School of Nursing Faculty and Staff
Janice Adams, DNP, MPA, RN
Dr. Adams began her nursing education at Norfolk General Hospital School of Professional Nursing, graduating with a Diploma in Nursing in 1979. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion University, Master Public Administration (MPA) from Troy State University and Doctorate in Nursing Practice from American Sentinel University in Aurora, Colorado.
Dr. Adams served the U. S. Navy as a legalman at Naval Air Station, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Upon completion of nursing school, she returned to the U. S. Navy Nurse Corps retiring in December 1998 at the rank of Commander. Dr. Adams’s career in the Navy included orthopedic, ear, nose and throat, mental health, and critical care nursing. She directed the Quality Management Department at Naval Hospital, Naples, Italy.
Dr. Adams was one of the first Navy nurses assigned to an outpatient military clinic. She was awarded multiple awards for her dedication to nursing leadership and changing the paradigm for military outpatient nursing while serving as the Nursing Director in the Otolaryngology Clinic at Portsmouth Naval Hospital.
Upon retirement from the Navy, Dr. Adams entered nursing education. She has taught and directed at multiple undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.
Dr. Adams is an active member of the American Nurses Association, President of the Florida Nurses Association, and member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society.
Kwame Akuamoah-Boateng, DNP, ACNP-BC, BSN, FCCM
Dr. Kwame Asante Akuamoah-Boateng is a DNP prepared nurse practitioner and a Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Before joining the MBU School of Nursing as the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program Director, he spent the past decade training Acute Care Nurse Practitioner students at the University of Virginia. His clinical expertise focuses on Surgical Trauma and Critical Care Medicine and he served as the lead Advance Practice Provider in multiple Level 1 Trauma facilities. In 2017, he served as the regional chapter president for the Carolinas/Virginias- Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), where he created the vision for the diversity, advancement, recognition, and empowerment (D.A.R.E) program which advanced the organization’s multi-institutional research, global outreach initiatives, and mentorship programs. Additionally, Dr. Akuamoah-Boateng has led international initiatives to train nurses and physicians in critical care medicine in Low Middle-Income Countries (LMIC).
Dr. Akuamoah-Boateng’s research interests include addressing burnout among clinicians in critical care medicine, and the prevalence of frailty in the non-geriatric patient population and evaluating mitigating measures to decrease adverse patient outcomes in this population. On a personal note, he is the father of three daughters, a husband, and a pastor. He describes himself as a servant-leader for his community and the critically ill.
Shelia Talbott, DNP,
With over 30 years of clinical practice, Shelia Talbott, DNP, FNP-C brings a diverse range of expertise to Mary Baldwin University’s Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. She received an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Old Dominion University. She has practiced in a wide variety of clinical settings including general medical/surgical, orthopedics, home care, nursing informatics, urgent care, family practice and women’s health. Prior to accepting the position at MDCHS, she served as faculty at Old Dominion University and has precepted FNP students from several colleges and universities.
In addition to her clinical practice and educational roles, Dr. Talbott has led short term medical mission teams to Honduras and Haiti for over a decade. She is the co-chair of the Christian Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (CCNP). Her areas of clinical scholarship include cultural competency in medical missions and increasing access to care in low resource areas. She has presented on these topics at both state and national levels.
Casie Brim, DNP, AG-ACNP, CCRN
Casie Brim graduated in 2004 from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a BSN. She began her nursing career at St John Medical Center in the Surgical ICU. After four years of nursing experience, the ICU expanded and she became the educator of the Neuro, Trauma, Surgical ICU when it opened in 2008. This role was in charge of hiring employees and training them for their roles in the unit. This included a formal clinical orientation for nurses that lasted 16-20 weeks. She then earned a Master of Science with emphasis in Nursing Education again with OU in 2009. Next completed a Post-Master’s Certificate as an Acute Care NP from University of South Alabama (USA) in 2010. After graduation she stayed with St. John, but with the Trauma Team as an NP. She manages trauma patients in the ER, ICU, floor, and has a clinic. She has written many policies and protocols, as well as formal education events to improve the care of trauma patients. Additional clinical experience also includes providing telemedicine for rural hospitals fulfilling nocturnal hospitalist coverage.
