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Nursing Doctoral Program Faculty

Janice B. Griffin Agazio, Ph.D., CRNP, RN, Director of the D.N.P. and Ph.D. Programs
Dr. Janice Griffin Agazio earned her BSN at the Medical University of South Carolina and MSN, Post Master’s Certificate as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Ph.D. at Catholic. During her 22-year military career she worked as a nurse for Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the Kimbrough Army Community Hospital in Fort Meade, Maryland. Her research activities include investigations of military mothers, army nursing practice in operations other than war, and health promotion in active duty women. Other research interests include chronic illness and psychosocial reactions in pediatrics, military family issues, and parenting. She has published extensively and is also a prolific reviewer.

Research Experience:

  • The experience of military separation/deployment for young children and families
  • Management of ethical issues in military nursing practice during wartime
  • Deployment of military mothers during wartime
  • Army nursing practice in operations other than war
  • Evaluation of a virtual reality simulator in sustainment training
  • Active and passive smoking in active duty women
  • Health promotion in active duty women with children
  • Effects of separation on families during hospitalization
  • Transition of families through termination of private duty home care
  • Exploring the patient perspective in a restructured military facility
  • Promoting the HPV vaccine in a primary care clinic
  • Determinants of general well-being in military spouses
  • Cervical cancer screening in army women after vaccination
  • Determinants of health-promoting lifestyle in spouses of active duty military
  • E-mail as communication tool in Army nursing management
  • Nursing in a tri-service environment
  • Case managed telephone follow-up of diabetic children
  • Link between deployment factors and parenting stress in military families
  • Army nurses' reintegration and homecoming after Iraq & Afghanistan
  • Perceptions of soldiers aeromedically evacuated from the wartime theater
  • Using after-action reports for readiness competency training
  • E-mail as communication tool in Army nursing management

Nalini Jairath, Ph.D., R.N.
Over her 24 years as a nurse, Dr. Jairath has held positions in academic, research and clinical settings. Her areas of research and clinical expertise are in cardiovascular risk reduction, specifically the role of nursing interventions to reduce risk factors such as sedentary behavior and dyslipidemia. She is also a national expert on the responsible conduct of research and served on a panel that reported to the Department of Health and Human Services. She earned her BSN at McMaster University, an MScN at the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto.

Research Experience:

  • Cardiovascular risk reduction, specifically the role of nursing interventions to reduce risk factors such as sedentary behavior and dyslipidemia
  • The need for a more inclusive community of nurse scientists through global outreach and greater openness to those with transdisciplinary education/perspectives
  • Web-enhanced curriculum for responsible authorship and publication practices
  • Tobacco intervention programs
  • Risk reduction of sedentary behavior post CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) surgery
  • The effect of two right ventricular myocardial infarction assessment protocols upon selected patient outcomes
  • The effect of a delirium intervention protocol upon patient outcomes and costs for delirious coronary care unit patients

Patricia McMullen, Ph.D., J.D., CNS, CRNP, FAANP (Women's Health Nurse Practitioner), Professor and Dean
Dr. McMullen returned to the School of Nursing as Dean in Spring 2010. Previously she served as Associate Provost of Academic Administration from 2008 to 2010 and as School of Nursing Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2003 to 2008.

She earned her B.S.N. and M.S.N. at the University of Maryland and her Ph.D. at Catholic. She also has a law degree from the University of Baltimore. In addition to her work at the University, she is also an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner in Annapolis, Maryland. She has engaged in numerous research projects on legal issues in health care, youth violence, women’s health and work-related injuries throughout the years. Dr. McMullen has also published extensively in books and nursing journals and has presented her findings at various nursing organization meetings around the country. She is a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the Maryland State Bar Association.

Research Experience:

  • Legal issues in health care
  • Youth violence
  • Women’s health
  • Work-related injuries throughout the years
  • Retention of military nurses
  • Utilization of health IT to transfer important information to severely injured patients and caregivers at home
  • Severe occupational injuries
  • Cystic fibrosis counseling and education
  • Prenatal care of military women within and outside the United States
  • Consumer satisfaction with managed health care

Sr. Mary Elizabeth O'Brien, Ph.D., R.N, FAAN, AHN
Dr. O’Brien earned her BA at Benedictine College, an M.S.W. at Howard University, a Ph.D. in Sociology at The Catholic University, a CPE at the National Institutes of Health and an M.T.S. in Theology at the Washington Theological Union. She is the author of many books, including Parish Nursing: Healthcare Ministry Within the Church and A Nurses’ Handbook of Spiritual Care: Standing on Holy Ground. Dr. O’Brien also is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Christian Nursing.

Research Experience:

  • Spirituality and nursing
  • Bereavement and coping response in HIV infection
  • Therapeutic options in end-stage renal disease
  • Self-care agency in the overweight chronically ill
  • Nursing and quality of life in chronic illness
  • Exercise of self-care agency in hemodialysis adaptation
  • Anatomy of a nursing home, behavior patterns in the adaptation and care of the institutionalized elderly
  • Assessment of nursing home patient progress
  • Hemodialysis and effective social environment
  • Quality of life and long-term ventilator care

George Zangaro, Ph.D., RN
Dr. George Zangaro is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Nursing. He earned his B.S.N. at Columbia Union College, an M.S.N. at the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Nursing Science at the University of Maryland. He was previously the Director of Nursing Research at The Catholic University of America. In 2007, Dr. Zangaro retired from the Navy after 25 years of service. He has significant experience in clinical, program and personnel management, research, and educational aspects of nursing. Dr. Zangaro’s major career focus has been on the development of the nursing workforce to specifically address the areas of recruitment, retention, and educational development of nurses. He has served as a principal investigator, associate investigator and consultant on several funded research studies in these areas. Dr. Zangaro has publications documenting the results of his research and has conducted several meta-analyses on nurses’ job satisfaction and psychometric properties of job satisfaction instruments.

Research Experience:

  • Factors associated with retention of army, navy and air force nurses
  • Army nurses’ experiences as faculty and students’ perceptions of military nursing
  • Factors associated with retention of nurses
  • The retention of recalled Navy nurse reservists following Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Data capture by digital pen during disaster triage
  • The safety, quality, and effectiveness of care provided by advanced practice nurses
  • Blood exposure and primary prevention in home care workers


Learn more about the accomplished nursing faculty in the School of Nursing at CUA: call us at 855-295-5711 or request more information.