Patricia Brown O’Hara Receives Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching

Teaching AwardPatricia Brown O’Hara, PhD, RN, Professor and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students in the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions will be honored with the 2024 Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching at this year’s Honors Convocation Ceremony.

With more than 45 years of diverse nursing experience, Patricia Brown O’Hara, PhD, RN serves as a tenured Professor and the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students in Gwynedd Mercy University’s Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing & Health Professions, where she has taught for 21 years. She offers various courses, mentors doctoral students, and co-developed the signature course “Global Learning: Why Does it Matter.” In addition, Dr. O’Hara’s dedication to older adult care led to the creation of Course NUR413, “The Older Adult.”

Dr. O’Hara also oversees a nursing study abroad program in Ireland which provides students with six academic credits. During her sabbatical, she forged partnerships with Irish universities, securing commitments from the University of Limerick for collaborative programs. More than 50 students have benefitted from this opportunity, citing exceeding expectations.

Additionally, Dr. O’Hara played a pivotal role in expanding the Undergraduate Nursing Program’s Dedicated Education Unit, which gives select Senior Nursing students the opportunity to be partnered one-on-one with a preceptor for full 12-hour shifts. The program has garnered positive feedback from students, clinical experts, and agencies with comments such as, "It was the best clinical experience ever," and "I feel much more prepared to be a practicing nurse." More than 235 Senior Nursing students have participated since its inception in 2020, and notably, approximately 65% of participants received job offers at their clinical sites post-graduation.

Additionally, she contributes to the Board of Trustees at Grand View Hospital and works as a Legal Nurse Consultant. She contributed to the Initial NLN ACES team on best practices for Older Adults. Her research focuses on the influence of academic coaching on BSN students’ academic success, perceptions of the academic coaching relationship, and NCLEX RN success. She developed “The O’Hara Perception of the Coaching Experience” research instrument, utilized by researchers. Dr. O’Hara has presented extensively on Academic Coaching and Gerontology nationally and internationally. Furthermore, she is co-authoring a book titled “Understanding Drug Use in the Older Adult: A Guide for Nurses, Practicing Clinicians, and Older Individuals,” slated for release in August 2024.