member of Curriculum Oversight Committee.

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    Marilyn McDonald

    Marilyn McDonald, DHSc, APRN, AGNP, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. McDonald joined the Kaplan University School of Nursing faculty as an adjunct in November of 2014 and accepted the position as full time adult-gerontological nurse practitioner program lead in the graduate program in March 2016.

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    Tomeka Royster

    Tomeka Royster, DNP, FNP-BC, MSN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Tomeka Royster joined the Kaplan University School of Nursing faculty as adjunct faculty in 2011 in the BSN program. In 2003, she completed her Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration as a family nurse practitioner. In 2009, she earned a Doctorate in Nursing Practice.

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    Laura Shenkman, FNP-C, APRN, MSN, Program Lead, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    In 2015 Laura Shenkman was appointed a full-time position as the family nurse practitioner program lead. As program lead faculty she provides leadership for the family nurse practitioner program and students in designated program areas.

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    Mary Anne Thesis

    Mary Anne Theiss, PhD, JD, MSN, RN, CNE, CMCN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Mary Anne Theiss joined Kaplan University as an adjunct professor in the Master of Science in Nursing programs in 2009. Her responsibilities include course design and revisions, course lead for MN 506, 530 and 531, and teaching in the graduate nursing programs.

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    Cynthia M Turner, DNP, FNP, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Cynthia M. Turner joined Kaplan University as a faculty member in the School of Nursing in 2010. Her responsibilities include serving as course lead in the family nurse practitioner program, former chair, and current member of the Academic Policies Committee.

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    Laura Wood

    Laura Kay Wood, PhD(c), MSN, RN, CMCN, Course Lead, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Laura Wood joined Kaplan University in 2010. She is course lead for courses MN 502: Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing, MN 507: Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Health Care Delivery, and MN 509: Curriculum Design.

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    Megan Bivens

    Megan Bivens, MSN, RN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Megan Bivens joined Kaplan University as a full time faculty member in 2014. Her primary responsibility with Kaplan University is teaching in the RN-to-BSN program.

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    Kellee Flurry

    Kellee Flurry, MSN, BSN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Kellee Flurry joined Kaplan University in 2008 as a part-time instructor in the RN-to-BSN program, and in 2010 became a full-time member of this program. Her responsibilities include course delivery in the RN-to-BSN curriculum and has also taught in the MSN curriculum.

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    Jessica Gordon

    Jessica Gordon, MSN, CHSE, BSN, BHS, RN, Full Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Jessica Gordon is a full time faculty member in the Kaplan University School of Nursing. In her position, Jessica strives to educate, encourage, and inspire the students matriculating at Kaplan University School of Nursing.

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    Julie Grissom

    Julie M. Grissom, PhD, MSN, RN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Grissom joined Kaplan University as an adjunct professor in 2012 and became a full-time faculty member in 2014. Her responsibilities include serving as course lead for NU 310 and she recently revised the NU 310 curriculum.

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    Kelley Madick

    Kelley Madick, PMHNP, MSNed, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Kelley has been teaching at Kaplan University in the School of Nursing RN-to-BSN program for eight years.  She has taught several courses including Nursing Research, Assessment, and Nursing Theory. Currently, she is the course lead for Leadership and Management in Nursing and Healthcare Systems.

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    Mahlan Elaina

    Elaina Mahlan, MSN, MSHE, RN, CNE, FCN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Elaina Mahlan serves as course lead, subject matter expert, and instructor for the Professional Leadership Transitions course in the University's RN-to-BSN program. Her responsibilities also include faculty credentialing oversight and service on various committees.

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    Wendy Mason

    Wendy Mason, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Wendy Mason joined Kaplan University in 2008 as a part-time professor in the RN-to-BSN program, and was appointed a full-time faculty member in 2010. She teaches in the RN-to-BSN program and serves as the lead faculty member for the Professional Holistic Nursing course.

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    Sheila Rucki

    Sheila Quinn Rucki, PhD, RN, PCNS, BC, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    In addition to teaching in the RN-to-BSN program, the on-ground BSN program and the Master of Science in Nursing, Dr. Rucki is the course lead for NU 450: Public Health Nursing: Population and Community Health Care in the Community.

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    Tracy Towne

    Tracy Towne, PhD, RN, Full-Time Faculty, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Tracy M. Towne joined Kaplan University in 2008 as a part-time professor in the RN-to-BSN program, and in 2010 became a full-time member of this program. Her responsibilities include course delivery in the RN-to-BSN program, serving as the lead faculty member for the BSN Capstone course and the Faith Based Community Nursing course.

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    Graduate Adjunct Faculty

    Lydia Forsythe

    Lydia Forsythe, PhD, MA, MSN, BA, RN, CNOR, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Graduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Forsythe is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Nursing at Kaplan University. She teaches in the MSN and DNP programs. Currently, Dr. Forsythe is the president of a strategic health care consulting firm.

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    Debra Langham

    Debra Langham, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, Course Lead, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Graduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Langham joined Kaplan University as online part-time adjunct faculty in 2015 and advanced to full-time adjunct status in 2016. Her responsibilities include daily collaboration with online students to provide integrity, support, knowledge, and positive results.

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    Orlando Malate

    Orlando Malate, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, CNL, COI, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Graduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Orlando Malate joined Kaplan University in 2014 as a faculty member in the MSN program teaching epidemiology, evidence-based practice, nurse executive courses, and leadership courses. Currently, Dr. Orlando Malate is the DNP mentor at Kaplan University.

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    Tony Mangiafico

    Anthony "Tony" Mangiafico, PhD, CNS, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Graduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Mangiafico has been a part of Kaplan University School of Nursing adjunct faculty since 2008, leading coursework in epidemiology for master’s and doctoral students, conducting master’s-level coursework in the areas of physiology, pharmacology, and research.

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    Carol Patton

    Carol Patton, Dr. PH, RN, FNP-BC, CRNP, CNE, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Graduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Patton has over 10 years of experience in clinical practice in a variety of health care organizations as well as nursing education. Dr. Patton has worked in acute care as well as community based outpatient and public health settings.

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    Renee Shell

    Renee Shell, EdD, MSN, ARNP-BC, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Graduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Dr. Shell is a full-time adjunct professor with Kaplan School of Nursing and teaches pediatric courses in the online Nurse Practitioner Program. She received her MSN and EdD from East Tennessee State University.

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    Undergraduate Adjunct Faculty

    Shelly Lehmann

    Shelly Lehmann MSN, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Undergraduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Shelly Lehmann joined Kaplan University as a part-time faculty member in 2008. In 2015, she moved into a full-time adjunct faculty position. Her primary responsibility with Kaplan University is to provide instruction to online students in the BSN, MSN, and NP courses.

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    Tammy Williams

    Tammy Williams, MS, RN, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Undergraduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Ms. Williams joined Kaplan University in 2012 as an adjunct faculty teaching in the RN-to-BSN program. She has taught in health assessment, community, research, leadership, as well as the capstone course. In addition, she is a member of the Science Gel Committee.

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    Natasha Zurcher

    Natasha Zurcher, MSN/ED, RN, CPN, EdDc, Full-Time Adjunct Faculty, Online Undergraduate Nursing, Kaplan University School of Nursing

    Natasha joined Kaplan University School of Nursing in 2011 as an adjunct faculty member. She primarily teaches in the RN-to-BSN online program. In addition, Natasha has served on curriculum development projects as well as the Faculty Curriculum Committee.

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