Nurse practitioner Virginia A. Buckley Blaskovich came to Penn for her undergraduate nursing degree and has been part of the Penn system ever since. After earning her graduate degree as a tertiary care nurse practitioner, she joined the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).

Nurse practitioners play a key role in cardiac surgery and related research. I encourage students to look at cardiac surgery as a career option.


  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1993
  • BSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1990


Working closely with Joseph E. Bavaria, MD, Ms. Buckley Blaskovich helped develop HUP’s aortic surgery program, which includes clinical trials to study innovative devices for aortic diseases and a nurse practitioner-managed clinic. Now part of the Penn Complex Aortic Disease Program, it was first in the region to provide long-term management of patients with severe, mostly congenital, aortic disease. Dr. Bavaria is the vice chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at HUP and a professor in the school of medicine. 


Ms. Buckley Blaskovich has worked on dozens of device studies for aortic disease, including TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), endovascular stent graphs, and aortic valve replacement devices. She developed the model for nurse practitioner-managed clinics for long-term patient follow up, freeing physicians to see more new patients. Since joining the Penn Nursing faculty in 2013, Ms. Buckley Blaskovich has maintained her clinical practice at HUP two days a week.

Clinical Practice

Ms. Buckley Blaskovich’s clinical practice focuses on managing patients who are participating or have participated in aortic disease device studies. She and colleagues are also currently conducting a study to assess the nurse practitioner-managed clinic model. They are collecting survey data on patient satisfaction from about 300 patients.

Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing

Through her clinical practice and her teaching, Ms. Buckley Blaskovich helps nurse practitioner students understand the clinical practice environment and encourages them to consider a career in cardiac surgery and related research. She teaches courses in Penn Nursing’s Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program and the Streamlined Post-Masters Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. The streamlined program is designed for nurse practitioners who need to become certified in acute care and have at least a year of experience working with acutely ill patients.

As associate course director for “Advanced Clinical Decisions in Adult Gerontology Acute Care” (NURS673), Ms. Buckley Blaskovich helps develop the curriculum and projects, along with lecturing and mentoring students in clinical work. In response to student feedback, she is adding more assignments to help students improve their skills in developing differential diagnoses. Ms. Buckley Blaskovich also teaches Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP: Professional Role and Clinical Practicum I and II (NURS674 and NURS 675).

In all of her courses, Ms. Buckley Blaskovich illustrates the real-world practice environment for nurse practitioners through examples from her work. This includes how to assess both sides of difficult situations and how to develop effective solutions. 

Selected Career Highlights

  • Member, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • Member, Inter-Professional Education Simulation Committee, Penn Nursing
  • Member, Service Award Committee, Penn Nursing

Accepting Mentees?

  • Yes

Accepting Fellows?

  • No