Fortune Names USF’s Online Master of Science in Nursing Program the Best in Illinois

Joliet, Ill. – As the University of St. Francis (USF) prepares to open the fall 2022 semester later this month, it will do so with the top-ranked online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program in Illinois according to Fortune’s inaugural Best Online Master’s in Nursing (MSN) Programs in 2022. In fact, USF’s MSN program (#29 overall) was one of only two Illinois programs included in Fortune’s 2022 rankings.

“Graduates from USF’s program incorporate their education and research into a practice that is reflective of the dynamic needs of a diverse population. Through that advanced role, they are instrumental in ensuring health promotion, health maintenance, and health restoration in their community of practice. Through scientific inquiry and collaborative relationships, the advanced practice nurse continually augments and refines the science of nursing,” said USF Leach College of Nursing dean, Yeijin Yeom, Ph.D., RN, CNE.

“Online master’s degree programs in nursing provide nurses a path into an APRN career by enabling them to remotely earn their degree from top-ranked programs. These online programs offer more flexibility than an in-person master’s degree program in nursing, but still deliver the guidance and curriculum required for licensure. The online path is a critical part of meeting the stark demand for advanced practice registered nurses in the coming years, which is why Fortune is launching its inaugural ranking of online master’s in nursing (MSN) programs,” said Meghan Malas of Fortune Education.

Fortune’s online MSN program rankings were based on three criteria: Selectivity Score (55% comprised of the average undergraduate GPA of incoming students, and a weighted program acceptance rate), Success Score (40% comprised of one-year retention and graduation rates), and Demand Score (5% comprised of the program’s most recent graduating class). Click here to view Fortune’s inaugural Best Online Master’s in Nursing (MSN) Programs in 2022 rankings.

Other Recent Top Accolades for USF

USF’s MSN program earning top accolades in Illinois by Fortune adds to a growing list of top State honors by Joliet’s university. In the past 12 months, USF also earned recognition for having the best online MBA program in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report, as well as the safest college campus in Illinois according to WalletHub. To learn more about state and national recognition earned by USF and its programs, click here.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Two USF Online Programs Recognized by The Princeton Review

Joliet, Ill. – The Princeton Review, a national ranking agency that provides admissions resources for college and graduate school-bound students, recently recognized two online programs offered at the University of St. Francis (USF). USF’s online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and its online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs were included in The Princeton Review’s Best Online Doctor of Education Programs and Best Master of Science in Nursing Programs lists, respectively.

“It’s one thing when a school tells everyone how wonderful they are, but it’s something else when professional groups and publishers across the country speak out. USF faculty and instructors provide our students with nationally-recognized education and experiences every day, so this type of acknowledgement of their efforts and the university’s programs is both invaluable and validating,” said Eric Wignall, USF vice president of admissions.

Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership Program

The online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership program at USF brings together practitioner-scholars to support doctoral candidates in learning and scholarship. The program is a combination of research, experiential learning, and shared knowledge about the key skills needed to lead, inspire, and educate. The program degree is designed for master’s prepared professionals from every career path.

“Our online programs are designed to provide students from all over the country exemplary learning experiences that equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance their careers and contribute to the world in a meaningful way.  The courses challenge and support the students in the learning process and offer them an opportunity to interact with other professionals and exceptional faculty members. To have our online doctoral program recognized in this manner is an indication and a validation that we are realizing our mission to develop high quality leaders who can have a significant positive impact on their communities,” said John Gambro, Ed.D., dean of the USF College of Education.

Two program concentrations include Superintendent Endorsement and Leadership, Learning, and Stewardship. Visit stfrancis.edu/educational-leadership-edd for program information. Visit princetonreview.com and search the keywords “online Doctor of Education” to view The Princeton Review’s Best Online Doctor of Education Programs listing.

Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program

Advanced practice nurses are often called on to assume leadership roles in the profession and in health care delivery. Graduates of the USF MSN program will incorporate their education and research into a practice that is reflective of the dynamic needs of a diverse population.

