Online RN-to-BSN Faculty
A Faculty of Exceptional Caregivers
Widener University helps you elevate your level of nursing care with an advanced, cross-perspective curriculum taught by nursing professionals and scholars. The faculty in our online RN-to-BSN program create an expert, supportive academic environment where you can grow professionally and bring added value to your team, your organization, and the lives of your patients.
Mary L. Baumberger-Henry PhD, RN
Dr. Baumberger-Henry is a Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing at Widener University. She started her career in critical care and worked in various intensive care units through the achievement of her master’s degree in burn, emergency, and trauma. While obtaining her PhD she taught at Atlantic Cape Community College and then accepted a full time position at Widener following the awarding of her doctoral degree. Dr. Henry has taught and continues to teach in the undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs with a love for epistemology and concept analysis. She is happily married with two grown daughters, enjoys playing the piano and has a love for all animals, in particular, Pippa, Charlie, and Annie beloved little felines. Dr. Henry believes in the philosophy that the smartest person is the one who realizes how little he/she knows because learning is a lifelong adventure.
Tenured Associate Professor
Esther Brown is an associate professor at Widener University School of Nursing and the director of community and civic engagement. Her specialty is population and community health. She is also an experiential and service learning faculty fellow.
Brown’s passion for people with health disparities led her to work in community health for more than 20 years. Her research interests are in addressing the needs of populations as well as an individual’s mind, body and spirit. Brown is an ordained minister and pastor.
After earning her diploma in nursing from Brandywine Hospital School of Nursing, a bachelor’s in nursing from Immaculata University, and a master’s in community health nursing from West Chester University, Brown received her doctorate in education from Immaculata University.
She lives in the Coatesville area, where she is mother of three, grandmother of four, and great-grandmother of four.
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Lorraine C. Igo is an assistant professor of nursing for Widener University School of Nursing.
Igo began her early teaching career concurrently serving as a clinical adjunct professor of medical-surgical nursing for Widener University School of Nursing and Villanova University School of Nursing (1989–1994) and returned to Widener University School of Nursing in 2014.
Over a span of 25 years, Igo has held several leadership positions, both in academia and within the health care industry. Academically, Igo has taught for several undergraduate, accelerated, and graduate level programs in the tri-state area, including Immaculata College (1995), The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine (1997–2002), and Drexel University-College of Nursing and Health Professions (2002–2006). Additionally, she has served in the role of education specialist and clinical educator for Pennsylvania Hospital and Albert Einstein Healthcare Network respectively, and director of education and community health services for Jennersville Hospital (formerly Southern Chester County Medical Center) in southern Chester County.
Igo brings a wealth of experience to the profession of nursing, which demonstrates her leadership, and adaptability and resilience to the fluctuations within the health care arena over more than two decades. Her interests include cultural aspects of nursing, population literacy, and the role of professional nursing within the global community. She has extensive experience as a presenter for interdisciplinary, team-based practice nationally.
A resident of Delaware County, Igo is licensed in PA, NJ, and DE. She has been a member of two honor societies, Sigma Theta Tau for nursing since 1984 and Kappa Delta Pi for education since 1996, and is an active member of the American Nursing Association.
Igo holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a bachelor of arts degree from Neumann University, a master’s degree in the science of nursing from Villanova University, and a doctorate in education from Widener University School of Education.
Stephanie Jeffers, PhD, RN, MSN
Stephanie Jeffers is an assistant professor of nursing at Widener University School of Nursing.
Jeffers began her nursing career as a diploma nurse in a nursing school and continued her education up to the doctoral level while working in several different specialties of nursing. Her belief is that nursing is a vocation; she was called to become a nurse. This profession is inspiring to her, and she wants to share her passion for nursing with others.
Jeffers’ personal philosophy of teaching includes having students feel valued and respected while giving back this respect to her and the patients they serve. She strongly believes if students are comfortable with her, then learning can become an easier process. She values the use of multiple teaching strategies to engage students as well as reach those who learn in different ways. It is her goal for students to understand the science of nursing as well as the art of nursing.
Prior to earning her Ph.D. in nursing from Villanova University, Jeffers received an MSN with a focus in nursing education and a BSN.
Nancy Laplante, PhD, RN, AHN-BC
Director of Online Programs, School of Nursing, Coordinator of RN/BSN & RN/MSN program options and Associate Professor of Nursing
Nancy Laplante is an associate professor of nursing, the coordinator of the RN/BSN and RN/MSN program options, and the director of online programs for the School of Nursing. She believes compassion and caring are essential components of nursing education, and she strives to engage students in respectful, meaningful dialogue.
Laplante is a board-certified, advanced holistic nurse and serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Holistic Nursing. She is a regular contributor to fundamental nursing textbooks and has published in the areas of holistic nursing education, educational perspectives, health care applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), and service learning. Additional research interests include the image of nursing, creating presence in online learning communities, and self-care practices for nursing students.
Laplante earned her MSN degree with a focus in community health nursing from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2004, and her Ph.D. in nursing from Widener University in 2007.
In her spare time, Laplante enjoys spending time with her family and being a volunteer for a local animal rescue to support pet adoption and education in the community.
Karen May is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Widener University.
May began her career in pediatrics and pediatric oncology. Later, she turned her focus to public health to investigate the root causes of disease and chronic illness. Her work in nursing education is focused on student outcomes and recognizing students’ unique learning styles.
Epidemiology and environmental health play an essential role in chronic illness and determining patient outcomes and are a pivotal part of May’s research interest. She is part of an interprofessional group that works with students to conduct environment-based research.
May received her Ph.D. in nursing education from Villanova University.
Rose Schwartz, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Rose Schwartz is an assistant professor of nursing and the associate dean of Academic Affairs at Widener University. She’s been with the university since 2003.
Schwartz worked as an Advanced Practice Nurse in the Neurology Department at Cooper Health System. It was there that she developed her passion for neurogenetics while providing care for patients with Huntington’s disease.
The current focus of Schwartz’s research includes genetics, ethics, and factors that affect student success. She has presented at local, national, and international events.
Schwartz received her Ph.D. in nursing science and nursing education from Widener University in 2008. Prior to her doctorate studies, she graduated with her master of science in nursing in adult health and illness from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 after receiving her bachelor of science in nursing from Villanova University.
Schwartz currently resides in Garnet Valley with her husband, Howard, children, Joshua and Julia, and her menagerie of animals.