Full-Time Faculty

Cowell Hall 320

Amanda Burke-Aaronson teaches in the Bachelor’s and Master’s in nursing programs. Her focus is women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing. Her professional experience is as a mother-baby nurse (postpartum and well-baby) as well as a newborn intensive care nurse. She is a volunteer birth doula – a non-medical labor and birth support person – as well. She has a side focus on advocating for, and striving to bring appropriate gender-affirming healthcare for transgender people, especially in our...

Cowell 205

Carlee Balzaretti, DNP, FNP-BC, CNL is an assistant professor teaching the Applied Assessment & Nursing Fundamentals course to undergraduate students and the final semester internship course to graduate students. Prior to this appointment, she taught across the undergraduate nursing curriculum in the Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership program at the Sacramento campus.

Dr. Balzaretti is currently the vice chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and serves as the...

  • DNP, University of San Francisco
  • MPH, University of San Francisco
  • Family Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Nursing Practice, University of San Francisco
  • MSN, University of San Francisco
  • BSN...
Cowell Hall, 302

Angela D. Banks, RN, PhD is a Full Professor and former Chair of the Undergraduate Nursing Department in the School of Nursing and Health Professions. She teaches Pharmacology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacokinetics to undergraduate nursing students. She has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, and prior to entering academia she worked in the cardiovascular intensive care unit and the emergency department. Her program of research focuses on women's health, health disparities, and...

  • UC San Francisco, PhD in Philosophy of Nursing, 2005
  • UC Los Angeles, MN in Nursing, 1984
  • University of Illinois, Chicago, BSN, 1980
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics
  • Pathophysiology
Cowell Hall 209

Dr. Cox is a dually board-certified adult nurse practitioner and adult psychiatric nurse practitioner, and certified public health nurse. Her specialty interests and NP work are in psychiatric mental health, addiction medicine, behavioral and community health of vulnerable populations, advocacy, and psychiatric consultation. She brings her clinical experience, interests, and enthusiasm for community and mental health to her teaching, service, clinical work, and volunteerism. Her focus is on...

  • USF, DNP, Family Nurse Practitioner Program, 2010
  • University of California, San Francisco, MSN, Adult and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program, 1998
  • Brown University, Providence, RI, BA in...
  • Behavioral Health-Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Public Health, Community Health Nursing of Vulnerable Populations
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Modalities & Motivational Approaches
  • Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders Management
Cowell Hall 325

Mary Lou De Natale has expertise in community mental health and telehealth case management with the underserved in the community and their partners / families. For the past twenty nine years, she has been involved in the bachelors, masters, and DNP programs (committee member of doctoral dissertations in the School of Education and School of Nursing and Health Professions - DNP projects). Her professional and personal mission, clinical practice, and research revolve around health care advocacy...

  • Post-Doctoral Academic Program of Study, Social and Behavioral Health-Health Policy
  • University of San Francisco, EdD
  • San Jose State University, MSN
  • University of San Francisco, BSN
  • Community and mental health nursing
  • Maternal-child nursing and pediatric

Dr. John Hurley loves to teach and has been teaching in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at USF for over eight years. He has thirty-seven years of experience as a clinical nurse, fifteen as nursing staff development and eight years of pediatric simulation teaching experience. He created and implemented a program for developing, nurturing, and sustaining the interior life of the nurse.

  • DNP. Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA
  • MSN, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA
  • Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • BSN...
Suite 360, Sacramento Campus

Dr. Ann Lawani received her PhD in nursing from the University of San Diego. Her unique professional background includes small business accounting, clinical nursing practice and leadership. She is a practicing registered nurse; her clinical experience entails adult cardio-pulmonary, stroke, Cystic Fibrosis and orthopedic patient populations across multiple health care settings, including acute care and hospice facilities. A scholar and life-long learner, Dr. Lawani’s area of research includes...

  • PhD in Nursing, University of San Diego
  • Graduate Certificate, Leadership and Administration in Hospice and Palliative Care, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Clinical...
  • Palliative Care and Healthcare Utilization
  • Hospice and End-of-Life Transitions

Professor Mark’s history with USF spans 37 years. After graduating from the BSN program in 1987, she enjoyed a 30-year nursing career as a medical surgical staff nurse in a local hospital. She then earned an MSN from UCSF as a geriatric clinical nurse specialist, and when an opportunity opened up to teach at her undergraduate alma mater as a clinical instructor, she jumped at the chance. This sparked a love and passion for teaching nursing, and she has continued to teach at USF for almost 25...

