Ann Marie Walsh Brennan, PhD, RN
As a graduate student at Penn Nursing, every course Ann Marie Walsh Brennan took pushed the boundaries of her knowledge or skills. Today, in her work centering on undergraduate nursing education, she creates the same experience for her students.
- PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1997
- MS, University of Pennsylvania, 1976
- BS, Villanova University, 1973
Dr. Walsh Brennan was a leader in Penn Nursing’s undergraduate curriculum redesign, completed in 2015, to focus more on case-based learning – the use of case studies – and technology. The goal was to immerse even first-year students in the challenges of real nursing from the start. For example, required basic science courses integrate case studies so students don’t just learn facts and numbers – they grasp why the science is important in assessing patients and planning care.
Clinical nursing practice is strongly integrated with lecture courses in the revised curriculum. For example, physical assessment of a patient is part of the required undergraduate anatomy and physiology course. Because community-based nursing is growing, Dr. Walsh Brennan also supported expansion of the course on community nursing. To ensure that the new curriculum was working as intended, she also oversaw its implementation.
Curriculum Innovations in Information Technology and Cultural Competency
Dr. Walsh Brennan is currently working on a Penn Nursing Information Technology Innovations Grant to integrate online testing within her undergraduate course Nursing of Young and Middle-Aged Adults. With nearly 100 students, this is the largest Penn Nursing course to use online testing, which will be done with formative pre- and post-lecture testing as well as summative tests. Dr. Walsh Brennan has also involved students in the research, creating a focus group to gauge student perceptions of how online testing works for the course.
As part of a Penn Nursing task force on cultural competency in nursing education, Dr. Walsh Brennan published a number of articles on this topic. An article on how the nursing curriculum should address needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients remains a seminal study in the field (Journal of Professional Nursing, 2012;28(2), 96–104.)
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Through Nursing 813, which covers qualitative techniques in nursing research, Dr. Walsh Brennan mentors at least one graduate student each semester. She also serves as preceptor for students from other Philadelphia-area universities who come to Penn Nursing for graduate coursework.
Dr. Walsh Brennan’s courses on nursing management of illness in young and middle aged adults, and in acute care nursing, often host groups of nursing students as observers from around the world, including from Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea. While these students’ visas do not allow them to participate in hands-on learning, a joint seminar with regular Penn Nursing students benefits both groups of students. Penn Nursing students learn how people in other countries view the U.S. health system. She also works with exchange students from the University of Queensland in Australia and Oxford-Brooks University in the United Kingdom.
Selected Career Highlights
- Fellow, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing
- Board member, Saint Francis Country House Women’s Auxiliary
- Academic Staff Mentorship Award, Biobehavioral and Health Science Division, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
- Course Directors Committee Chair, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
- Walsh Brennan, A.M., Sullivan-Marx, E. (2012). The Paradigm Shift. Nursing Clinics of North America, 47(4), 455-462.
- Walsh Brennan, A.M., Barnsteiner, J., Cotter, V.T., de Leon Siantz, M.L., & Everett, J. (2012). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or intersexed content for nursing curricula. Journal of Professional Nursing: Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 28(2), 96-104.
- Kardong-Edgren, S., Cason, C., Walsh-Brennan, A. M. (2010). Cultural Competency of graduating BSN students. Nursing Education Perspectives, 31(5), 278-285.
- Walsh Brennan, A.M. & Cotter, V. (2008). Student perception of cultural competence content in the curriculum. Journal of Professional Nursing: Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 24, 155-160.
- Cuellar, N., Walsh Brennan, A.M. (2008). Cultural competence in the undergraduate nursing curriculum.. Journal of Professional Nursing: Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 24, 143-159.
- Cross, D., Walsh Brennan, A.M., Cotter, V. & Watts, R. (2008). Cultural competence in the masters curriculum - a course exemplar. Journal of Professional Nursing: Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 24(3), 150-154.