College of Nursing e-News



Message from the Dean

Bernadette MelnykI hope you all are enjoying a happy and healthy start to 2017. Here at the College of Nursing, we are already on a roll with wonderful new faculty and brand new rankings that rate our college higher than ever before.


U.S. News and World Report just released their college rankings for 2017, and I am delighted to share that we have moved up yet again in ranking for online graduate nursing programs, from #4 to #3 (up from #47 in 2013)—tied with Duke. Hopkins is #4. Ohio State's baccalaureate online programs, including our RN-BSN, remain in the top 10—at #8. These rankings reflect the innovative and dedicated work of all of our terrific faculty who teach in our outstanding online programs, and our awesome staff who support them as well as our wonderful students. We are proud to show the world that we provide the same outstanding student education, support, and evidence-based curricula online as we do for our students on campus.


It's so important for all of us—especially health professionals—to practice good self-care before being able to give care to others. Tragically, studies show that health professionals in the U.S. suffer alarmingly high rates of stress, depression, and suicide. In response, the National Academy of Medicine has created a new, high-profile Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-being and Resilience dedicated to finding key solutions to this public health epidemic, and I am honored to have been appointed to it. At Ohio State, we are already ahead of the curve with our wellness initiatives to keep our students, faculty and staff healthy and well. It's our vision to be the healthiest campus in the world, and we want you, our alumni, to join in that vision with us. I hope all of you are devoting time and attention to your health and wellness needs today, so that you can continue the amazing work you do and care you give your family and friends for a lifetime.


As always, let's keep dreaming, discovering and delivering a healthier world together. Go Bucks!



Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN
Vice President for Health Promotion
University Chief Wellness Officer
Dean and Professor, College of Nursing
Professor of Pediatrics & Psychiatry, College of Medicine
Executive Director, the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for EBP
The Ohio State University


Featured Stories

Bern Melnyk portrait

Dean Melnyk reappointed as Dean and Chief Wellness Officer

Congratulations to College of Nursing Dean Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, who has been reappointed to serve another five-year term as dean of our college and the university's chief wellness officer. In addition, Dean Melnyk was promoted from Associate Vice President for Health Promotion to Vice President for Health Promotion. We are so proud of the inspiring work Dean Melnyk does for our college and our university, helping us achieve our vision of becoming the healthiest campus in the world!

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New faculty welcomed to the College of Nursing

We extend a warm welcome to new faculty members Lee Cordell, MS, RN, CNL, ACNP-BC, CNL-BC, Shannon Gillespie, PhD, RN, Lisa Militello, PhD, MPH, RN, CPNP, Tara O'Brien, PhD, RN, CNE, LeShauna Postell, MSN, RN, CNP, Rachel Reineck, MS, RN, Sharon Tucker, PhD, RN, FAAN, PMHCNS-BC, and Jodi Ulloa, MSN, APRN, NNP-BC!


Foundation funds two Future of Nursing Scholars

The College of Nursing was selected to receive competitive funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for two "Future of Nursing Scholars." This grant, which will fund two PhD students for full tuition and stipend for three years of fulltime study, was spearheaded by PhD Program Director Rita Pickler, assisted by Director of Development Katy Trombitas and Director of Foundation Relations Aaron Conley. The Future of Nursing Scholars program seeks to develop a new generation of nurse leaders to transform America's healthcare system. Scholars will be selected by the PhD Subcommittee from the pool of applicants to the PhD program. Selected scholars will work closely with faculty mentors to complete the PhD in three years, while at the same time participating in RWJF-sponsored leadership training.

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Lizzie Fitzgerald, Candy Rinehart and Michele Balas at the Nurse of the Year Awards

March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards

Three faculty members of the College of Nursing were chosen as finalists, and two named Nurse of the Year at the March of Dimes 4th annual Nurse of the Year Awards on December 9th. The selection committee reviewed 297 nominations from 69 healthcare facilities throughout Ohio in 18 categories. Congratulations to our Nurses of the Year Elizabeth Fitzgerald, EdD, RN, CNS-BC ('80 MS) (Diversity) and Michele Balas, PhD, RN, APRN-NP, CCRN (Critical Care), as well as finalist Candy Rinehart DNP, FNP, ADM-BC, FAANP (Advanced Practice). We are also very proud of alumna Debra Stoner ('80 BSN), MSN, RN, LSN, NCSN, who was awarded Nurse of the Year in Public Health. Read more about Debra in the Alumni Spotlight below!


Bone marrow donor registry drive

On February 21, students, faculty, and staff of the College of Nursing teamed up with Be the Match Registry to find bone marrow donors. Could you save the life of someone with blood cancer? See here for more about how marrow is donated. If you’d like to register as a donor, apply here to be mailed a kit. Thank you!


Day of Giving supports the College of Nursing

Together, you raised over $11,600 to help advance key priorities of the College of Nursing. These include offsetting tuition and professional development expenses for our students, funding the work of world-renowned researchers and engaging more than 12,000 Buckeye Nursing alumni in our incredible college.


