First Breiner Professorship recipient named

For Immediate Release:  April 8, 2016

BLOOMSBURG — The chairperson of Bloomsburg University’s Department of Nursing is the recipient of the first Breiner Family Endowed Professorship for Nursing.

Michelle Ficca was recently selected for the professorship, supported by a gift of $1.9 million from Edward and Julianne (Miller) Breiner, who graduated from BU in 1977. The Breiners established the university’s first endowed professorship a year ago in support of an exceptional teacher, mentor and leader.

Ficca joined BU as an assistant professor of nursing in 1999 and served as associate professor, assistant chairperson and graduate coordinator before becoming chairperson and professor in 2011. Earlier in her career, she taught at Lycoming College and worked in nursing and research positions at Hershey Medical Center, Pleasant Valley School District, Geisinger Medical Center and Williamsport Hospital.

Ficca serves as chair of the board of directors for SUN Home Health and education chair of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners and is a member of the National Consortium of School Nurse Educators, National Association of School Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau International. A manuscript reviewer for the Journal of School Nursing, she has published articles and book reviews focusing on topics such as asthma management in school nursing, medication administration in Pennsylvania schools and obsessive-compulsive disorder in school-age children. Ficca earned a bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University, master’s degree from Penn State and doctoral degree from Widener University.

The Breiner Professorship, established as part of It’s Personal: The Campaign for Bloomsburg University, supports Ficca as the senior faculty member in BU’s new Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Additional funding will be used for research, conferences, travel, software and equipment or other professional expenses.

“I am honored to be the first recipient of the Breiner Family Endowed Professorship in Nursing,” Ficca said. “I thank the Breiners for establishing this position in recognition of the excellence of the existing Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing programs and the new Doctor of Nursing Practice program. It will assist us in recruiting quality faculty as programs grow and expand.

“As advanced practice nurses move to the doctoral level of preparation, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP, will place nurses at the same educational level as other health care providers. With this position, Bloomsburg University’s DNP program will develop graduates who are able to make a difference in clinical practice through research and program quality improvement.”

To illustrate and celebrate the significance of naming the first recipient of the Breiner Professorship, Ficca and the Bloomsburg University Foundation will ring the bell in the tower of Carver Hall, BU’s landmark building. The bell is rung to mark milestones in the It’s Personal campaign that have significant impact on the campus community.

Long-time supporters of Bloomsburg University, the Breiners made a gift three years ago to provide four scholarships, equally benefiting BU’s College of Science and Technology and College of Business. Ed Breiner is retired president and CEO of Schramm Inc., a West Chester-based manufacturer of mobile rotary drill rigs, including two that were used in the August 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean minors. The couple has three adult children, Tyler, Andrew and Martha.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.