  • University of San Francisco, DNP/FNP, 2017
  • UC, San Francisco, MSN-Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, 1993
  • University of San Francisco, BSN, 1987
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Simulation
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Adult health
Cowell Hall 309

Christina Purpora has been an associate professor in the School of Nursing and Health Professions since 2011. Her primary areas of teaching are applied assessment and nursing fundamentals in the traditional undergraduate nursing program, and her professional experience includes 30 years of hospital nursing. Her clinical expertise is in medical-surgical and critical care nursing of the adult and older adult.

Dr. Purpora’s program of research focuses on antecedents, consequences, and mitigation...

  • Ph.D., Nursing, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • MS, Nursing (nursing education focus), University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut
  • BS, Nursing, Regis University, Denver...
  • Nursing
  • Care of the adult and older adult
Cowell Hall 306

Lisa is a proud triple USF Don earning her BSN, MSN and DNP from USF SONHP. She has over 38 years of healthcare experience in clinical, education, and leadership. She is active in the USF Alumni Association and is an active member of many nursing organizations. She was instrumental in establishing simulation at SONHP and has spoken locally, regionally, and nationally on simulation.

  • University of San Francisco, SONHP, DNP, 2015
  • University of San Francisco, SONHP, MSN, 2008
  • University of San Francisco, SONHP, BSN, 1983
  • Simulation
  • Medical-surgical nursing
  • Public health nursing
  • Leadership

Part-Time Faculty

Professor Candace Cassidy has been a registered nurse for over 20 years. Prior to nursing, Professor Cassidy worked in research and analytical chemistry. While having her first child, she was mesmerized by the competent and caring staff when she was hospitalized. She went to nursing school and became committed to promoting excellence in nursing care. This passion has left an impact on the many students and nursing hires she has trained.

  • Sacred Heart University, Masters of Nursing Education
  • Chabot College, AA Nursing, 2000
  • California State University, BS Biological Science, 1994
  • Health Communication
  • Women and Children's Health

Beth Anne Chapin is a perinatal staff nurse at UCSF Birth Center. She is perinatally trained and serves as a scrub nurse in obstetrical surgery. She is a UCSF Magnet Nursing Champion, a member of the UCSF Clinical Inquiry Council, and finished an Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Fellowship in 2020.

  • Sonoma State University, BSN 2016
  • SDSU, BA Communications 1989
  • Care for the Caregiver
  • Crucial Conversations
  • Spinning Babies

Kathryn Grimely-Baker's "why nursing” story demonstrates that one can be resilient and make something good out of a bad situation. At 12 years old she was in a head-on collision with her younger sisters and best friend that landed them many weeks and surgeries in the hospital. She found the nursing staff to be the one bright joy of her day. She was most appreciative of the nursing staff passing to her twin sister and best friend in the ICU the “Get Well” notes she made from her paper placemats...

  • USF, DNP 2014
  • UCSF, MSN/NP (Women's Health OB/GYN) 1988
  • USF, BSN 1980
  • Grand Canyon University, MSN, 2022
  • San Francisco State University, BSN, 2012
  • Adult and Pediatric Emergency Nursing
  • Trauma Nursing
  • Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety
Cowell Hall 322

Anna Kwong, Ed.D., RN, is an associate professor at University of San Francisco (USF) in the School of Nursing and Health Professions, where she teaches Applied Pathophysiology and Pharmacology and Fundamental clinical to undergraduate students. She has been a registered nurse for more than 20 years. During the first 10 years as a nurse, she has worked in adult medical-surgical units, viral hepatitis clinical research, and hospice care nursing.

Dr. Kwong has been teaching at USF since 2004...

  • EdD, Learning and Instructions, University of San Francisco
  • Master of Science in Nursing, San Francisco State University
  • Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, San Francisco State...

Stacy has 6 years of experience as a labor and delivery nurse.

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore BSN, 2015

Professor Merchant started a second career in nursing after graduating from USF in 2004, after first working on a medical/surgical ward in a community hospital and becoming interested in neuroscience nursing. She obtained a CNRN (Certified Neuroscience Registered Nursing) certification in 2010 and went on to work primarily with Parkinson disease and other movement disorder patients. She has also done volunteer work with the Northern California Epilepsy Foundation.

