Patricia Griffith, PhD, CRNP, ACNP-BC

Patricia Griffith, PhD, CRNP, ACNP-BC

Advanced Senior Lecturer A

Check yourself before you wreck yourself, my favorite skiing quote, is an apt reminder to challenge your reasoning ahead of determining a patient’s most-likely diagnosis


  • PhD, Villanova University, 2022
  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1994
  • BSN, Bloomsburg University, 1990

Social Justice

Dr. Griffith contributes to the School of Nursing’s culture of equity and inclusion through a variety of roles and responsibilities. As a member of the graduate nursing admissions committee, she values a holistic review of every applicant, and as a program interviewer she looks for the potential contributions prospective students will bring to a diversified cohort. As the Associate Program Director, course director, and teacher, she strives to create an inclusive classroom environment that supports and respects the voices, discussion, and discourse of every person, simultaneously working with each student to provide equitable support for their pursuit of graduate education.


Dr. Griffith is the Associate Program Director for the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program and Course Director for the program’s clinical courses.

Dr. Griffith created the clinical course, Nurs 6730, which is uniquely structured to develop the foundational skills requisite of an AGACNP. Students attend clinical with faculty mentors to develop competencies in history collection and physical examination of patients, diagnostic interpretations, note construction, and oral presentations. Case studies are used to reinforce diagnostic reasoning, clinical decision-making, admission management, discharge planning, and patient education.

Dr. Griffith advanced the AGACNP Program’s simulation curriculum with hi- and low-fidelity simulations woven throughout the clinical year. Simulation allows a student to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for advanced practice in a safe learning environment. Simulation-based experiences provide structured and explicit opportunities to develop every-day competencies such as diagnostic and clinical reasoning, as well as low-frequency, high-risk competencies such as rapid response management, psychomotor skills, and breaking bad news.

In addition to clinical practice development, the AGACNP curriculum provides professional development through health policy examination, portfolio creation, and dissemination of knowledge via poster presentation and manuscript submission. Dr. Griffith supports students and program graduates in the creation and presentation of posters for state and national conferences. And she is very proud of the many students she has mentored through journal article submission and publication.


Dr. Griffith’s research focuses on diagnostic reasoning and nurse practitioner education. Nurse practitioner students transition into diagnosticians by building on their experience with and understanding of the symptoms and signs patients exhibit when presenting with disease. Finding innovative education opportunities, such as simulation, to offer structured and purposeful experiences for students to develop diagnostic reasoning skills is necessary. Dr. Griffith is committed to examining the outcomes of the multi-step diagnostic reasoning process as an educational strategy to build the evidence and advance NP education.

Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing

Strong inter-professional teams provide the best patient care. Students have opportunities to learn from and with other health professions students and providers throughout their didactic and clinical education experiences within the AGACNP program. The clinical courses include content presented by pharmacists, dentists, dieticians, physical therapists, social workers, risk managers, physician assistants, and physicians. Within the simulation lab, UPenn’s AGACNP students and BSN students and the University of the Sciences PharmD and Physician Assistant students come together as teams to manage hemodynamically unstable patients.


Selected Career Highlights

  • Associate Editor Clinical Excellence Series, Aquifer, 2023-2024
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, Fitzgerald College of Nursing, Villanova University, 2022
  • NLN Foundation for Nursing Education Award, 2021
  • Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine #TeachDx Faculty Development Academy, 2021
  • Reviewer, Nursing Education Perspectives and Clinical Simulation in Nursing
  • Research Assistant, Villanova University, 2018 – 2020
  • Chair, Annual Preceptor Appreciation Event, Penn Nursing
  • PSNA Nurse Planner, Penn Medicine Nursing
  • MSN Faculty Marshall, Nursing Graduation Ceremony, May 2019
  • Dean’s Award for MS/MSN/DNP Scholarly Mentorship, University of Pennsylvania, 2018
  • Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, 2017
  • Mentorship Award, Biobehavioral Science Department, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, 2015
  • Graduate Student Organization Outstanding Nurse Educator Award, University of Pennsylvania Master of Science in Nursing Class, 2008

Accepting Mentees?

  • Yes

Accepting Fellows?

  • No

Selected Publications

  • Griffith, P. B., Mariani, B., & Kelly, M. M. (2023). Diagnostic reasoning competency and accuracy by nurse practitioner students following the use of structured reflection in simulation: A mixed methods experiment. Nursing Education Perspectives (in press)

  • Griffith, P. B., Mariani, B., & Kelly, M. M. (2023). The effect of structured reflection on nurse practitioner students’ diagnostic reasoning within simulation: Qualitative outcomes of a mixed methods experiment. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 79, 6-19.

  • Griffith, P. B., Mariani, B., & Kelly, M. M. (2022). Diagnostic reasoning outcomes in nurse practitioner education: A scoping review. Journal of Nursing Education. 61(10), 579-586.

  • Cantrell, M. A., Ruble, K., Mensinger, J., Birkhoff, S., Morris, A., Griffith, P., Adams, J. (2022). The use and effect of the Health Storylines mHealth App on female childhood cancer survivors’ self-efficacy, health-related quality of life and perceived illness. Cancer Nursing, 45(1), 61-69.

  • Griffith, P. B., Kelly, M. M., & Becker, D. (2021). On-call simulation for adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner students: A comparative, descriptive study. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 33(6). Doi:10.1097/JXX.0000000000000355.

  • Kelly, M. M., Tobias, J., & Griffith, P. B. (2021). Addressing preterm birth history with clinical practice recommendations across the life course. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 35(3), E5-E20.

  • Griffith, P. B., Doherty, C. L., Smeltzer, S. C., & Mariani, B. (2020). Education initiatives in cognitive debiasing to improve diagnostic accuracy in student providers: A scoping review. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Volume online now. doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000479.

  • Kelly, M. M. & Griffith, P. B. (2020). Umbrella review of school age health outcomes of preterm birth survivors. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 34(5), e59-e76. doi.10.1016/j.pedhc.2020.05.007

  • Kelly, M. M. & Griffith, P. B. (2020). The influence of preterm birth beyond infancy: Umbrella review of outcomes of adolescents and adults born preterm. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 32(8), 555-562. doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000248

  • Baehser-Griffith, P., Bednar, J., Osterman, A. L., & Culp, R. (1997). The role of surgical arthroscopy in the treatment of triangular fibrocartilage tears. Association of Operating Room Nurses Journal, 66(1), 99-118.

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