Dr. Deborah Zbegner was appointed dean of the Passan School of Nursing at Wilkes University in January 2015. Her strategic leadership fosters growth through innovative distance education programs, undergraduate and graduate curriculum development and faculty/student scholarship.
Dr. Zbegner has more than 20 years of teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her background includes didactic and clinical teaching, development of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, online course development, grant writing and numerous presentations at the international and national level.
Dr. Zbegner served as director of graduate programs and has been responsible for strategic planning, operations, curriculum, faculty loading, student enrollment and retention for the nurse practitioner concentrations and the DNP program. She has 30 years of clinical practice as a nationally board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner. She works in a collaborative physician practice caring for women across the life span, also serving as a clinical preceptor for nurse practitioner students within her practice site. She provides a dynamic learning environment that promotes high-quality patient care from a holistic perspective.
Dr. Patricia Sweeney is an associate professor of nursing at Wilkes University where she coordinates the distance education Family Nurse Practitioner program. She has been a nationally board-certified family nurse practitioner and nursing educator for more than 30 years. Her clinical expertise is in the treatment of episodic illness in the urgent care setting.
Dr. Sweeney’s scholarship interests include improving outcomes in clinical practice and critical thinking for nurse practitioner students. Dr. Sweeney’s research presentations and publications include decreasing antibiotic use for common respiratory conditions; differentiating among common respiratory clinical problems; using clinical guidelines effectively; measuring nurse practitioner outcomes; and patient simulation and standardized patients in an online nurse practitioner program. Dr. Sweeney has presented podium and poster presentations at conferences at the local, state, and national level.
Dr. Sweeney has served as the president of the Nurse Practitioners of Northeast Pennsylvania. She also served on the board of directors of the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.