Faculty

The widely renowned UIC professors and instructors of the RN to BSN online degree completion program are leading researchers and advance practice clinical nurses who will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to achieve even greater success in your career. They will be active participants in your learning — providing instruction, responsiveness, support and encouragement. You will be learning from the leaders at the forefront of your profession.

If you have questions about RN to BSN faculty or would like additional information, please contact us by e-mail.

CATHERINE TREDWAY, MBA, MSN, BA, RN

Academic Director and Clinical Instructor

Read more about Catherine Tredway

Bio:

Kate Tredway has been a faculty member of UIC College of Nursing for 18+ years, teaching in and directing the RN-BSN Completion Degree program. She has been involved in the early stages of online course development for UIC and the teaching of online courses. Along with UIC online instructional designers, Kate has co-authored publications on the transition of traditional face-to-face courses in nursing to the online format and learning environment.

Kate has been awarded the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence 11 times and received the UIC Silver Circle Award three times. She has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of both her ADN alma mater, Blackhawk Community College in Moline, IL, and by her Master’s degree alma mater, UIC College of Nursing Quad Cities Regional Campus.

Kate’s nursing specialty area is community health nursing in which she does volunteer consulting for program development and evaluation for various community health organizations.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Concepts and Processes in Contemporary Nursing, Concepts and Processes in Population focused Nursing, Nursing Leadership and Management; Issues in Nursing; Caring in Professional Nursing

Selected Honors & Awards:

  • UIC Silver Circle Award (x 3)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award ( x11)
  • UIC CON Quad Cities Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Blackhawk Community College Distinguished Nurse Alumni Award
  • UIC RN-BSN Online Baccalaureate Degree ranked 9th in nation by
  • US News and World Report, 2013 UIC RN-BSN Online Baccalaureate Degree ranked 1st in nation for student engagement by US News and World Report, 2013

Selected Publications:

Anderson, G., Tredway, C. & Calice, C. (in press). A longitudinal study of nursing students’ perceptions of quality online course design. Journal of Integrative Learning Research, 26(1).

Anderson, G. & Tredway, C. (2009). Transforming the nursing curriculum to promote critical thinking online. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(2), 111-115.

Current Research:

Further investigation of Merrill’s First Principles of Instructional Design and the impact on quality of online course delivery.

 


MARY CHESNEY, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Mary Chesney

Bio:

Mary Chesney’s background includes a Bachelor’s degree in home economics education and nursing. Her MPH is in nutrition with a maternal/child and adolescent health focus. Her MSN is in nursing education and her PhD is in public health with a program planning and evaluation focus.

Mary’s areas of interest focus on the impact of nutrition on health and health literacy. She has nearly 30 years of experience working in community health nursing including establishing population focused programs as a nurse while working in the Cooperative Extension Service and in a community pharmacy outreach program.

Current areas of teaching:

Clinical Concepts; Processes in Population-Focused Nursing

Selected Honors and Awards:

  • Kathy Lundgren Scholarship for new professionals in Cooperative Extension
  • National Association of Extension Home Economists Program Excellence through Research award for older adult nutrition education program

Selected Publications:

Caucasian nurses experiences providing diabetes education to American Indians (2013) Dissertation


SUZANNE C. FAHRENWALD

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Suzanne Fahrenwald

Bio:

Suzanne Fahrenwald has been teaching undergraduate courses at UIC since 1996 in the area of pediatrics, health assessment, and concepts of Professional Nursing. She has a clinical background that includes Home Health, Pediatrics, and Family Practice outpatient care. As a certified instructor of the American Safety Health Institute, she has taught first aid/childcare classes to pre-teens in her community.

Sue is currently a nurse coordinator for the UIC Family Clinic, a diagnostic clinic for children with developmental delay and she is a member of the Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. She is also a Quality Improvement Coordinator for a Home Health company in Chicago.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Concepts & Processes for Contemporary Nursing


JAMIE PIKUS GHAFARI, RN, MSN

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Jamie Pikus

Bio:

Jamie Ghafari’s clinical background is in pediatric ICU nursing and organ transplant coordination. Early in her career she realized that she enjoyed the administrative and teaching aspects of the nursing profession. After she graduated with her Master’s in Nursing Administration from UIC, she accepted a nursing management role in the Patient Logistics department at the University of Illinois Hospital. In this role, Jamie assists hospital leadership in predicting, prioritizing and optimizing patient flow.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Nursing Leadership and Management in Healthcare

Selected Publications:

Ghafari, J., Bhati, C., John., E., Tzvetanov, I., Testa, G., Oberholzer, J., Benedetti, E. (2011). Long term follow up in adult living donors for combined liver/bowel transplant in pediatric recipients: A single center experience. Pediatric Transplantation, 15, 425-429.

Ghafari, J., Tzvetanov, I., Spaggiari, M., Jeon, H., Oberholzer, J. and Benedetti, E. (2012), The Effect of Living Donation of Small Bowel on Lipid Metabolism, Transplant International, 25: e19-e20.


