Wagner College’s Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing announced that Associate Professor Paula Tropello of Flemington, N.J., previously the chairwoman of the college’s nursing program, had been named dean of the Spiro Nursing School.
Tropello is the first dean named to head the nursing program since Wagner College reinstated the program’s status as a school several years ago. The nursing school, founded in 1943, was head for many years by Dean Mary Burr.
“Sometimes you reinvent the old forms to give birth to the future,” said Wagner College President Richard Guarasci when the new dean’s appointment was announced. “Mary Burr must be smiling somewhere.”
Paula Grace Dunn Tropello has chaired the Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing since 2010, and was previously chairwoman from 1998 to 2004. Under her leadership, the Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing won National League for Nursing designation as a 2012-2016 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education in the category of Creating Environments that Enhance Student Learning and Professional Development.
It was also under Tropello’s leadership that the Spiro School’s new Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, Wagner College’s first-ever doctoral program, was approved by New York State. The new DNP program will enroll its first cohort this August.
Paula Tropello earned her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Virginia, her master’s in maternal child health (Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist track) from the University of Florida, and a post-master’s certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Wagner College. She earned her doctorate at Rutgers University with a dissertation on “The Origins of the Nurse Practitioner Movement.”
Currently, Dean Tropello is nationally boarded as an Advanced Practice Nurse and practices in New Jersey, teaching the N.P. role course in Wagner’s graduate program as well as conducting N.P. practicums. During her sabbatical she served in Uganda, and she has volunteered with students in Haiti, Nicaragua, St. Kitts, and the aftermath of hurricanes Andrew and Katrina.
Tropello’s areas of research interest include primary care, global initiatives, and simulation to improve critical thinking, as well as new pedagogies such as civic engagement and experiential learning.
Tropello is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society of nursing. In 2013, she was named a Martin Luther King Jr. Agent of Change by Wagner College. This spring, she was given the Eger Harbor House Assisted Living Helping Hands Award.
Tropello serves as Wagner College’s representative to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Council of Deans of Nursing of Senior Colleges and Universities of New York State, and the Greater New York, Nassau and Suffolk chapter of the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders. Earlier this month, she was appointed to the North Shore-LIJ Health System board and the Staten Island University Hospital Executive Committee.