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RISE Team

Nicole SzallaNicole Szalla, DNP, RN, CMSRN, CHSE

Director, RISE Center
Robert Morris University

Szalla@rmu.edu
www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-szalla-dnp-rn-chse-cmsrn-1436aa59

Dr. Szalla is a Pittsburgh native and United States Navy Veteran. She began her Nursing career in 2006 after completing her enlistment obligations where she served as an undesignated seaman and dental assistant within the United States and abroad from 1997-2003. After a short hiatus and receiving her Nursing Degree, Dr. Szalla rejoined the US Navy in 2010 as a Naval Officer in the Nurse Corps, and in totality has served our country honorably and meritoriously for 11 years. Dr. Szalla has developed clinical expertise in medical surgical nursing (CMSRN), and health care simulation (CHSE) attaining certification in both of these areas. Her clinical practice centers on adult populations, women’s health, breastfeeding promotion, and home health care. Her scholarly interests are related to working interdisciplinary with colleagues, focused on serving vulnerable populations, students, and the Nursing profession. Dr. Szalla is passionate about coaching Nurses through difficulties with interprofessional relationships and her Doctoral work at Duquesne University centered around mitigating acts of incivility and bullying in the workplace.

“I love simulation learning, and when simulation is done well, participants walk away with an experience that stays with them forever. We take this very seriously and pride ourselves on creating experiences that provide opportunities for personal growth, self-reflection and creation of positive learning scars”.

Expertise: Multidimensional interdisciplinary healthcare simulation, Workplace incivility and bullying mitigation using cognitive rehearsal, Medical surgical nursing, Maternal health nursing, Leadership, Quality and safety and Professional Development.

 

Jan BarberJan Barber, MSN, RN, CHSE

Standardized Patient & Lab Assistant Manager
Robert Morris University

barber@rmu.edu

Jan Barber, MSN, RN, CHSE earned her BSN from the University of Pittsburgh School  of Nursing, 1982, and her MSN (Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist) from La Roche  College, Pittsburgh, PA 1997. Past career roles include staff nurse in Trauma Orthopedics,  Assistant Nurse Manager, Clinical Education Specialist, all at Allegheny General Hospital,  clinical instructor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and RMU School of  Nursing and Health Sciences. 

She is currently the Standardized Patient Manager, Facilitator at the Robert Morris  University Regional RISE Center. In this role she performs all casting, training, and facilitation  for standardized patient simulations for undergraduate and graduate nursing simulations as well  as corporate leadership and military communication training. Her background in local  community theater productions has been helpful in this endeavor. She has presented at INACSL  and ASPE conferences. She is published in, and a peer reviewer for, Clinical Simulation in  Nursing and has served as a consultant for nursing schools in the region as they develop their  own SP programs. Jan also manages the RISE Center Lab Assistants. Having training as a life  coach, (The Coaches Training Institute, San Rafael California) Jan is interested in applying SP  simulation, debriefing and coaching principles to nursing, clinical settings, student remediation  and expanding standardized patient simulation to other disciplines and professions.

 

Jessica HogueJessa Hogue, MSN, RN

Simulation Education Specialist
Robert Morris University

Jessica (Jessa) Hogue is a two-time alumna of Robert Morris University, graduating with her  Bachelors of Science in Nursing and Masters of Science in Nursing Education with a  concentration in Simulation Management. Her clinical practice centers on inpatient psychiatric  and mental health populations and clinical trial research. Jessa is passionate about simulation based education, mentorship and being a mental health advocate. Her scholarly interests are  related to transcultural nursing, focused on serving and educating underserved and vulnerable  populations and communities. She is a board member of the Dr. Carl Ross Foundation and has  participated in multiple medical mission trips to Nicaragua and Ecuador, providing education  and healthcare to underserved communities. Currently, Jessa works as the Nursing Simulation  Education Specialist at Robert Morris University’s Regional Research and Innovation in  Simulation Education (RISE) Center in the School of Nursing, Education and Human Studies.  Prior to taking this role, she worked with undergraduate students as the Test for Success  Program Manager at Robert Morris University and taught psychiatric and mental health clinical  at the Catholic University of America and Robert Morris University.

 

Jeffrey B. MorganJeffrey Morgan, MBA

Simulation Operations Specialist
Robert Morris University

Jeff joined RMU in 2021, bringing with him a career of leadership experience in creating high technology, high reliability manufacturing operations. He is a proven leader with over thirty years of increasing responsibility in high technology, high reliability, advanced manufacturing and service operations. Jeff is results oriented, has solid business acumen, and takes a hands-on approach to maximizing resources, reducing expenses, and developing and implementing new methodologies which have consistently and substantially improved corporate profit margins throughout his career. He has held numerous senior level management positions with responsibilities for manufacturing operations, supply chain management, quality systems, and manufacturing engineering. Jeff holds an MBA degree with a concentration in International Business from Point Park University and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business. He also has an undergraduate degree in Management & Technologies and has studied Supply Chain Strategy & Management at MIT, Sloan School of Management.

 

Kara WhitehillKara Whitehill, MSN, RN, CPN, CCRN, CNE

Simulation Education Specialist & BLS/PEARS Coordinator
Robert Morris University

Kara is a nurse originally from Maryland who is passionate about educating and mentoring the next generation of nurses. She is a pediatric bedside nurse with a background in both critical care and acute care and sees pediatric patients of all ages and specialties after procedures in the recovery room. She is a basic life support (BLS), Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition and Stabilization (PEARS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) instructor. Most of her nursing experience has been with patients with congenital heart disease. She is very passionate about this field and has volunteered in a developing country implementing a cardiac surgery program and as a camp nurse for this population.

Kara has been a nurse educator both at the hospital level training new nurses in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit and at the university level. She has held pediatric clinical instructor positions for Catholic University of America, University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University. She has facilitated simulation for nursing students at Robert Morris University and now coordinates and teaches BLS and PEARS courses for RMU students and members of the community. She has a special interest in simulation both at the hospital and university level and is a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Some of the work she is most proud of includes electronic medical record enhancements easing access to education resources for nurses discharging complex patients, a multidisciplinary quality improvement project reducing cardiac arrests, and easing the transition to practice for the new graduate nurse through a robust orientation program including simulation.

Key professional areas of interest: patient and family education, pediatric congenital heart disease, novice nurse transition to practice, multidisciplinary quality improvement, nurse to nurse mentoring, simulation, interprofessional collaboration and communication.

 

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Click Here to register for RISE Center courses using our calendar system.  If you need to cancel a class you have registered for please send an email to Jeff Morgan morganj@rmu.edu.