Brim’s educational experience in the academic setting began as Adjunct Faculty member for her alma mater (USA) in 2014. She also completed her DNP at USA in 2017. Brim then took a faculty position for one year at the University of Tulsa AG-ACNP program.
Pamela Dressler, DNP, RN, Evidence-based Practice (CH)
Pam Dressler brings over 35 years as a professional nurse in the areas of Critical Care, Nurse Management, and Nursing Education to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences/Mary Baldwin University. She received an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Virginia, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in the Nurse Educator program from Old Dominion University, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Eastern Mennonite University. She has taught in many practice areas, including: Critical Care, Cardiac Care, The Joint Commission Stroke Prevention certification program, general nursing skills for new nurse graduates, and electronic health record documentation. In 2015 she began teaching as an adjunct for the MDCHS School of Nursing, and is now an Assistant Professor, teaching undergraduate and graduate nursing courses. In 2019 she obtained the certificate for Evidence-based Practice from the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare. Dressler is dedicated to the growth and development of nursing education, placing importance on the correlation of advanced education for nurses and promotion of evidence-based practice which facilitates quality patient outcomes.
Kelly R. Elmore, DNP, APRN-CRNA
Kelly Elmore is a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for orthopedics and outpatient surgery in Charlotte, NC. Prior to relocating to the Carolinas, she provided anesthesia care to a variety of patient populations at a level 1 trauma center in Cincinnati, OH. She has over 10 years of experience in both didactic and clinical anesthesia instruction and previously served as core faculty for the University of Cincinnati Nurse Anesthesia Program. Dr. Elmore holds a BA in Bio-Psychology, two MSN degrees (Nurse Anesthesia and Clinical Nurse Leader foci), and a DNP (Population Health focus). Her interests include ambulatory anesthesia, anesthesia care for older adult populations, and preoperative quality improvement initiatives.
Jennifer McPherson, DNP, CRNA, CHSE
Dr. Jennifer D. McPherson is a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and retired U.S. Navy Commander. She served as an assistant professor and clinical site director with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) School of Nursing in San Diego, where she was responsible for the didactic and clinical teaching of Phase II Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Her areas of expertise include pain management, critical care, ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, and simulation.
Derek Owens DrAP, CRNA
Derek Owens DrAP, CRNA, graduated with an Associate’s degree in nursing in 2002, Bachelors of Nursing in 2004, Masters of Nurse Anesthesia in 2009, and a Doctorate of Anesthesia Practice in 2015. Subsequently in 2019 Dr. Owens completed a fellowship in Acute Surgical Pain Management at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia.
Derek has had the opportunity to practice in a multitude of different settings from medical mission trips to the Philippines and Mexico, large hospital anesthesia groups, small community hospitals and even mobile military resuscitative surgical systems and military ships. As a military officer he held numerous leadership positions both in garrison and in deployed surgical settings. After leaving the military in 2018 he served as Chief CRNA of two different groups, both providing full practice autonomy for CRNAs.
Prior to anesthesia school, Dr. Owens was adjunct faculty at an associate degree nursing program. He has been clinical coordinator for multiple nurse anesthesiology programs and has designed and taught model and cadaver based regional anesthesia courses.
When not working, Dr Owens can typically be found adventuring or working on home projects with his wife and their 3 young boys.
Amy Wielar, DNAP, CRNA
Originally from Upstate NY, Amy Wielar obtained a BSN from the University of Virginia in 1994, a MSN in Nurse Anesthesia from the University of Southern California in 2000, and a DNAP from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2022.
