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Ann Lawrence O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, Transitions from Standing Faculty at Penn Nursing After 48 Years of Service

Ann Lawrence O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, the Dr. Hildegarde Reynolds Endowed Term Professor of Primary Care Nursing and Professor of Primary Care Nursing, Perelman School of Medicine, will be transitioning in just a few days on June 30, 2021 after an incredible 48 years(!) of service to the University and School. She will continue to mentor and support our DNP students.

It is difficult to capture the impact of Dr. O’Sullivan’s work on nursing, Penn, and the health of children and families. Dr. O’Sullivan is a nationally and internationally regarded scholar whose work on adolescent pregnancy has helped to shape policies and practices to support teen mothers and delay subsequent pregnancies. Since she started the Teen-Tot Clinic in 1980 at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Ann has studied and cared for teen mothers. She has been an impactful researcher, teacher, practitioner, and colleague.

Dr. O’Sullivan’s research, based largely on questions from her clinical practice, has ranged from her dissertation on adolescent mothers’ decision-making to the value of home visiting programs for teen mothers, and how young mothers care for their children, return to school, and balance roles as student and parent. While this is now standard practice – her approaches at the time were ground-breaking. Ann’s research has been well funded - by the National Institute of Nursing Research, Independence Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and William Penn Foundation. Based on her findings and her pioneering spirit, Ann created the Teen Mother-Baby Program in 1986 to provide support services and birth control to teen parents, a joint program of CHOP and Penn’s School of Nursing.

A clinician educator since 1987, Ann has worked to develop policies that expand full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses. She is a leading proponent of the movement and has written and lectured extensively on the need to remove scope of practice restrictions and increase professional collaborations between physicians and advanced practice registered nurses. In 2016, she served as chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing’s advanced practice registered nurses committee, which is monitoring full practice authority legislation introduced in the Pennsylvania House and Senate. She has been an ally to the school in leading this policy area. Her activist voice has also been a part of the social justice movement over the years most recently in support of students and colleagues in official protests and in support of a better education system for all. With over 35 years of experience combining clinical practice with teaching and research, Ann brings her insights with patients into the classroom in the Family Nurse Practitioners Program and the Pediatric Nurse Primary Care Practitioner Program, which she led for many years. A passionate advocate for the DNP program, Ann has worked to develop and teach in the program. Lastly, Ann has collaborated and championed the Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship Program, in which students provide health-related services in economically insecure communities. Having started as just one internship program at Penn Med, today, it’s an extended collaboration among five academic health centers in Philadelphia and other affiliated health centers. Thanks to Ann’s leadership and contribution the Bridging the Gaps program has received Penn’s One Health Award for excellence in inter-professional service and education!

Ann has received numerous awards and recognitions for her teaching, research, practice and service to the School, the University, and the discipline of Nursing. Among her many career highlights, Dr. O’Sullivan is the recipient of the University’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s Exceptional Contribution Award. Dr. O’Sullivan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.