Kitko, alumni inducted as Fellows of American Academy of Nursing

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Lisa Kitko, associate professor of nursing, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) during the academy’s annual conference Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C.

Fellowship in the academy, one of the most prestigious honors in the nursing profession, is reserved for nursing leaders who have made the most significant contributions to education, management, practice, policy and research. Selection is based in part on the extent to which nominees’ careers have influenced health policies and the health and well-being of all.

Kitko joined the Penn State nursing faculty in 2002 and received her doctorate in nursing from Penn State in 2010. Her seminal contributions to the nursing field are in the area of palliative care. In 2015, she was one of five people nationwide selected for a two-year Macy Faculty Scholarship for educational innovators in medicine and nursing. With support from the scholarship, she developed and implemented a transformative program to educate more practitioners to deliver primary palliative care. As a result, the College of Nursing now offers an online interdisciplinary certificate program in primary palliative care, one of the first in the nation.

Kitko’s research focuses on the palliative and end-of-life needs of persons living with advanced heart failure and their family caregivers. Using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, she has conducted clinical research to generate and apply evidence to improve care for these individuals. The results have been disseminated in more than 60 papers and presentations.

“The extensive knowledge I gained through my data collection resulted in my person-centered view of the needs these patients and caregivers face,” she said. “It was evident from my work that in order to meet those needs, we need to address the gaps in educating practitioners in the context of primary palliative care.”

Kitko has been a Fellow of the American Heart Association since 2015. Her other awards include a Nursing Investigator Award from the European Society of Cardiology and the Janet A. Williamson Excellence in Teaching Award from the Penn State College of Nursing. In addition to her doctorate, she holds a master of science degree in nursing from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Four other Penn State alumni were among the 173 nurse leaders inducted as 2017 AAN Fellows: Donna Hart Gage, a 2010 graduate of the doctoral program in nursing; Linda Hatfield and Michele Upvall, both 1985 graduates of the bachelor of science degree program in nursing; and Grant Martsolf, a 2012 graduate of the doctoral program in health policy and administration.

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Marketing Communications Specialist, College of Nursing

Last Updated October 10, 2017