Early in her career, she gained considerable experience in the critical care setting at Johns Hopkins and Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, she spent 10 years at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill providing pediatric anesthesia before relocating to Charlottesville, VA in 2010, where she practices at the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Children’s Hospital of Richmond, specializing in pediatric anesthesia and pediatric cardiac anesthesia.
Dr. Wielar enjoys traveling to Honduras for pediatric mission trips, which allows her to continue developing her Spanish language skills. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, running, and making pottery.
Deborah Ziebarth, PhD, MSN, RN-BC
Dr. Ziebarth has worked extensively in the areas of Education, Research, Nursing Administration, Critical Care Nursing, Community Health, and Global Health. She recently held the position of Nursing Chair of the Herzing University – Brookfield having received successful accreditations through both CCNE and ACEN for the BSN and LPN Tracks. She has since facilitated the writing of the CCNE self-study for Mary Baldwin University for their four DNP programs (Nurse Anesthesiology, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology-Acute Care, and Post MSN-DNP). She is now faculty for Mary Baldwin University in the Murphy Deming Health Science College School of Nursing.
She has worked several years (2011- current) as a nurse educator and as a Herzing University faculty member, she received the Faculty Scholarship Award in 2012. Before her work at Herzing University, she received national recognition for the community-based nursing programs she directed from 1996-2011 (American Hospital Association 2006 “Nova Award” and the 2008 Volunteer Hospital Association “Best in Class” Award). She was also recognized in 2010 by Wisconsin Nursing Association with a “Face of Nursing” Award.
Deborah has consulted for the Westberg Institute on various research projects since 1995 and served as the FCN Research Project Manager from 2014 – 2016. She has developed many of the WI Position Statements and the FCN Transitional Care Program, facilitating three 2-year research projects in Transitional Care. She has developed the Spiritual Care Nursing Professional Certificate for Capstone University. As a researcher, she has published several studies in Professional Journals in the specialty area of Faith Community Nursing and has created the Theoretical Model of Faith Community Nursing.
She received her BSN and MSN, with a focus in nursing education, from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and her Doctorate in Nursing Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has her board certification in Faith Community Nursing.
Roena Clarke, MSN, RN
Roena Clarke brings a pediatric nursing background and almost 10 years in education to the RN to BSN program at Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. Her years in pediatrics were spent focused in the field of hematology/oncology and the impact of chronic illnesses on the family unit as a whole. She also has a passion and interest in working with those in grief, and leads support groups throughout the community for individuals walking through their own seasons of loss. Roena graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been an instructor at John Tyler Community College as well as Richard Bland College of William and Mary prior to becoming an adjunct instructor at Murphy Deming in 2015. She is committed to lifelong learning as an educator and enjoys the privilege of walking alongside colleagues in our profession as they continue their educational journey towards their Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Lori Conyers, MSN,
Lori Conyers has lived in the Shenandoah Valley since 2000 and brings more than 15 years of nursing experience to her role as adjunct professor at Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences. She graduated from Blue Ridge Community College in 2006, earning her Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and in 2007 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Virginia. After spending some time as an operating room nurse, home health nurse and working in the public health arena for more than five years, she completed her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), with a focus on Public Health Leadership as well as her Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
She currently works full time for QuadMed, a national company contracted to do employee health and manage primary care of large companies, as well as working for UVA Stuart’s Draft Family Practice and Augusta Health Urgent Cares as needed for acute concerns. She is passionate about empowering nurses to lead the way in advancing healthcare. She will complete her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in the Fall of 2022.
Courtney Bender serves as the School of Nursing’s Administrative Assistant. In this role, she supports faculty and students, while ensuring the School’s efficiency. When not in the office, Courtney enjoys exploring the Shenandoah Valley, having moved from Pennsylvania in 2021, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog.
Leslie Edwards, a native of Augusta County, began her career as a Medical Assistant specializing in pediatrics. After twelve years, she transitioned to administration within the medical field, where she enjoys working with students and helping them successfully navigate the program. When not in the office, she loves spending time outside with her husband and son.