World Campus doctoral nursing student graduates with fourth Penn State degree

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For Allyson Favuzza, one Penn State degree wasn’t enough.

Favuzza will receive her doctor of nursing practice degree this weekend, her fourth degree from Penn State in 10 years.

Favuzza, 27, earned her doctoral degree online through Penn State World Campus. She also has an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree and a master of science degree in nursing from Penn State.

"I guess I have a little bit of loyalty!" she said, laughing.

Favuzza earned all of her degrees while going to school full time and working full time. For the past two years she has run a health center based in a Scranton middle school.

“I really love what I do,” she said, explaining how she stayed motivated during the long journey to her doctorate. “It’s what keeps me going.”

As director of youth services for the Scranton-based Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, Favuzza helped set up the school-based health center, which is open to students and staff at the school and to the outside community. The clinic, which is funded by a federal grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, is part of a national initiative to help increase access to health care.

“Having that access right in the school really makes all the difference,” Favuzza said.

After Pennsylvania this year began requiring students to have their vaccinations by the first week of school in order to be allowed to attend classes, Favuzza worked with the Scranton school district to organize clinics where almost 500 students got their required vaccinations in just five days.

“We had hundreds of people lined up, out the door and down the street,” Favuzza said.

Despite having just five staffers to administer more than 1,000 vaccines, the clinic was able to provide students with the necessary vaccinations. 

“We did great,” she said. “Everybody was happy; everybody got the vaccines they needed.”

Favuzza is now working on helping other school districts in the state replicate the clinics.

Favuzza praised the faculty of the nursing program for making personal connections with their far-flung students.

"Even though we're all over the place, they made us feel like a group," she said.

Judy Hupcey, associate dean for graduate education and research for the Penn State College of Nursing, called Favuzza “a star.”

“We are so proud of Allyson’s accomplishments both educationally and professionally,” Hupcey said, adding that Favuzza “excelled in all of the programs and is passionate about learning and about nursing.”

Hupcey said Favuzza’s Penn State education has “positioned her to be a leader in healthcare for her community and this is evident in the programs she developed and with the major increase in immunization rates in the school-age population for which she provides care.”

Visit the Penn State World Campus website to learn more about the doctor of nursing practice degree.

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Last Updated May 03, 2018