Ann L O'Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP
Dr. Hildagarde Reynolds Endowed Term Professor of Primary Care Nursing

Contact Information
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Room 401 Fagin Hall
418 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4217
tel: (215) 898-4272

Dr. O’Sullivan is a nationally known and an internationally consulted expert on working with teen mothers, particularly those under 17 years of age. For the past 15 years, her scholarship on the special needs of teen mothers and their young children has evolved in response to questions that emerged from practice-based experiences. Her work was recognized with the receipt of the 1998 American Nurses Association Honorary Practice Award.

Dr. O’Sullivan’s thirty years of experience as a practicing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner have helped her develop a Primary Care Program that combines academic skill and research with real life application. The graduates of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program enter their practice environment with the ability to function effectively in today’s health care climate. Dr. O’Sullivan is actively involved in all aspects of the program, regularly lecturing, advising as well as grading papers and projects. Dr. O’Sullivan has attained a reputation as a teacher of impact and lasting influence that is attested to by both students and colleagues. She was recognized by the University as a distinguished teacher through her selection as a Lindback Awardee in 2000. Her graduates over the past fifteen years have a 99% pass rate on the National Certifying Exams.

Beginning with her dissertation research on adolescent mothers' decision making, her program of scholarship has focused on developing an evidence based model of nursing practice in which practice generates research questions and the results of scholarship are then implemented in the clinical setting. The objective of this work is to enhance adolescent mothers' capacities to care for themselves and their children, return to school, and balance the roles of student and mother.

She has been a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing 2004 to present; board chair 2009 to 2011 and chair of the APRN Committee 2007 to present. She was the chair of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing(NCSBN) APRN Committee 2007-2011 which developed the Model Rules and Regulations to match the Consensus Model in 2008 and which were approved by the Delegate assembly of all 50 states and territories in August 2008. She is currently on the NCSBN Board of Directors. Each of these positions uses her skill regarding scope of practice (SOP) issues especially as related to APRN's, independent practice, continuing education and grandfathering. She is interested in SOP policy in addition to healthcare reform law and APRN practice. [Bryan, R., Buzby, M.A. & O'Sullivan, A. (2012). The healthcare reform law and APRN practice. Medscape Medical News. Retrieved from

• Currently Funded Grants

• Center for Global Women's Health

Clinical Practice
Dr. O’Sullivan is a leading authority on teen parenting and pregnancy prevention. She is recognized throughout the United States for creating the Teen Baby primary care program at Philadelphia’s Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (jointly administered by CHOP and Penn’s School of Nursing). Her national prototype has been selected for inclusion in the Sociometrics Corporation’s Program Archive on Sexuality, Health and Adolescence (PASHA), a national collection of promising adolescent pregnancy and STD/HIV/AIDS prevention materials.

As a Clinician Educator since 1987, she has practiced at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia a minimum of 30% per week, and with research funding (1987-02) an additional 20% each week as Director of the Teen Mother-Baby Program. She took calls weekly for the entire Primary Care Practice until 1998, when it decreased to once per month. Because of her special concern for young mothers and their infants, providers from throughout the community, including foster care agencies, refer teen mothers and their infants to her for care.

• The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


• Honors/Awards Details »

Publications (select year)
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I have personally mentored generations of teen mothers who want to keep their babies and be the best mothers they can be. The stresses on these mothers are intense, requiring ongoing nursing support and intervention. It is rewarding to watch healthy children grow up with fabulous care from their moms and dads!