Reunion giving numbers are in

In 2016, more than $456,000 was raised by all of the college's milestone classes (years ending in "1" or "6"). The Class of 1961 had the highest participation rate at 19 percent and the Class of 1966 raised the most with funds totaling $227,058. Sincere thanks to all who contributed!


Alumni Award nominations open

Ordinary Buckeyes do extraordinary things. Chances are, you know fellow alumni who qualify for one of the eight different alumni awards the university bestows each year. Nominations are due March 31.

Submit yours today!

STTI Epsilon wants you!

If you aren't already a member of Sigma Theta Tau Epsilon, consider joining. This nursing honors society holds many events you won't want to miss, including serving lunch to human traffic survivors on Valentine's Day, an Annual Meeting February 22 at the Ross Heart Hospital Auditorium, an induction of new members at the Columbus Zoo on March 26, a Spring Service Project, and more! If you're interested in joining or volunteering, please contact Kady Martini at

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People to Watch

Shannon Gillespie portrait

Gillespie receives award

Shannon Gillespie, PhD, MS, RN, has been competitively selected to receive the Midwest Nursing Research Society's Women's Health and Transitions in Childbearing RIG Research Publication Award.

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Randee Masciola portrait

Masciola named to Board of Directors of NPWH

Congratulations to Randee Masciola, DNP, RN, CNP, who has been appointed to a three-year term as member of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health Board of Directors. Masciola is a clinical instructor of practice at the College of Nursing, and coordinator of the MS in Nursing program.


Shannon Gillespie portrait

Overcash in ONS Voice magazine online

Congratulations to Janine Overcash, PhD, GNP-BC, FAANP who was featured in an article “The Impact of Comorbidities on Patient Care” in the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS Voice) magazine.

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Sharon Tucker portrait

Tucker elected treasurer of MNRS

Congratulations to Sharon Tucker, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, who was elected to serve as treasurer of the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) for a two-year term.


Barbara Warren portrait

Warren appointed to Editorial Board

Barbara Jones Warren, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FNAP, FAAN, has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.



Alumni Spotlight

Debra Stoner portrait

Debra Stoner, MSN, RN, LSN, NCSN


Ohio State degrees: BSN (1980); School Nurse Certification (1997)


Recent award: March of Dimes Nurse of the Year in Public Health, 2017


Current role: School Nurse for the Hilliard City Schools District; President, Ohio Association of School Nurses


Professionally, I am proud that I have been able to model what a registered nurse is. I have worked primarily in a community setting that often sees the nurse as basic first aid or help in an emergency. I believe I have been an excellent example of what professional nurses have to offer. I am proud to daily look at the whole child and school community, practicing care coordination, health management, health promotion and advocacy for health care needs. While I was a student at Ohio State, my professors encouraged involvement with a professional organization. This was the best advice ever, and I will add to this advice: become involved in leadership positions, as this really does enhance one's professional growth.


Interesting fact: My husband and I are Ohio State graduates and serious Buckeye fans. Naturally, Ohio State was they only university our two children even considered. So, in my mid-life when I took up the sport of rowing and purchased my own single boat, the obvious name for the selected scarlet and gray shell was "The Four Buckeyes."


Buckeye Wellness Tip


February: National Heart Month

February is National Heart Month, so commit to making one healthy lifestyle behavior change to prevent heart disease. Choose a healthy eating plan, low in trans-fats and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber. Participate in at least 30 minutes five days a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Sitting three hours a day increases your risk for heart disease, so sit less, stand more.

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Make a Gift


Continuing our great work is made possible through generous support from our alumni and friends. Please make your gift today by clicking below or contacting Katy Trombitas at (614) 688-1086 or

Make a Gift

College of Nursing Continuing Education


Check out the latest offerings from the Academy for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning (AcCELL).


Upcoming Events


Paint and Pour
Receive step-by-step instruction from local artists as you craft your own Ohio State-themed masterpiece with fellow nursing alumni. No experience is necessary. Click here to learn more.


Nursing Alumni Society Informational Happy Hour
Are you interested in becoming more involved in the Nursing Alumni Society but don’t know how? Join the society board at an informational happy hour to learn more about creating innovative programs, strengthening relationships with nursing alumni and students, and staying connected with the College of Nursing. Click here to learn more and RSVP.


Family Fun Day
Save the Date! Join fellow graduates from the colleges of Nursing and Medicine and their families at Longaberger Alumni House for a fun-filled morning featuring animals from the Columbus Zoo! More details to come soon!


Regional Alumni Events
Hear College of Nursing updates and key strategies for achieving optimal health and wellness, network with fellow Buckeye Nurses, and engage in a Q & A session with the Dean. Cleveland (3/2), Toledo (6/15) and Cincinnati (6/29). To read more and RSVP, click here.