MARY J. GIRARDI, MSN, RN, PEL-CSN

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Mary Girardi

Bio:

Mary Giarardi is the Chair for the Illinois Association of School Nurses Education & Certification, acting as the Primary Nurse Planner for the IASN Approved Provider Unit authority for issuing continuing nursing education credits. Within the framework of community health designing and implementing primary, secondary, and tertiary health promotion and education for students and families, she practices full time as a Professional Educator Licensed School Nurse/Certified School Nurse. Mary also provides consultation support for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing’s Innovations in Health Care Institute to enhance the College’s continuing education programs and offerings.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Clinical Concepts; Processes in Population-Focused Nursing

Selected Honors and Awards:

  • 2015 Illinois Association of School Nurses NE Division School Nurse of the Year
  • Lois Freils Research Award for Evidence Based Practice, “Evaluation of a Comprehensive Hand Hygiene Initiative & the Influence of School Nurses Upon Student Illness-Related Absences,” a project with two former colleagues in U46.
  • Recipient of a USDA Fresh Fruits & Vegetable Program Grant

SUZANNE JAHNKE, RN, MS

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Suzanne Jahnke

Bio:

Suzanne Jahnke graduated with her Master’s in nursing from North Park University and works as a certified Surgical Clinical Reviewer. In this role, she improves the quality of surgery by reviewing, analyzing and suggesting areas of improvement for sub-specialties of surgery for the American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP).

In all aspects of her career, Suzanne is focused on helping to achieve optimum outcomes for patients, families and students. She is passionate about ensuring that high quality healthcare is delivered in all clinical and educational settings, and highlights the great impact that nurses make on the quality of healthcare by working with multidisciplinary staff.

Suzanne is also a writer and editor for a healthcare publishing company. She is a proponent of evidenced-based research, and the movement of using evidence-based research in healthcare has been a dynamic part of her education and career path.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Nursing Informatics; Nursing Leadership and Management in Healthcare


CHRISTINA RITTER, DNP, CPNP, CLC

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Christina Ritter

Bio:

Christina Ritter practices as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at an outpatient pediatric private practice in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Her practical work includes management of outpatient care for well and sick infants and children.

Christina performs complete history and physical exams, diagnoses and treats common childhood illnesses, and provides anticipatory guidance regarding common infant/child health topics. She also implemented a breastfeeding management program and serves as a certified breastfeeding counselor providing breastfeeding guidance, support and education to families of newborns. Christina also serves as the office’s Reach Out and Read program director.

Current Area of Teaching:

Concepts and Processes in Population Focused Nursing; Health Assessment


KARYN ROBERTS, MSN, RN, CPEN

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Karen Roberts

Bio:

Karyn Roberts has been a pediatric nurse for 20 years. Earlier in her career, Karyn spent several years overseas in Russia and Central Asia, which informed her views on nursing, healthcare delivery systems, and the role of culture as it relates to those areas.

Karyn is currently a staff nurse in the pediatric emergency department at Northwest Community Hosptial in Arlington Heights, IL. Her research interests are simulation in nursing education, and health disparities in children presenting to the emergency department.

Karyn enjoys teaching and challenging students to think critically in order to advance their own nursing knowledge and practice.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Concepts and Processes for Contemporary Nursing

Selected Awards:

Daisy Faculty Award – August 2013

Presentations:

Integrating Nursing Education and Practice: Utilizing Clinical Partnerships To Provide Simulation Experiences to Nursing Students. Roberts, K., Duback, K., Sava, K., & Obrecht, J. Podium Presentation; 2nd Annual Advocate Healthcare Nursing Research Symposium. Chicago, IL. April 9, 2014.

Poster Presentation 9th Annual NLN/Elsevier Technology Conference: What’s Happening Now? Nashville, TN. October 25, 2014.

Utilizing Simulation to Bridge Gaps in Clinical Nursing Education. Kendrick, A., & Roberts, K. Poster Presentation; 40th Annual March of Dimes Perinatal Conference: Improving Perinatal Outcomes: 40 Years of Success! Westin, Lombard, IL March 9 & 10, 2015.

Cultural Competence: Nurses Perceptions’ in Caring for the Culturally Diverse Patient. Roberts, K., Reidinger, G., & Koran, Z. Poster Presentation; Exemplary Professional Practice in Action:Research and Education: Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oaklawn, IL, April 12, 2011.


KELLEY SAVA, MS, APN, CPNP-PC

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Kelley Sava

Bio:

Kelley Sava’s background is in pediatric nursing, including roles as a staff nurse, pediatric nurse practitioner and a unit-based APN. Kelley currently works as the Director of Simulation for a hospital system.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Caring in Professional Nursing; Health Assessment


KATHLEEN NEEDHAM, MS, RNC-NIC, CPHQ

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Kathleen Needham

Bio:

Kathleen Needham’s nursing background is in the Neonatal Intensive Care focused on caring for critically ill neonates and their families. While pursuing her Master’s degree in nursing, Kathleen was introduced to Quality and Performance Improvement. This sparked her passion for patient safety and quality improvement initiatives in the acute care setting.

