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Dr. DeGennaro is the Academic Director for Clinical Partnerships at the School of Nursing. Her clinical research focuses on translating the evidence for oncology nursing practice to the bedside and specifically on improving symptom management, quality and safety. She has presented regionally, nationally and internationally. Dr. DeGennaro serves as the Assistant Department Chair for the Department of Acute and Specialty Care at the School of Nursing. In this role, she closely partners with the SON faculty to develop sites, recruit and coach clinical faculty for roles as educators in the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Dr. DeGennaro’s undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree is from Niagara University School of Nursing in Niagara University, New York. She received her master’s degree in adult acute care nursing with a focus in oncology nursing from the University of Virginia, and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Virginia with a focus in oncology nursing symptom management. Her clinical practice, educator, management and administrative background include positions in oncology, home health, hospice and education settings in New York, California, Iowa and Virginia. These roles along with her graduate and doctoral education, inform her work as an educator, administrator and clinical educator in the Health System.
Dr. DeGennaro teaches in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and coordinates the Practica with a team of educators and faculty advisors. She co-teaches two electives developed with colleagues and based on feedback from students. One is an elective in Oncology and End of Life Nursing and one addresses self-management and healthy responses to stress, and is entitled "Introduction to Resilience in Nursing". Dr. DeGennaro serves as a national reviewer for the Oncology Nurses Association, regionally for the Virginia Nurses Association and locally for the UVA Cancer Center and Health System committees. She hold memberships in several professional organizations and certifications from the Oncology Nursing Society and from the American Association for Colleges of Nursing for the CNL certification.
In her role as clinical educator, Dr. DeGennaro partners with her colleagues in the Acute Oncology clinical setting to facilitate orientation opportunities for novice nurses. As a national trainer for ONS, she teaches the ONS Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Course with a clinical practice partner several times a year. This course addresses quality and safety and begins the educational process toward chemotherapy competency for registered nurses caring for oncology patients. Dr. DeGennaro partners with the Director of the SON Clinical Simulation Learning Center to facilitate educational opportunities for the UVA Health System oncology nursing staff based on needs assessments completed with the oncology expert clinician and Nurse Manager.
Dr. DeGennaro facilitates introductory experiential contemplative practices in class and in clinical settings for students and nurses to learn to care for self. She invites students to learn about opportunities to improve quality and safety outcomes beginning with the ability to pay attention and be present. She introduces an invitation to inquiry and teaches the beginning exploration of mindful awareness practices to deepen self-awareness, to facilitate coping and to enhance capacity for compassion in providing care to patients, families and self. Dr. DeGennaro has re-designed courses through work with colleagues at the Course Development Institute offered through the Teaching Resource Center at the University of Virginia. She has added contemplative pedagogical approaches within existing courses to address quality and safety outcomes and self-care for nurses and nursing students.