Your instructors in the online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership program have vast expertise in clinical practice, research and education. They include the former director of the Pima County Health Department, former chief nursing officer of the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System, current chair of the Leadership Council of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
They bring a wide range of experience (more than 30 years for some!), from flight nurse to informatics manager, hospital unit manager to researcher funded by the NIH and National Institute of Nursing Research. They are award-winning educators, motivated mentors, and accomplished scholars. And, in the words of one of our graduates, they are 110% invested in your success.
Kim Blumenfeld is a clinical instructor for the RN-MSN program. Her career began with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) in 1992. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2007, and her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in 2013. Her BSN and MSN were achieved 100% online. Blumenfeld says advancing her degree was integral to her career adventure, and that her bedside and managerial experience helped her tremendously as she progressed from ADN to MSN.
Blumenfeld has led a diverse and interesting nursing career. Her expertise spans general medicine, cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes education, cardiovascular intensive care, post anesthesia care and GI lab experience. She also managed the University of Arizona Cancer Center for several years. Ms. Blumenfeld is a Reiki II Practitioner and a graduate fellow from the University of Arizona Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship. She believes the magic of nursing is the ability to continually challenge yourself and keep your career fresh and exciting.
MS MPH, RN
Professor Sherry Daniels has practiced public health nursing in a variety of settings, from managing Maternal and Child Health programs to directing all functions, programs and activities of the Pima County Health Department. She currently serves as faculty in the RN-MSN program and as chair of the Population Health and Healthcare Environments courses.
Daniels has received many honors and awards, including Excellence in Teaching Awards from the College of Nursing and Excellence in Clinical Practice from Sigma Theta Tau International. She was keynote speaker at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Scholarship Luncheon in 2011 and presented the convocation speech at the college’s graduation in 2010. She looks forward to sharing her love of public health with students as a first step in understanding the context of individuals within a community and how public health policies and interventions have power to change health care on multiple levels.
Ph.D., RN, AOCNS
Dr. Cheryl Lacasse, a clinical professor and coordinator for the RN-MSN program, has been teaching for over 20 years and has been a nurse for more than 30, caring for oncology patients in a variety of settings. She has served in several roles in nursing practice, from clinical educator to advanced practice nurse. Working in a nurse-run pain and symptom management service, she integrated clinical expertise, patient/family-centered care, staff education and research, which allowed her to see the impact nurses have on individuals experiencing cancer-related challenges.
Lacasse’s colleagues consider her a master teacher who embraces creative teaching strategies and enjoys mentoring. She has received numerous awards for excellence in education; served on and led local, regional and national committees in practice and education; and coordinated patient/family and professional educational programs. As the director of Teaching/Learning Practice and Evaluation, she is committed to developing the future leaders of health care.
DNSc, RN, FAAN
Dr. Ki Moore is one of the visionaries involved in the conception and launch of the online RN-MSN program. She is the program’s faculty administrator, a recognized professor and multiple award recipient.
Dr. Moore received the 2013 Nurse Research Discovery Award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for her research on the effects of central nervous system treatment for childhood leukemia on antioxidant level, apoptosis and cognitive abilities. She was also awarded the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Pathfinders Award, Association of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology Distinguished Researcher Award, and University of Arizona Henry Koffler Prize for Scholarship for her research focused on central nervous system toxicities experienced by children with cancer.
Dr. Moore is passionate about the UA College of Nursing and the industry as a whole. She hopes to continue developing and bettering the RN-MSN program for years to come.
Evangeline M. Ortiz-Dowling
Evangeline M. Ortiz-Dowling, PhD, RN is a clinical assistant professor in the RN-MS program. Her nursing career, teaching, scholarship, and service commitments focus on educating and caring for the older adult population. Dr. Ortiz-Dowling serves on university and community committees aimed at improving the lives of older adults.
The purpose of Dr. Ortiz-Dowling’s dissertation study was to explore the cultural, social, environmental, and gender factors influencing physical activity in older Mexican American males. Results from this preliminary research provided insight as to how older Mexican American males feel about their general health, masculinity, and physical activity. This qualitative data was the first step in a program of study aimed at developing and pilot testing an evidence-based physical activity intervention to address cardiovascular disease and health disparities among older Mexican American males.