“Our Master of Science in Nursing programs offer knowledge, skills, and resources to enhance careers available to members of our community across Illinois and the Midwest by using online learning platforms. The competencies developed in our programs are evident by the care that is given back to the community by our graduates. However, we do not prepare our students just for a career. Our MSN students enhance their passion to actualize the core values of serving others as advanced practice nurses. Besides being well-trained, skilled, and confident in their areas as advanced nurse practitioners, they are compassion-rooted providers at all times, most especially during the most vulnerable times,” said USF Leach College of Nursing dean Yeijin Yeom, Ph.D., RN, CNE.

Program options include Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and R.N.-B.S.-MSN. Visit stfrancis.edu/msn for more information. Visit princetonreview.com and search the keywords “online Master of Science in Nursing” to view The Princeton Review’s Best Master of Science in Nursing Programs listing.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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USF NCLEX Nursing Certification Rate Surpasses State, National Averages

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) recently announced that its Leach College of Nursing students’ pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) – Registered Nurse rose to 86% in 2021, placing USF above both the Illinois and national averages (both were 82% for 2021). The data is based on candidates completing the licensure examination for the first time upon graduation from an Illinois approved nursing education program. A full data report is available through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at idfpr.com.

Pass rates on the NCLEX are a key indicator of the quality of a nursing program and is one of the metrics used by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) when it accredits a nursing program. In 2021, the USF Leach College of Nursing also successfully completed a CCNE reaccreditation process for its baccalaureate degree program in nursing, its post-graduate APRN certificate program, its master’s degree program in nursing, and its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, each of which are now certified through 2030. 

Visit stfrancis.edu/leach-college-of-nursing for more information USF’s nursing programs.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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USF Announces Fall 2021 Graduates

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) celebrated its Winter Commencement on Saturday, December 18, to recognize its graduates for the fall 2021 semester. Three in-person ceremonies (College of Education Ceremony at 9 a.m.; College of Business & Health Administration Ceremony at 11:30 a.m.; and the College of Arts & Sciences and Leach College of Nursing Ceremonies at 2 p.m.) were held in USF’s Pat Sullivan Center on the university’s main campus in Joliet. USF congratulates its graduates and wishes them peace, success, and the very best in all of their endeavors.

USF Fall 2021 graduates included:

College of Arts & Sciences
Master’s Degrees
Jenna Lanoue (Manteno, IL)
Master of Social Work – Social Work

Davisha Pulley (Joliet, IL)
Master of Social Work – Social Work

Bachelor’s Degrees
Matthew Attard (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology

Thiago Bandeira (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Biology

Jacob Bayuk (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Communication & Media Arts

Sara Cahill (Kinsman, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – English

Morgan Cattle-McKenzie (Hull, United Kingdom)
Bachelor of Science – Biology

Laisha Corona (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology

Jennifer Duax (Crestwood, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology

Katherine Fierro (Chicago, IL)
Bachelor of Social Work – Social Work

Keely Garbacz (Hickory Hills, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Recreation & Sport Management

Amanda Graf (Kankakee, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology

Matthew Hamilton (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Computer Science

Brandon Jarosz (New Lenox, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Digital Audio Recording Arts

Yashleen Kheterpal (Durg, Chhattisgarh, India)
Bachelor of Science – Computer Science

Martina Kotrba (Minooka, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Biology

Zhaobo Liu (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Mathematics & Computer Science

Alexander Lopez (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology

Joshua Martinez (Lockport, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Biology

Charleen Mascote (Streator, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Biology

Terra Metz (Chicago, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Mathematics-Secondary

Kelli Pietrowski (Wheeling, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Psychology

Erica Powers (Romeoville, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Biology

Jose Sanchez (Wood Dale, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Criminal & Social Justice

Hannah Schilling (Ottawa, IL)
Bachelor of Social Work – Social Work

Alexa Valencia-Corona (Decatur, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Biology

Alyssa Vann (Crete, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Criminal & Social Justice

Ryan Webb (Bolingbrook, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Digital Audio Recording Arts

Brooklyn Withey (Lapeer, MI)
Bachelor of Arts – Criminal & Social Justice

Maoyun Xu (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Mathematics & Computer Science

