Practice Professor of Nursing

Connie B. Scanga has been teaching — and developing — human anatomy and physiology courses since the early 1990s. When a Carnegie Foundation report highlighted professional education inadequacies in the 21st century, and an Institute of Medicine report called for nurses to take on more responsibility in the healthcare system, Dr. Scanga and colleagues were inspired to tackle these important issues in nursing education.

By 2010, Dr. Scanga and other nursing faculty were at work revamping the undergraduate nursing curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania to integrate basic science courses with clinical and laboratory work. Introduced in the 2011-2012 academic year, the new curriculum emphasizes an integration of theoretical knowledge and clinical experience, which fosters clinical reasoning ability. One of the new courses, developed and co-taught by Dr. Scanga, is Integrated Anatomy, Physiology & Physical Assessment.  The integrated course provides the foundational science knowledge that underpins nursing physical assessment and is required to situate the understanding of health problems. Each week, students experience three hours of lectures, two hours of anatomy and physiology laboratory work, and two hours of clinical nursing to learn physical assessment skills.

“What we have done with basic sciences – teaching integrated anatomy, physiology and physical assessment to nursing students – is unique in nursing education.”


  • PhD, Temple University, 1994
  • BA , University of Pennsylvania , 1974