Mary F. O’Connell
MA, PHN, RN
Professor Mary O’Connell began her nursing career as a pediatric nurse at the University of Minnesota hospital before serving as a visiting Maternal Child Health nurse and manager for a large homecare agency. She then worked as a clinic director for a federally qualified health center for 10 years, where she wrote and contributed to state and federal grants on health disparities, vulnerable populations and diabetes. She obtained her master’s degree in Transcultural and Community Health nursing to continue serving people of various cultures and backgrounds.
In 2008, O’Connell began teaching at the University of Arizona, and has taught both on main campus and online to BSN and RN-MSN students. In 2016, she was selected to be in the first cohort for Arizona’s Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship.
O’Connell encourages all students to take great pride in their nursing practice and to further consider what their nursing legacy will be.
Brigette J. Quinn
Bridgette Quinn is a clinical instructor in the RN-MSN program. Her nursing career began as a volunteer but continued into a care aide, licensed practical nurse (LPN), then registered nurse (RN). She specializes in critical care, emergency nursing and clinical informatics, with experience as a nurse manager and hospital supervisor. She loves the challenge of providing the most innovative, evidence-based health care possible.
As a nurse leader, Quinn enjoys resolving clinical challenges and collaborating with nurses who see more bridges than barriers. She is motivated by the fact that we will all be patients someday, and therefore she dedicates herself to advocating for patient-centered health care. She believes the capacity to share health and illness information for patient empowerment is an exciting opportunity to build a healthier world.
Ph.D., RN, OCN, NEA-BC
Dr. Cindy Rishel has worked for over 40 years as an RN in direct care within a variety of leadership roles. She holds national certifications in medical/surgical nursing and case management. She is also a certified oncology nurse (OCN) and is earning a certification in executive nursing leadership (NEA-BC).
Rishel earned her Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Arizona, where she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award for her research study, “The Realization of Parental Knowing: End-of-Life Decision Making in Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation.” She has been published in Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF) and Chinese Nursing Management.
Rishel is a clinical associate professor at the UA College of Nursing. She has taught in the high-acuity med/surgical BSN and doctoral programs and is a lead faculty member in the RN-MSN program. Currently, she is developing an Executive Leadership core specialty track in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the College of Nursing.
Dr. Kimberly Shea has 15 years’ experience in respiratory, home health and hospice nursing. Her medical research – funded for the past 10 years by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, the Lawrence B. Emmons Award, and Sigma Theta Tau International – is focused on the motivation of self-care behaviors through technological feedback, persuasion and other human factor strategies. Its primary goal is enabling, encouraging, empowering and engaging people who are living with chronic conditions.
She has more than 40 publications and presentations on telehealth applications, primarily about technology-based delivery of health care to patients’ homes. She teaches graduate-level courses that focus on nursing informatics, telehealth and technology usability in health care. As an active member of several prominent nursing associations, Dr. Shea remains up-to-date in the field of nursing. She enjoys guiding masters and doctoral-level students in understanding the human factors involved with implementing technology into nursing.
Dr. Graciela Silva obtained her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Her research focus is on sleep, sleep-disordered breathing, obesity, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and infectious diseases.
She has taught several university courses, including Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Care Organizations, Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice. Her philosophy in teaching is to give students all the necessary tools so they can learn and apply their new knowledge toward performing their own evaluations. At the same time, students should be able to apply critical thinking, perform independent studies, and interpret their results.
Carrie S. Silvers
Carrie Silvers is a clinical instructor and course chair in the RN-MSN program. Her professional nursing background has focused on critical care, nursing leadership, and quality and safety. Her career includes a variety of work environments ranging from bedside nurse in critical care to intensive care unit manager. As a manager, she successfully increased patient, nurse and physician satisfaction by using evidence-based team-building techniques. She has led teams of nurses, respiratory therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists and more.
As a nurse leader, Silvers knows that in order to facilitate change, nurses need to speak up. She is committed to inspiring and mentoring nurses to become the patient’s advocate and spokesperson through integrity, sincerity and honesty. Her dream is to be an integral part of creating the optimal nursing work environment.
Mary Walters is a clinical instructor in the RN-MSN program. Prior to joining the faculty in August 2013, she served as the chief nursing officer at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System for 13 years. She has extensive experience in nursing administration and geriatrics.
Ms. Walters received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and her master’s degree from the University of Arizona. She holds three board certifications: Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gerontological Nursing from ANCC, Nurse Executive Advanced from ANCC and Clinical Nurse Leader from AACN.