College of Business & Health Administration
Master’s Degrees
Mohammed Alazman (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Abdullah Alshojaa (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Thaddeus Ampadu (Romeoville, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Temitope Asein (Matteson, IL)
Master of Science – Management

Wendy Bell (Harker Heights, TX)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Amy Biggs (Manito, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Justin Bradley (Beach Park, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Sherrie Brock (Olney, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Natalie Burks (East Peoria, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Bret Byars (Irondale, AL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Peter Couri (Plainfield, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Luke Davis (Herbster, WI)
Master of Science – Health Administration

David DiLorenzo (Minooka, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Daniel Duplessis (Lockport, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Erhiga Ekhama (Rochester, MN)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Jaclyn Fisher (Arlington, VA)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Noah Fritz (Bourbonnais, IL)
Master of Science – Management

Stefanie Gall (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Theresa Gavilan (Gilberts, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Kira Gleason (Braidwood, IL)
Master of Science – Management

Xochitl Guzman (San Fernando, CA)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Erin Hardin (Apollo Beach, FL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Kyle Hoffman (Joliet, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Dasha Humphries (Birmingham, AL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Mara Johnson (Naperville, IL)
Master of Science – Management

Carissa Jones (Whiting, IN)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Anne Kindelin (Campton Hills, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Stephanie Klavohn (Naperville, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Christina Kuzava (Minooka, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Christine Lawrence (Crete, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Eriel Lockhart (Chicago, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Jill Moss (Peoria, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Susan Muscat (Grosse Ile, MI)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Ari Norfleet (Bartlett, IL)
Master of Science – Management

Christopher Novak (Cape Coral, FL)
Master of Science – Management

Paulette Richardson (Nassau, FC)
Master of Science – Training & Development

Joshua Schreckengost (Campbell, CA)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Laketa Simpson (Joliet, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Karen Storer (Des Plaines, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Callie Surber (Hanover Park, IL)
Master of Science – Training & Development

Russell Tillery (Portland, OR)
Master of Science – Management

Blaine Tisdale (Denver, CO)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Taylor Valant (Pompano Beach, FL)
Master of Science – Management

Elizabeth Wall (South Elgin, IL)
Master of Science – Health Administration

Amy Wegrzyn (Chicago Heights, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Cayla Wojcik (Plainfield, IL)
Master of Science – Management

Christopher Zmudka (Joliet, IL)
Master of Business Administration – Business Administration

Bachelor’s Degrees
Megan Ackland (Rochelle, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Christian Aguayo (Bolingbrook, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing

Autumn Barbey (Du Bois, PA)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Barbara Berka (Romeoville, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Business Administration (BS)

Constance Bridges (Peoria, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Amanda Casey (Wauconda, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Clayton Cash (Morris, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Finance

Rien Covington (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Business Administration (BS)

Kimberly Currin (Merrillville, IN)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Goofran Dalwan (Bridgeview, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Christina Durbin (Taylorville, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Leadership

Russell Egan (Lockport, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

Eric Estrada (Conyers, GA)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Mark Gezik (Shorewood, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Entrepreneurship

Dylan Gilbert (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

Ronald Gilliam (Gridley, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Business Administration (BS)

Antonio Gutierrez (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Management

Molly Harej (Bloomington, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Lynda Jandek (New Lenox, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Leadership

Evan Jaros (Yorkville, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing

Christopher Johnson (Hillside, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

Audrey Johnston (Amherst, NH)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Annmarie Kalemis (Wheaton, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Colin Kelly (Tinley Park, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing

Lea Klucinski (Matteson, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Nicole Lakomski (Schaumburg, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Health Care Management

Tashari Loggins (Wheaton, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Health Care Management

Eric Maffie (Coal Valley, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing

Madison Maloney (Seneca, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing

Candice May (Country Club Hills, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Cavell Miller (Atlanta, GA)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Leadership

Jennifer Nemeth (Loda, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Michael Nickel (Des Peres, MO)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Management

Kenny Park (Birmingham, AL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Sergio Peres (Goiania, Goias, Brazil )
Bachelor of Business Administration – International Business

Elizabeth Rohrer (Mokena, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing

Heather Sampson (Ocean Shores, WA)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Hailey Santore (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Business Administration (BS)