  • University of San Francisco, MSN in Nursing, 2004

Julia believes that helping patients isn't just about what happens at the bedside. Although nothing can replace the feeling Julia gets from helping patients hands-on, there's only so many patients one nurse can manage at a time. Julia became an instructor because translating her experience into knowledge for nurses in training allows her to scale her positive impact on patient outcomes. She knows that each future nurse she helps to blossom into a consummate, caring professional indirectly...

  • University of San Francisco, BS in Nursing 2016
Cowell Hall 408

Professor Patterson has 45 years of nursing experience, including in multiple leadership roles in outpatient and inpatient settings, and notably served as president of the American Association for Men in Nursing from 2014-2016. He received a nursing diploma from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in San Francisco, a BSN from CSU Dominguez Hill, an MSN from San Francisco State University, and a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) from the University of San Francisco. He has a passion for local...

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), University of San Francisco
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), San Francisco State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), California State University
  • ...
  • Clinical leadership

Adjunct clinical faculty for BSN Hilltop Campus. Junior 1-Community and Mental Health.

  • University of San Francisco, BS in Nursing, 2018

Professor Schacke has been working as a registered nurse under the women's and children's umbrella throughout her career. She is passionate about the field of pediatrics and maternal-child nursing. Additionally, she has spent a substantial amount of time in clinical research.

  • Grand Canyon University, PhD in psychology, 2020
  • Grand Canyon University, MSN in nursing education, 2014
  • The University of Phoenix, BSN, 2012
  • Reading Area Community College, ADN, 2004

Jeremy Yves Vergara has 23 years of nursing experience in adult critical care, pediatric and adult neurology, peri-operative practice, and hospital and ambulatory leadership. Jeremy is a doctoral prepared nurse with specialization in healthcare systems leadership. He is fueled by a vision to improve clinical practice and processes and accomplished in determining the most optimal operational practices — achieving objectives to improve organizational and patient outcomes through structural...

  • University of San Francisco, Doctor of Nursing Practice, 2016
  • University of San Francisco, Master of Science in Nursing, 2014
  • Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan, Bachelor of Science in Nursing...
  • Healthcare Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Ambulatory Leadership Practice
  • Ambulatory Neurology
  • Finance Management


Sarah McCall Proctor believes education is a cornerstone to developing a healthy human, family, community, and society. Through out her career in nursing has sought to learn more about how to provide empowering options for people to move towards improved health. As an educator she holds the same philosophy. To accompany the learner on a path of empowerment during their education and journey in nursing.

  • UC San Francisco/SFGH, Post-Masters Certificate Midwifery & WHNP, 2011
  • UC San Francisco, MSN in Community Health, 2009
  • CSU Chico, BSN, 2003
  • Women's Health
  • Community Health
  • HIV/AIDS Care

Faculty Emeritus

  • RN Diploma, Abbott-Northwestern School of Nursing
  • BS, College of St. Francis
  • MSN, University of San Francisco
  • DNP, University of San Francisco
  • Clinical Systems Management
  • Cardiovascular Intensive Care
  • Adult Health
  • Professional Development

Areas of Specialization and Teaching Expertise

Patient Safety and Quality Systems: synergy partnerships for academia and service (health care agencies) to safe clinical practices; simulation instructional designs to advance knowledge and skill development for patient risk and harm reduction, team effectiveness, communication, and conflict management.

Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: best practice models for interprofessional education in academic and clinical practice settings.

  • AS, College of Marin
  • BS, University of California at San Francisco
  • MS, University of California at San Francisco
  • EdD, University of San Francisco

Susan Prion, EdD, RN, CNE, CHSE is the associate dean of and a professor in the nursing department. She holds baccalaureate degrees in biology and chemistry from Muskingum College and a BS in nursing from Case Western Reserve University. She has a master’s degree in nursing from the University of California San Francisco and an MEd in instructional technology from San Jose State University. Professor Prion also holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction.

She is actively engaged in...

  • BS, Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio
  • BS Nursing, Case Wester Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
  • MS Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • MEd...
  • Simulation
  • Instructional technology
  • Multimedia