Kathleen is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt trained and is currently completing her Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification. She currently works as an Organizational Quality Coordinator at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, where she facilitates organization-wide initiatives to improvement the quality of care for every patient.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Concepts and Processes in Contemporary Nursing; Issues in Nursing Practice


RUTH SCHUMACHER, DNP, RN, CPN

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Ruth Schumacher

Bio:

Dr. Ruth Schumacher has been a nurse for 36 years, including over 34 years as a pediatric nurse in a variety of in-patient settings and positions, such as: PICU, general pediatrics and hematology/oncology.

Dr. Schumacher currently practices as a bedside nurse at a major medical center pediatric hospital. She has also worked as a clinical educator; has done some home health management; and is certified as a pediatric nurse by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. She also holds certification through APHON.

Dr. Schumacher has been in education for 34 years, including over 26 years with UIC. She has also taught pediatric clinical for Rush University and Loyola University. In addition to teaching for UIC’s RN-BSN Program, Dr. Schumacher is currently an assistant professor at Elmhurst College where she teaches pre-licensure and graduate students in a variety of courses.

Throughout her many years of teaching, Dr. Schumacher has developed courses; been involved in curriculum revision; and done textbook and electronic media review for various nursing textbook publishers.

Dr. Schumacher has an interest in alternative therapies, especially for children. Her DNP project focused on routines and rituals related to children and sleep.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Caring in Professional Nursing; Concepts and Processes for Contemporary Nursing


NANCY SISLOW, MS, RN

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Nancy Sislow

Bio:

Nancy Sislow has clinical experience in acute care, long-term care, home health, rehabilitation and administration. She has provided formal nursing education, continuing education and patient education throughout her career.

Early in her career, Nancy set a professional goal of working as a chief nursing officer. She has achieved this goal, serving as chief nursing officer of her hospital practice for the last five years.

Since 2006, Nancy has been the clinical instructor for the Internship in Advanced Nursing course for the graduate administrative and public health tracks in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing’s Department of Health Systems Sciences.

She has taught online courses since 2007, and UIC online RN to BSN courses since 2014.

Current Area of Teaching:

Concepts and Processes in Contemporary Nursing

Selected Publications:

Nancy was a content contributor to Mumma, C. (Ed.). (1987). Rehabilitation Nursing: Concepts and Practice-A Core Curriculum. Evanston, IL: Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation.


LETA M. VAUGHAN DNP, APN, CNM

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Leta Vaughan

Bio:

Dr. Leta Vaughan specializes in gynecology, and is an attentive and compassionate Advanced Practice Nurse serving women in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Her experience and expertise has spanned over 30 years.

Dr. Vaughan earned her Bachelor’s degree in health sciences and nursing from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, her Master’s degree in nurse midwifery from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.

Dr. Vaughan is board-certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. She has taught women’s health at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at UIC, as well as through DePaul University, Loyola University, Methodist College of Nursing, and Chamberlain College of Nursing.

In addition to serving on faculty with UIC, Dr. Vaughan has a private clinical practice in Schaumburg, IL where she specializes in all aspects of gynecology and women’s health, with a particular focus and interest in teen issues, bio-identical hormones, holistic lifestyle, nutrition, and supplements.

Dr. Vaughan is a volunteer for the WINGS program and an advocate in the prevention of domestic violence. She is also involved with the Illinois Society of Advanced Practice Nurses and government issues for the promotion of independent practice.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Health Assessment; Nursing Leadership and Management in Healthcare; Caring in Professional Nursing; Issues in Nursing Practice

Selected Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Clinical Instructor for Methodist College of Nursing
Outstanding Alumni for Methodist College of Nursing

Selected Publications:

www.biohormonesinc.com

www.wwrejuvenation.com


THERESA R. WILLIAMS RN, MBA, MSN, MEd

Clinical Instructor

Read more about Theresa Williams

Bio:

Theresa Williams began teaching in the UIC RN-BSN Completion Degree Program in 2008. Theresa has updated course content in nursing informatics; nursing research and evidence-based practice; and leadership and management in nursing.

Since 2008 Theresa has also taught online at Olivet Nazarene University, first in the RN-BSN program and teaching online statistics, and recently teaching for the Family Nurse Practitioner program.

Since 2003, Theresa has worked as a Process Manager at Humana, Inc., working with virtual telephonic nursing programs and providing data, tools and technology efficiencies to improve patient outcomes.

Current Areas of Teaching:

Introduction to Nursing Research and Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice; Nursing Informatics; Nursing Leadership and Management in Healthcare

Selected Honors and Awards:

Mildred Ihle Award for Caring – Wisconsin State University 1989
Humana Gold Star Award – Humana, Inc. December 2004
UIC Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (x 2)

Current Research:

Theresa is currently pursuing a PhD. Her dissertation research is a study in online learning relative to the impact of prior online learning experience in ADN and Diploma Programs on RNs intent to pursue an RN-BSN degree online.