Emily Schrader (Orland Park, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

Amanda Simale (Highland Park, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Jessica Smyk (Reading, PA)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Abbey Spesia (Coal City, IL)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Health Care Management

Sheng-Ju Ting (Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Management

Mary Turner (Pekin, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Crystal Ulrich (Pekin, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Briana Washington (Country Club Hills, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Business Administration (BS)

Michele Whitehurst (East Peoria, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

Alejandra Zavala (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science – Health Care Management (BS)

College of Education
Doctoral Degrees
Benita Anderson (Lynwood, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Misha Blackman (Flossmoor, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Tamela Daniels (Oswego, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Jessica Knobbe (Plainfield, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Christine Moskalik (Shorewood, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Nancy Oesterreich (Algonquin, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Rudy Puente (Chicago, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Anni Rasmussen (Orland Park, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Yovan Reyes (Valrico, FL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Catherine Rienzo (Macungie, PA)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Robert Schiffbauer (Minooka, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Paula Sereleas (New Lenox, IL)
Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership

Master’s Degrees
Meghan Aguilar (Plainfield, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Abigail Allen (Batavia, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Amy Betts (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Sean Brandt (Arlington Heights, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Todd Brown (Aurora, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Dana Browne (New Lenox, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Alicia Carlisle (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Luz Carmona Colon (Morris, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Patrick Cunningham (Naperville, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Jamie Cuny (Wheaton, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Kristin Drake (Plainfield, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Amanda Esgar (Morris, IL)
Master of Science – Reading

Scott Fulton (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Paul Gibbs (Northbrook, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Marissa Goodlet (Newark, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Patrick Goy (La Salle, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Shelly Gupta (Naperville, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Brittany Halliday (Coal City, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Brandon Harding (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Melissa Hill (Joliet, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Gabrielle Horabik (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Briana Ingram (Rockdale, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Laura James (Bourbonnais, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Eileen Kapcar (Park Ridge, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Scott Klepadlo (Niles, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Samydra Lakes (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Christine Lawson (Bloomingdale, IL)
Master of Science – Reading

Karen Lee (Carol Stream, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Zoe Levin (Bellevue, WA)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Shannon Martin (Homer Glen, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Gina Miglieri (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Linda Miller (Westchester, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Elizabeth Molla (Naperville, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Mary Murdie (Manhattan, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

J Ivan Ortiz (Joliet, IL)
Master of Science – Educational Leadership

Richard Ortiz (Lombard, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Erin Perkinson (Arlington Heights, IL)
Master of Science – Reading

Jessica Perry (Carpentersville, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Clara Prosiliakos (Norridge, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Alexandra Rambo (Plainfield, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Shannon Rolland (Minooka, IL)
Master of Science – Educational Leadership

Amanda Schmidt (South Elgin, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Lauren Siadak (Mokena, IL)
Master of Education – Elementary Educ Licensure

Kevin Smith (Plainfield, IL)
Master of Education – Middle Grades Education

Amy Smith (Orland Park, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Taylor Sobieski (Naperville, IL)
Master of Science – Educational Leadership

Jennifer Starkman (Yorkville, IL)
Master of Science – Educational Leadership

Josephine Tadros (Mokena, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Michelle Taylor (Yorkville, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Zachary Vienne (Newark, IL)
Master of Science – Educational Leadership

Allison Warner (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Paul Welsh (Oak Park, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Elizabeth Witt (New Lenox, IL)
Master of Science – Educational Leadership

Jennifer Wood (Tinley Park, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Aaron Wurtzel (Wheaton, IL)
Master of Science – Teaching & Learning

Bachelor’s Degrees

Zachary Earls (Channahon, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Middle Grades Education

Samantha Fritts (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Arts – Elementary Education

Leach College of Nursing

Master’s Degrees

Lisa Borgealt (Westmont, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Tammy Dubose (Gurnee, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Magdalena Huisman (Winfield, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Zuzana Killam (Jacksonville, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Samantha Kulpa (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Education

Marcey Millage (Moline, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing-RN BS MSN

