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
In recent years, Dr. Scanga has coordinated and taught the Nursing Pre-first Year Program (PFP) course, “The Biological Basis & Introduction to Nursing Roles in Diabetes Mellitus.” PFP is an academically rigorous and intensive four-week summer program preceding New Student Orientation which provides an opportunity for participating students to get an academic and social edge, while quickly becoming familiar with campus resources and the Penn community. Each year’s participants are students who are the first in their families to attend college; income-eligible students; students underrepresented in their field of study; and/or from large urban high schools and small rural communities. In addition to her involvement with PFP, Dr. Scanga also serves with a small group of faculty from across the undergraduate schools at Penn on the Faculty Advisory Group which meets regularly to discuss strategies to enhance academic success of students who are the first in their families to pursue a four-year baccalaureate degree or come from modest financial circumstances.
Students take Integrated Anatomy, Physiology & Physical Assessment during the second semester of their freshman year and the first semester of their sophomore year. As Dr. Scanga anticipated, the presentation of course content and information in three different settings — classroom, laboratory, and clinic — promotes the students’ grasp of the information and provides for better consolidation of course content.
Dr. Scanga often consults with other nursing schools about Penn Nursing’s successfully integrated course offerings, particularly in accelerated nursing programs. She has also developed a massive open online course (MOOC) entitled “Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body is Telling Us” that incorporates aspects of her integrated course. This course is designed as continuing education for registered nurses.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Though Dr. Scanga primarily teaches her course to undergraduate nursing students, every semester she also accepts non-nursing students who take the course for anatomy and physiology credits. Her positive impact on students throughout the Penn campus gives her tremendous satisfaction, and is one of the aspects of her career that she enjoys the most.
Selected Career Highlights
- Recipient, Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing University of Pennsylvania Faculty
- Recipient, Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Teaching, School of Nursing
- Inaugural Member, Academy for the Science & Practice of Teaching in Nursing and
Clinically-Related Disciplines, School of Nursing