Top-tier Faculty for Top-tier Students

At the heart of all of Loyola University’s online nursing degrees are three key components—its students, its curriculum, and its faculty. Faculty members at Loyola are highly vetted professionals with exceptional expertise in their field. All full-time faculty in the School of Nursing hold a doctoral degree ensuring you will learn from distinguished professionals.

Loyola’s professors are passionate about teaching and place a great deal of value in creating a stimulating learning environment that fosters both creativity and critical thought. Read below to discover more about our distinguished roster of dedicated professors, lecturers, and more.

Doctor Lisa Authement

Lisa Russo Authement, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Assistant Professor

Dr. Authement has been teaching since 2010, and working as an FNP since 2007, performing health assessments to non-emergent patients, establishing a diagnoses and care plan and ensuing follow up for patients at hospitals, clinics, long-term acute-care facilities, and nursing homes.

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Toussaint Battley

Toussaint Battley, DNP, FNP-BC

Assistant Professor

Dr. Battley has taught on the undergraduate level, both in the classroom and online, since 2010. He has a love for Informatics and is certified as an EPIC super user, providing training to healthcare providers at various healthcare facilities to better enable them to navigate the electronic health record environment.

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Debra Berger

Debra Berger, JD, DNP, FNP-BC

Assistant Professor

Dr. Berger has practiced in a primary care NP since 2000. She is currently working toward developing a wound practice for her Loyola faculty practice. She also practices law part time, limiting her practice to physician contract law.

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Doctor Adrienne Bethancourt

Adrienne Bethancourt, DNS, APRN, RN

Assistant Professor

Dr. Bethancourt's current research is focused on equine therapy and rehabilitation at Harmony Acres, Rehabilitation Center in Colorado as she and a colleague teach families and professionals who work with children who have disabilities to heal through physical and emotional therapy on horses.

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Kim Brannagan

Kim Brannagan, PhD, RN, MBA, BS Ed

Assistant Professor

Dr. Brannagan is an Assistant Professor in Nursing and coordinator for the RN-to-BSN and MSN-HCSM programs. She has more than 15 years as a nurse educator and school nurse administrator, teaching master's level finance, management practicum, research, advanced population health.

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Doctor Mary Burke

Mary Burke, PhD, RN, CNE

Associate Professor

Dr. Mary Burke received her PhD in Adult Education from Louisiana State University, and her MS in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University. Her nursing career focused on surgical and emergency medicine, and she has been teaching since 1995.

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Debra Copeland

Debra Copeland, DNS, RN

Associate Professor

Dr. Copeland teaches many courses in the RN-BSN program, including Nursing Leadership & Promotion of Quality Care, Spirituality in Health and Illness, Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice, and Population Health.

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Amrita Datta

Amrita Datta

Assistant Professor

Dr. Datta joins the adjunct faculty at Loyola with an extensive career in research and teaching and a desire to push advancements in cancer diagnostics and treatments forward. Dr. Datta’s research focus includes role of vesicle biology, particularly exosomes in Cancer, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms as Cancer Biomarkers.

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Doctor Emily Eiswirth

Emily Eiswirth, DNP, ANP-BC, FNP

Assistant Professor

As a nurse educator, Dr. Eiswirth has given presentations on numerous topics including continuing education for the nurse practitioner, nursing residency programs, treating common bites and burns, osteoarthritis, weight management, and end of life care differences in races.

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Doctor Michele Ellis

D. Michele Ellis, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor

Dr. D. Michele Ellis received her Ph.D. in nursing with a focus on nursing education in 2013 from the University of Northern Colorado. She received her MS degree in nursing education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2004, and began teaching shortly thereafter.

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Laurie Anne Ferguson

Laurie Anne Ferguson, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, FNP-C, CPNP

Interim Director & Associate Professor

Dr. Ferguson currently serves as the interim director of the Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing. She is certified as an Adult, Family and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and has practiced in a variety of clinical settings in the NP role including ER, Occupational Health and Primary Care.