Sherry Nelson (Santa Fe, NM)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Roseanne Niese (McHenry, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Abosede Ogundimu (Montgomery, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Nancy Robinson (North Judson, IN)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Susan Swager (Grand Island, FL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Rhonda Sykes (Plainfield, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Sally-Ann Tamizuddin (Springfield, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Nancy Tomasek (Bartlett, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Renalda Tomic (Chicago, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Ikechukwu Uzoaru (Bloomington, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Brenda Weaver (South Jacksonville, IL)
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Bachelor’s Degrees

Kristin Aagaard (Algonquin, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Sarah Abulaila (Palos Hills, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Islam Ali (Oak Lawn, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Adriana Aparicio Montalvo (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Stephanie Arellano (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Jehan Atieh (Orland Park, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Janine Bahhur (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Ahlam Bakerkhatib -Taha (Orland Park, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Riley Brandt (New Lenox, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Erin Bulow (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Daniel Capobianco (Geneva, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Nathalia Chavez (Romeoville, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Amy Chlebanowski (Wheaton, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing, BSN Completion

Megan Clendening (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Jaycie Cummins (Wilmington, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Olivia De La Rosa (Romeoville, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Farah Douleh (Oak Lawn, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Annahi Fierro (Braidwood, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Danielle Flowers (Wilmington, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Tatiana Foster (Chicago, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing, BSN Completion

Kelly Galiniak (Willowbrook, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Paige Gieseke (Algonquin, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Daniela Gonzalez (St Charles, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Bryanna Gueness (Mokena, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Madisyn Hannion (Lockport, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Gabryella Herrera (Bolingbrook, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Jalyn Hobbs (New Lenox, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Hailey Huml (Wilmington, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Daniella Hunt (Downers Grove, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Ayh Ismail (Tinley Park, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Tanell Jennings (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Stephanie Kincaid (Tinley Park, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Lillian Knapp (Shorewood, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Maria Lawson (Manhattan, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Samantha Lazzara (Chicago, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing, BSN Completion

Susan Lecuyer (Bourbonnais, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing, BSN Completion

Karina Madanowski (Homer Glen, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Rebecca Marinellie (Lockport, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing, BSN Completion

Lana Mazoni (Orland Park, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Amanda Meyers (Lockport, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Joanna Nowicki (Morris, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Shannon O’Brien (Frankfort, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Jessica Ochenkowski (Hickory Hills, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Juliet Ogbeni Destiny (Shorewood, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Alejandra Osorio-Mendez (Mt Prospect, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Esmeralda Perez (Aurora, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Nicole Quinones (Romeoville, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Cullen Rompa (Plainfield, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Tichina Tam (Oak Forest, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Jennifer Tedeschi (Joliet, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Lauren Todd (Minooka, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Breanna Vaira (Romeoville, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Marissa Valencia (New Lenox, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Colleen Waddell (Linden, PA)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing, BSN Completion

Tiana Weddington (Montgomery, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Maria Weiland (Downers Grove, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Ashley Witkowski (Homer Glen, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Lauren Wojcik (Oak Forest, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing

Cynthia Wood (Shorewood, IL)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Nursing, BSN Completion

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Wills-Savoia Named IBHE Nurse Educator Fellow

Joliet, Ill. – University of St. Francis (USF) Leach College of Nursing assistant professor and clinical simulation and learning director Jennifer Wills-Savoia DNP, MSN, R.N., has always answered a call to serve others. This has held true from her undergraduate studies in psychology, to her transition to nursing, and to her current role at USF. Now, Wills-Savoia’s service-based focus has been formally recognized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, who recently named her a 2022 Nurse Educator Fellow. The honor carries with it a $10,000 fellowship award and an opportunity to share fellowship plans and activities with other Fellows and members of the Advisory Board for the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center.

Wills-Savoia plans to focus her fellowship award on two areas. The first area is to address perceived barriers on the national NCLEX nursing exam. One of these barriers – timed exam questions – affects many testers, especially those who do not fluently speak English. The second area is to further enhance USF’s simulation program.

