STEUBENVILLE, OH—Dr. Debra Cunningham Facello has been named the director of the Graduate Nursing Department at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she oversees the Master of Science in Nursing/Post-Master’s Certificate Program.
Dr. Carolyn Miller, chair of the Nursing Department, originally headed the graduate as well as the undergraduate programs, but with 76 students now enrolled in the master’s program, the time had come for a full-time director.
“The program has grown by leaps and bounds,” Facello says. “The need for more primary care providers is on the rise and will continue to grow as more people enroll in the Affordable Care Act and begin to use clinics instead of relying on emergency rooms for their medical care.”
The Master of Science in Nursing Program began at Franciscan University in 1999 and is composed of two tracks. The education specialist track prepares students to become nurse educators in a variety of settings including hospitals, community agencies, and institutions of higher learning. The family nurse practitioner track prepares advance practice nurses to work in clinics and other health care settings.
Facello began teaching at Franciscan University in 1991 and became a full-time assistant professor of nursing in 2002. Prior to becoming director, she taught undergraduate courses in maternal newborn nursing, pediatrics, and nursing research. Before coming to Franciscan University, she served on the faculty at Kent State University, West Virginia Northern Community College, Wheeling Jesuit University, and West Liberty State College, in addition to holding other teaching positions.
She has worked as a registered nurse since 1975, including as a staff nurse in an obstetrics unit and a medical-surgical unit at Wheeling Hospital, as a school nurse at Bethany College, and as an office nurse at Warwood Family Practice in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Facello holds a PhD and MS in nursing from West Virginia University and undergraduate degrees from West Liberty State College and Clarion University, and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Perinatal Nurse Specialist.