Ann Lawrence O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP
Nationally and internationally known for her work with teen mothers, Ann Lawrence O’Sullivan is a pediatric nurse practitioner whose goal has always been to help teen parents delay a second pregnancy. Since she started the Teen-Tot Clinic in 1980 at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Dr. O’Sullivan has studied and cared for teen mothers.
Her 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.
“Today’s innovation sometimes sounds like yester year’s nurse work arounds!”
- PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1984
- MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1972
- BSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1970
- Diploma, St. Francis Hospital, 1968
Supporting students and colleagues in official protests is my most current work in social justice and I recommend everyone read Daniel Gillion’s book on Race, Protest, and Political Change in America! He shares with all of us the power of protests and the lack of power in rioting!
When a clinician working with adolescent parents I spent hours making sure our Public School District made a place for them in the educational system! Without an education for all there is no social justice.
With over 35 years of experience combining clinical practice with teaching and research, Dr. O’Sullivan brings her insights with patients into the classroom in the Family Nurse Practitioners Program and the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program. She has been the director of both programs since 2003.
Dr. O’Sullivan’s research—funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, Independence Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and William Penn Foundation—concluded that mother and child had to be studied as a dyad; that young women who took being a parent seriously were more likely to get pregnant again; that teenagers who failed either first or fifth grades were at greater risk of repeat pregnancies; and that a mother’s best chance to stay in school, find housing, and provide for her child depended on delaying a second pregnancy. Based on her findings, Dr. O’Sullivan 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, Dr. O’Sullivan has worked for over a decade to develop policies that expand full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses. She is recognized as 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, Dr. O’Sullivan 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.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Dr. O’Sullivan collaborates with other faculty throughout Penn to participate in the Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship Program, in which students provide health-related services in economically insecure communities. What began in 1991 as an internship program for Penn medical students soon expanded to include nursing students and other students in health sciences and social services. Today, it’s an extended collaboration among five academic health centers in Philadelphia and other affiliated health centers. The Bridging the Gaps program has received Penn’s One Health Award for excellence in inter-professional service and education.
Selected Career Highlights
- Recipient, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Exceptional Contribution Award
- Recipient, Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania
- Lifetime Achievement Award, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
- Nurse Faculty Fellow and Nurse Executive Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
Ritter, AZ., Bowles, KH., O’Sullivan, AL., Brooks- Carthon, M., Fairman, JA. (2018). A Policy Analysis of Legally Required Supervision of Nurse Practitioners and Other Health Professionals. Nursing Outlook. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2018.05.004
Ritter, A.Z.; Bowles, K. H.; O’Sullivan, A.L.; Gilman, D.; Fairman, J.A. (2020). Nurse practitioner state-required collaborative practice agreements: A cross-sectional case study in Florida. Nursing Economics.
Doherty, C. L., Fogg, L., Bigley, M. B., Todd, B., & O’Sullivan, A. L. (2020). Nurse practitioner student clinical placement processes: A national survey of nurse practitioner programs. Nursing outlook, 68(1), 55-61.