“As an example, I met with three of my advisees fairly consistently throughout the duration of their educational program at USF, and was told that the NCLEX exam was their biggest struggle. Namely, the timed nature questions on the exam made it difficult. It’s complicated because they felt challenged to convert questions into their native language, arrive at a response, and then convert that response back to English in order to answer appropriately. Within that content, a time limit of one minute per question isn’t feasible,” she said.

“I just feel compelled to figure out a system, something that we can do to make this an easier process for them. These were three brilliant students and their testing results were compromised due to a barrier they couldn’t seem to break. There’s nothing that we can do differently right now as far as testing because the NCLEX does not make any accommodation for that, and that’s really what I’d like to push. I’d like to arrive at some sort of accommodation or solution for that. There has got to be something that we can do differently. I’d like to figure out a way to approach this,” Wills-Savoia added.

Wills-Savoia also feels that an enhanced simulation program at USF can offer students an even more comprehensive path to their degree, and a more thorough foundation upon which they can begin a career.

“What I love about simulation is that we can create situations that students might not see in a clinical setting but that they need to know about. We can challenge and push them beyond their comfort zone in a relatively safe space,” she said.

“I have been able to create some really interesting mental health simulations for small groups of students in the simulated setting, and as a result have seen their critical thinking skills just soar,” Wills-Savoia added.

The ability to offer these individualized approaches to challenges students face is something, according to Wills-Savoia, that sets USF apart from its peers.

“At USF, we try to maintain smaller class sizes. This approach allows each instructor to provide a personalized focus on each student. We utilize so many resources to support our students – resources that a lot of other colleges don’t have – and I think it’s that support that that has developed what we offer into a very long-standing, great program,” she said.

“We also offer students one-to-one mentoring, supplemental instruction and tutoring, along with many other resources. Additionally, we offer a coaching class here that is similar to tutoring, but that focuses more on helping students learn how to be successful on the NCLEX,” she added.

Aside from being in her role at USF since 2015, Wills-Savoia is very familiar with the university. She earned both her B.A. and BSN at USF.

“I love USF’s faith-based college setting and wanted to return to the place that helped me to develop into the educator and professional I am today. Our graduates seem to have the same calling. We regularly have a large number of students that come back and say that they want to return to USF to earn their master’s degree in nursing education. They want to return to USF with an end goal of serving others the way that USF instructors served them. That is a wonderful testament to what we do,” she said.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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USF Receives HRSA Grant to Prepare Nursing Educators

Joliet, Ill. – The Leach College of Nursing at the University of St. Francis (USF) was recently awarded the prestigious Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) Grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant, worth close to $250,000 annually, seeks to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty nationwide, and through loan cancellation, decrease the financial barrier that nursing instructors often experience.

“The purpose of this program is to prepare highly qualified, diverse nursing educators, thereby reducing the nursing faculty shortage and addressing health disparities. The NFLP funds will provide tuition assistance to 20 future nurse educators in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and post-master’s certificate programs,” said Christina Nordick, APRN, CNP, grant project director and Associate Professor of nursing at USF.

The grant will help USF to address three primary goals. The first is to increase the quantity and diversity of nurse educators in the greater Chicagoland area. The grant will also help USF NFLP loan recipients receive high-quality preparation for their nurse-educator roles, which will in turn help to decrease the shortage of nurse educators in the Chicagoland area.

As outlined in the terms of the grant, students may receive up to $12,490 annually to pay for tuition, fees, books, and educational expenses. After graduation, if recipients are employed fulltime as nurse faculty at an accredited institution, if they are employed part time in an accredited nursing institution and are precept advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) students part time, of if they are precept APRN students full time for four years, 85% of the grant is “forgiven”.

“NFLP funding will relieve students’ financial burden and provide incentives for students to enter careers in nurse education in academic and clinical settings, thereby expanding the nurse faculty workforce. Students will benefit from the various in-kind supportive structures provided at USF, such as mentorship, advising, and career-development activities, which will help students overcome barriers that prevent them from persisting through graduation,” Nordick added.

Visit stfrancis.edu/leach-college-of-nursing for more information on nursing programs at USF.

About the Health Resources and Services Administration

According to its web site, hrsa.gov, the mission of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs. HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs help those in need of high quality primary health care, people with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. HRSA also supports the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most and improvements in health care delivery.

: :

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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