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Doctor Jeannie Harper

Jeannie Harper, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jeannie Harper received her PhD in Adult Education from Louisiana State University and her MS and BS in Nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University. Her nursing career and current research focuses on women’s health and obstetrics.

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Doctor Warren Herbert

Warren Hebert, DNP, RN, CAE

Assistant Professor

Dr. Hebert currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Community Health Accreditation Partners (CHAP) — which accredits more home health and hospice providers than Joint Commission — and as a Senior Advisor to the Chief Nurse of the American Red Cross.

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Marla Johnston

Marla Johnston, RN, MSN

Adjunct Professor

Marla Johnston has been an adjunct faculty member in the MS Nursing program since 2006. The 30-year span of her nursing career was dedicated to establishing excellence in care and policy to improve the healthcare field.

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 Ella Kliebert

Ella D. Kliebert, AACN

Adjunct Professor

Ms. Ella Kliebert, joined Loyola’s adjunct professor faculty in January 2014. She brings a unique combination of education and experience to her role — Ms. Kliebert holds advanced nursing degrees as well a law degree.

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Cynthia Langford

Cynthia Langford, PhD, MSN

Associate Professor

Dr. Langford teaches many courses in the DNP program and has more than 30 years as a nursing educator. Dr. Langford has precepted, taught, and mentored students in the disciplines of education, rehabilitation counseling, nursing, and nurse practitioning.

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Alisha Neal

Alisha Neal

Assistant Vice President - Finance

Ms. Alisha Neal has a long-standing career in managing healthcare finances. As the current Assistant Vice President - Finance at Ochsner Hospital, Ms. Neal is uniquely positioned to share her experiences in mastering the challenges of informatics and financial resources for nurses.

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Mary Oriol

Mary Oriol, DrPH, RN

Associate Professor

Dr. Oriol has extensive experience in leadership positions in health care organizations and in nursing education. Her research and publications focus on online teaching and learning, hospital safety, home health, and organizational behavior.

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Patricia Pearce

Patricia Pearce, MPH, MSN, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP

Interim Dean & Associate Professor

Dr. Pearce currently serves as dean of the Loyola University New Orleans College of Graduate and Professional Studies, where she also teaches in the DNP Program. She has precepted, taught and mentored staff nurses, nurse practitioners, and students at BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD levels.

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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Peterson has more than 17 years as a nurse, including 5 as a nurse educator, where her expertise is in research methods, theories of organizational behavior, and human resource management as related to nursing.

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Karen L. Rice

Karen L. Rice, DNS, APRN, ACNS-BC, ANP

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Rice inspires students towards excellence in healthcare with her extensive leadership experience and award-winning research skills. As a system program director at the Ochsner Health System in Louisiana, she can demonstrate how graduate nursing coursework and research is applied in the nursing industry to drive innovations and industry improvement.

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Jane Savage

Jane Savage, PhD, RN, LCCE, FACCE, CNE

Associate Professor

Jane S. Savage has a clinical background in mental health nursing and nursing care of childbearing women. Currently she serves as a co-investigator of a NIH RO3 funded study examining models of prenatal care, stress reduction, and the experience of disaster recovery.

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Diane Scott

Diane Scott, RN, MSN, ACC

Adjunct Professor

Ms. Scott has been a graduate-school faculty member at Loyola University in New Orleans since 2006. She received her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master of Science (MS) in Nursing from Duquesne University.

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Trudi B. Stafford

Trudi B. Stafford, PhD, RN, MS-HCA, NEA-BC

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Trudi Stafford is an adjunct professor for the nursing program. Her academic preparation began with the completion of her bachelor’s degree in nursing from what was then known as Northeast Louisiana University in 1977.

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Shelley Swann Blankenship Thibeau

Shelley Swann Blankenship Thibeau, PhD, RNC-NIC

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Shelley Thibeau is an adjunct professor in the graduate nursing program who uses her award-winning research and nursing-leadership skills to elevate the quality of education in her students. In her 30+ years as an RN, she’s worked diligently as a senior RN researcher and clinical coordinator to improve the health of mothers and preterm infants.

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