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Meet Our Faculty

We have outstanding faculty who are practicing in the field. They understand your needs and the current environment.

Dr. Jeanne catanzaro

Dr. Jeanne Catanzaro, EdD, RN

Assistant Professor
Director of RN-to-BSN Program 

Jeanne has been the RN to BSN Program Director since August 2014. Prior to this position, she was an Assistant Professor teaching in the prelicensure program since 2008 and the graduate program since 2012. She has taught medical-surgical nursing, pharmacology, health assessment, and nursing informatics. In addition to her role as program director, Jeanne serves on the Kansas State Board of Nursing and is a Course Reviewer for Quality Matters.

Jeanne graduated from St. Mary's College with an ADN, St. Louis University with a BSN, University of Missouri - Kansas City with an MSN, and is currently completing her doctorate specializing in educational technology and e-learning.

Heather Aranda

Heather Aranda, MSN, RN

Adjunct Faculty 

Heather is a 2005 BSN graduate of Washburn University. She completed her MSN with a focus on nursing management and leadership in 2011 from the University of Southern Indiana. Her primary clinical experience is in emergency nursing in addition to experience in nursing administration. She is board-certified as an emergency nurse (CEN) and maintains certification in BLS (instructor), ACLS (instructor), TNCC (instructor), ENPC, ABLS and is a SANE nurse. Heather teaches NU 451 and co-teaches NU 495 in the RN-BSN program. She is currently a DNP FNP student at Washburn University. Heather is a member of the ANA, KSNA, ENA, IAFN, and STTI. Heather’s professional and clinical interests include emergency nursing, primary care, access to care, sepsis, mental health care, forensic nursing, nursing education, nursing leadership, quality improvement and risk management, and nursing culture. Heather and her husband stay busy as graduate students at Washburn University slated to graduate in May 2017.

Dennis Etzel

Dennis Etzel, MFA

Adjunct Faculty 

Dennis currently teaches in the English program.

Ivan Hart

Dr. Ivan Hart, DNP, NP-C

Adjunct Faculty 

Ivan is an emergency and family nurse practitioner. He has worked as a neonatal, pediatric, and adult ICU nurse. He has taught undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Currently, he lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He enjoys being with family as well as running, music, chess, and all things technology.

Cindy Jacobson

Cindy Jacobson, MSN, RN

Adjunct Faculty 

Cindy has a diverse background of experience in nursing from clinical to corporate healthcare settings. She has been a nurse educator for over 10 years and served as the Director of Nursing in a community college. Her areas of expertise are leadership, community health, medical-surgical nursing and healthcare informatics. She graduated from Rochester Community College with an ADN, University of Minnesota with a BSN and Western Governors University online MSN – Education.

Linda Merillat

Linda Merillat, PhD, MEd

Lecturer/Instructional Designer 

Dr. Merillat's experience and skills represent a union between technology, education, and interaction design. In the course of her career she has played many different roles: programmer, systems analyst, business analyst, interaction designer, program manager, project manager, consultant, trainer, educator, instructional designer, researcher, author, and entrepreneur. The common thread running throughout has always been the challenge of how to successfully use and integrate the latest technology into an organization. She currently has a faculty position with the School of Nursing, Washburn University with the role of instructional designer.

Dr. Jo Owen

Jolyen Owen, DNP, APRN-bc

Adjunct Faculty 

Jo has been an registered nurse for over 25 years and an advance practice registered nurse for 15 years. Dr. Owen earned her doctorate of nursing practice in 2014. She has extensive experience in medical-surgical nursing, burn/trauma nursing, and family practice. She has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level at Washburn University and is a subject matter expert in health assessment. She currently works as a family nurse practitioner in a Veterans Affairs setting.

Lynn Shriver

Lynn Shriver, MSN, RN

Adjunct Faculty 

Lynn is a Clinical Informatics & Practice Manager at Children's Mercy.  She began her nursing career with an associate degree and worked as a registered nurse for 11 years before completing her bachelor degree.  Her undergraduate studies involved traditional classroom learning but her graduate studies were all online.  

Kathy Ure

Kathy Ure, MSN, RN

Director of Mobile Simulation and Community Education 

Kathy has been an RN for over 35 years.  She received her MSN in nursing administration from Fort Hays. Her areas of interest and experience include OB, administration, TeamSTEPPS, community/public health, and high impact initiatives. She is currently the Director of the Collaborative Outreach Advancing Community Health (COACH) Program.

Julie Unruh

Julie Unruh, RN, MSN, CEN, CNL

Adjunct Faculty 

Julie received her BSE in Community Health from University of Kansas, her BSN from University of Kansas and MSN (Clinical Nurse Leader-CNL) from Washburn University. She is a board Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). Julie's clinical and teaching background includes, Leadership and Management, Med/Surg, Six Sigma Lean, Critical Care, Emergency, American Heart Association (AHA)-BLS, ACLS and PALS. Julie is an active member of American Nurses Association (ANA), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning (INACSL). Julie currently holds the Kansas Emergency Nurses Association government affairs chair. She currently practices emergency nursing PRN, teaches PALS, BLS, ACLS, TNCC and ENPC. She is president elect for Kansas Eastern Emergency Nurses Association.

Sue Wangler

Sue Wangler, MSN, APRN-C

Adjunct Faculty 

Sue's nursing pathway began as a nursing assistant. She went from a nursing assistant to LPN, ADN, BSN, to MSN over a path of 37 years. The majority of her RN years were in critical care, and her MSN/APRN involved caring for geriatrics.  She is currently a Med-Surg telegraph hospitalist working in Occupational Health.

Geoff Way

Dr. Geoff Way, PhD

Assistant Professor 

Dr. Way is an Assistant Professor of English in Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature here at Washburn University. He specializes in the relationships between Shakespeare and digital media. When not teaching or researching, he is often watching movies or tv shows, playing games, reading, or hanging out with his wife and dog.

Gwen Wilson

Gwen Wilson, MLS

Health Informatic Coordinator/Librarian 

Gwen has been the Health Sciences Librarian at Washburn University since March 2012. As the Health Sciences Librarian she works closely with all the health fields on campus (School of Nursing, Allied Health, Kinesiology, Athletic Training, Health Services, and Social Work).  She teaches the IL-170 Library Research Strategies course.

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Washburn University School Of Law

Washburn University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or marital or parental status. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Pamela Foster, Equal Opportunity Director/Title IX Coordinator, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621, 785.670.1509,

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