top of page


PAPNA admin pic 2.jpg

The Pennsylvania Association of Practical Nursing Administrators is a non-profit organization designed to advance the profession of Practical Nursing through education and advocacy regarding the role of the Practical Nurse in today's health care system.  We are comprised of Professional Registered Nurses who work as Deans, Directors, Chairs or Coordinators of Practical Nursing Programs throughout the state of Pennsylvania and welcome members from other states to share in the networking and support system of the Association as non-voting members. 



Frances Bietsch


York County School of Technology

2179 South Queen St.

York, PA 17402


Corey Dennis                                    Interim Vice-President

Pennsylvania Institute of Technology

          800 Manchester Ave

        Media, PA  19063



Heather Haines


MIfflin County Academy of Science & Tech

700 Pitt St

Lewistown, PA 17044

717-248-3933 ext 5611

Kimberly O'Neil


          Schuylkill Technology Center

         101 Technology Drive

         Frackville, PA 17931



  • To advance the Practical Nursing Profession in the state of Pennsylvania

  • To promote the professional growth of the membership

  • To encourage individual members to participate in the growth and development of the organization

  • To enhance the competence of the members through educational programs

  • To promote the members' awareness of the professional, legal, ethical, and political issues affecting practical nursing

  • To respond to any issues affecting the education of practical nurses

  • To maintain a collaborative, integrated relationship that serves as a resource body to professional groups, government agencies, and organizations on any topic affecting the practice and education of practical nurses


Each year, PAPNA honors one Instructor that has proven their ability to go above and beyond the expectations of both students and Administrators.  This individual demonstrates the skills and characteristics needed to inspire and engage students in the field of nursing.  Whether the individual teaches in the classroom or clinical area, they are able to bring out the best in students and inspire in them the desire to continue learning about how to improve patient care.

This year, Sally Fitzgerald from the Community College of Beaver County was awarded the PAPNA Educator of the Year Award.  


plural; noun

a procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption

Each spring, PAPNA members & program faculty are called upon to share their ideas for best practices used in practical nursing education.



Faith Morelli, MSN, RN, Health Science Administrator

Western Area Career & Technology Center

Topic: The Quest to Develop the Spirit of Inquiry in Nursing Curriculum

2023 Conf-BP Develop Stu empaty

Mary Joan Lavelle, MSN, RN

Lucia Menichelli-Bales, BSN, RN, Faculty

Career and Technology Center of Lackawanna County

Topic: Developing Student Empathy



Spring 2021


“Nursing has opened my eyes and my limited ideas to what I originally had planned to achieve. When I first started this journey my short term and long-term goals were as simple as they came, I just wanted to graduate as soon as possible to provide a better life for my daughter and I…. During the process of starting the Practical nursing program I sent my daughter to Haiti to spend some time with my family while I adjusted to becoming a full-time student and working. Not much time after sending her COVID hit America like a wrecking ball. The stress that came from this new obstacle was beyond explanation. At work we started losing some patients and a lot of staff members quit in fear of catching COVID or bringing it home to their families….Adjusting to the new way of schooling was exceedingly difficult as well.. On top of all these adjustments what kept me going with both school and work was knowing I had a daughter that back in Haiti that was depending on me, I had patients who I grew to love that I could not turn my back on and I had a nursing staff that was cut down to half that I could not leave behind.. .It was a selfless act because I know there were people depending on me, patients who need someone to be advocate for them, and make a difference in their life. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with the title that I never knew before. The saying goes “its, its own reward.” It truly was my reward to see some of my patients fight to survive and life was made just a little bit easier because I was committed to making sure my job was done to its greatest capabilities. My contribution to the Practical nursing goes beyond what is in front of me and that is the same for my education. Just like becoming a nursing assistant was not my last stop in this nursing journey and becoming a Practical nurse will not be my last stop either…the nursing field has opened my eyes to the possibilities of how far I can grow. I am one hundred percent committed to learning and growing as much as possible because my experience has taught me only people who genuinely love what they do can give you the best possibilities when caring for them”  -

