University of Rochester School of Nursing, author of Daily Nurse

Yesterday, the University of Rochester School of Nursing announced that it had selected Lisa A. Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN to lead the program. Kitko, an accomplished scholar, researcher, educator and clinician, will become the School’s sixth Dean on September 1, 2022.

The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Director of the Ph.D. program at Penn State University’s Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing, Kitko emerged as the leading candidate in a national search this spring to replace Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, who announced last year that she resigned after 11 years as dean.

Kitko accepted an offer from Mark B. Taubman, MD, CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center last week. Announcing the appointment, Taubman said, “Lisa has an outstanding academic record and I believe she has the ability to take our school of nursing to the next level in research, scholarship and educational innovation. Lisa’s engaging and enthusiastic personality will be a perfect fit for the Medical Center, and I look forward to working with her to bring the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine and Dentistry together and improve the research profile of the School. nursing across the University.

Kitko has been a member of the Penn State nursing faculty for more than 20 years, rising from the rank of clinical instructor to associate professor. She was appointed interim director of the doctorate. program in 2019 and assumed leadership of the program and was named Associate Dean for Higher Education in January 2020. In both of these roles, she helped rekindle interest in the college’s graduate programs, including PhD. program, which more than doubled the number of registrations. She also oversaw the transition from a master’s level nurse practitioner program to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Kitko served as co-chair of the review committee that led the college through a successful CCNE accreditation visit in January 2021, and she also co-chaired the drafting group that resulted in the Center of Excellence (COE) designation. ) by the National League for College Nursing. Kitko is also involved at the university level as a faculty senator and has been appointed to serve on several faculty affairs-focused task forces commissioned by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

Kitko began her professional career in 1990 as a critical care/trauma nurse and spent over a decade working as a clinician and hospital administrator. She developed the stroke program at Altoona Hospital while pursuing her master’s degree at Penn State, and later managed the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient neurovascular services.

Kitko also maintains an active, funded research program focused on the palliative care needs of people living with life-limiting illnesses and their family members, with an emphasis on critical illness conversations. Kitko has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on nearly a dozen grants, including several large projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, and US Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA). Kitko is an internationally recognized expert in palliative care and heart failure and has widely disseminated her work through peer-reviewed presentations and publications.

A member of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Heart Association, she was a Josiah S. Macy Jr. Faculty Fellow from 2015 to 2017, where she developed an interdisciplinary certificate in primary palliative care. People from many different practice areas have since earned the certificate and are caring for patients in rural and underserved areas that do not have access to specialist palliative care.

A native of Pennsylvania, Kitko earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990. She received her master’s degree as a clinical nurse specialist in 2001 and a doctorate in nursing science with a minor in gerontology in 2010, all two from Penn State.

Kitko joins a UR nursing school that rode a crest of growing enrollment and a return to national prominence during Rideout’s tenure as dean. Over the past decade, the school has doubled the size of its student body and currently ranks among the top 25 master’s programs, according to US News and World Report, and No. 23 for NIH research funding. The school was also honored as an Apple Distinguished School for its commitment to academic innovation and received the Health Professions Higher Education Diversity Award for five consecutive years.

“Lisa Kitko is an excellent choice to succeed Kathy Rideout as dean,” said Eli Eliav, DMD, Ph.D., director and professor at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, who led the search committee. “His background and experience, coupled with his strong leadership, will help support the mission and promote the growth of the School of Nursing’s outstanding teaching and research programs. It was a pleasure to work with the faculty and staff of the School of Nursing on this research.

Kitko herself said, “I am happy and excited to join the great team at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, and grateful for the opportunity to build on their tremendous heritage of innovation and excellence. I loved the caring and kindness I felt at UR School of Nursing, and I was very drawn to the shared commitment of faculty and staff to making the school the best it could be and to providing a top-notch environment for students. I am also elated by the school’s strong ties to the medical center, and look forward to working with our colleagues across the street to develop and expand our clinical-academic partnerships.

Lola R. McClure