                                                                 Weslande Cajuste

                                                                 Prisim Career Institute                                                                                                    

                                                                 Director: Sharon Gordon


“I have been exposed to the ever· changing healthcare environment and challenges that individuals go through in search for better healthcare. This has opened my eyes to be aware of and compassionate towards the needs and concerns for individual patients for whom I have had the privilege to provide care… I have been fortunate to meet and work with a vast variety of healthcare professionals and nurses in different healthcare settings. I have been a Hospice CNA for almost 3 years and witnessed how nurses are able to comfort patients and their families in their most vulnerable state. I aspire to be the nurse with the diligence and compassion that impacts families to help them through their difficult time…The Hospice specialty of nursing has captured my heart. There have been many times where I have sat with a dying patient comforting them while they were passing. It was so rewarding to be there for them to help them pass comfortably, and that is why I am continuing my education, so I can provide better care for them. Becoming a Nurse for me is not simply a job or a career choice, but a calling. Not only is the need for nurses so great, but the need for caring and passionate nurses is even greater, that is the nurse I aspire to be when I graduate." 

                                     Amanda Diem

                                     Franklin County Career and Technology Center

                                     Director:  Janyce Collier








“I was fourteen years old when I decided I wanted to be a nurse. I was fourteen years old when I sat next to my dad, crying. I was fourteen years old when I almost lost my father, my best friend in a horrific workplace accident. I was fourteen years old when I learned that a nurse was so much more than just "someone who helps people." Ever since that day in 2017 when I was fourteen years old, I have been passionate about nursing… Why is caring an important part of nursing? Patient care isn't just providing physical support, it's also about being there for the patient emotionally. My dad's nurses cared for me as much as they cared for him, and that's what fueled my fire to become a nurse… Nursing is so much more than just giving injections and passing medications. It's helping whoever needs help and being there for them, whenever they need it.” --

                                     Taige Peterson

                                     Venango County Vocational-Technical School

                                     Director:  Cynthia Cornelius


2021 spring west recipient.jpg
FrCTC - Amanda Scholarship reciepant SP2
Prisim Career Spring 2021






"COVID came in march... as I was at the nursing home with my clinicals, I started to realize I really enjoyed being with that population of patients. I found that many of these patients were so lonely and so in need of a personal touch that they were not able to get from their family members, who were not permitted to visit due to COVID regulations. I remember washing up a patient and as I was washing her back with the warm water  she made the comment that it felt so good. She then began to cry because she missed her family.... It made me realize how these individuals are someone's mother, grandmother, sister, et cetera. They were human beings who needed love , affection, attention. ... This is how I would approach practical nursing, I would be there for my patients and would help in any way I could. Yes it is a job, but it is also a richly rewarding experience to be able to help another fellow human being"                                                                                                                       

                                                                  Debra Major

                                                                 Hazelton Area Career Center                                                                                                    





"I often tell others that, tome, the nursing field makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. There are so many opportunities to choose from.... I plan to bring motivation, dedication and leadership skills to practical nursing…. With CIVUD breaking our 3 months into my nursing school career, it definitely has been anything but a smooth ride. I am grateful for everything my school has done for my fellow classmates and I throughout the pandemic… and I am very proud of how far my classmates and I have come.”

                                     Cassidy Simone

                                     Lancaster County Career and Technology Center



Kori Deller- York County School of Technology

Wrote about the qualities she will bring to nursing. "My sister Heather has Down Syndrome...she has taught me not only care taking and nursing skills but also empathy, patience and a sense of humor... working as a Patient Representative ... I advocated for my patients and their families during very frightening and vulnerable times... This taught me not only to cherish every day you have on this beautiful earth, but also advocacy, emotional stability and communication skills... My classmates and I have faced one of the most challenging times our world has ever seen with COVID. That has not slowed us down... This has taught me leadership, reliability, time management and flexibility."

                                     Kori Deller

                                     York County School of Technology


Debra major Fall 2020 winner.jpeg

Spring 2019


"I was not perfect all of the time, but I always improved from others advice and practice. Nursing is hard work, it needs people that will put in the effort to work and improve to meet their patient’s needs. … Honesty is a moral value that is important in all aspects of my life. As a nurse, honesty is something that you have to always abide by. Patients, patient families and co-workers put their trust in you. … Whether I have long or short term goals, I am sure of what I want to accomplish. If there are barriers or outside forces that delay my goals, I know that no matter what I will eventually accomplish those goals.”                         Karen Wong Yargas

           Career and Technology Center of Lackawanna County

              Director Laura Kanavy

L to R:  Ann Millan, MSN, RN, faculty; Laura B.Kanavy MSN, RN, Director

Karen Wong Vargas, SPN; Jill Mathewson, BSN, RN, faculty

Michele Boland, MSN, RN, faculty


“I learned from an earlier age that passion, love and genuine dedication are important to a person who has given up in life. My brother needed compassion, encouragement, perseverance and love. … I will promise to bring the same characteristic traits of compassion, encouragement, dedication to duty and empathy to my patients and the field of practical nursing. I look forward to genuinely impact the lives of those who will be entrusted to my care.”

             Ruth K. Nyairo

               Lebanon County Career and Technology Center

                   Director  Jenny Neidigh



“Like the nurses that I met when I was little, I want to provide hope to the

families and individuals that I work with and shine a light onto their dark

time. I know personally what a difference that kindness and compassion

can do for a patient and their family in a stressful situation. I am so

grateful for those nurses that inspired me and because of them, I look to

bring all of the qualities and contributions that they brought into nursing.

Being a practical nurse requires you to be knowledgeable, diligent, attentive,

professional, and empathetic and have excellent communication,

interpersonal and problem solving skills.”

           Emma Moats

           Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology

           Director Pamela Hughes

PAPNA - Spr 2019 Scholarship Eastern.jpg
PAPNA Scholarship - Central SPR 2019.jpg

FALL 2018


          "...I believe that this is part of what makes me who I am and what will make me an excellent nurse in the future. No matter who the person is or what the situation, it is imperative to treat them with the utmost respect and to keep a calm manner when dealing with difficult issues. make myself a better professional and a better person. I treat everyday as a learning experience...   There is always something to be learned from every situation and  I intend to better myself every day as a practical nurse."

                                                                   Suzanne Dabady

                                                                                                        Eastern Center for Arts and Technology

                                                                                                        Carol Duell, Administrator

BCC - C Duell Fall 18 PN scholarship.jpg


       "....What will I bring to Practical Nursing? I will change the culture as it pertains to the treatment of fellow nurses.  '...Nurses eat their young.' It is an ugly phrase. This HAS to change.  Nursing is hard.  The RN/LPN that is assigned to your patient can make or break your experience. ....the challenges are high but we commit ourselves because we care deeply for our patients so then why do we not extend that care to our fellow nurses? We need to start.  I am going to start.  I am going to embrace new grads, students and new staff to my units.  I am going to be a mentor and pass on my knowledge, my support and hopefully my humor...  I promise to be a collegue and a port in the storm when the elevator doors open and I recognize the wide eyed expressions as the 'newbies' spill out.  It is my sincerest hope that I can lead by  example and pass along some kindness.  I can't wait to say "Yay!  We have students!"

             Morgan McDermott

                Clearfield County Career and Tech Center

                Cheryl Kreig, Administrator

MMcDermott PAPNA Scholarship photo.jpg


       "....I am seeing the importance of bedside manner while in clinicals. It can improve patient's mood and patient's response to care.  It can increase the likelihood of patient compliance and making for a trusting nurse-patient relationship.  .....Caring and skilled nursing together can make a difference... I will be a Vocational Practical Nursing but that only identifies the path that I choose, however it doesn't limit the type of nurse I want to be.... an excellent addition to the nursing field.   

                                                                                      Breann Marie Curry-Capo-chichi

                                                                                                                          Great Lakes Institute of Technology

                                                                                                              Dawn Johnson, Administrator

bottom of page