Brenda G. Kucirka

Brenda G. Kucirka, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-CS, CNE

  • Associate Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Nursing
  • Social Justice

Programs I Teach


  • PhD, Nursing (2013)
    Widener University (PA)
  • MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (1998)
    University of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • BSN, Nursing (1995)
    Hahnemann University
  • Diploma, Nursing (1981)
    St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing

About Me

I believe that learning occurs in partnership, in the call and response of student and teacher. I value authenticity and connectedness in the classroom and strive to establish a learning environment in which respect and compassion are central to the learning process.

Active engagement and self expression is encouraged by creating a culture of acceptance and inclusivity. Student evaluations consistently speak to my commitment to a just culture and creating a safe learning environment. I believe that rigor and caring can and should coexist in the classroom and clinical setting, which is why I hold students accountable for learning by setting the bar high while helping them to develop strategies to meet and exceed personal goals and course expectations.

My teaching approaches include the use of mindfulness strategies and the promotion of student self-awareness and self-care, which are essential in nursing. Students learn to advocate for themselves as the first step toward becoming an advocate and change agent for patients.

Nursing is both an art and a science, thus nursing education should foster the development of creativity as well as critical thinking. My teaching success is measured by the degree of relatedness and connection among students in the classroom as well as scholastic achievement. A safe learning environment encourages students to take risks, rise to challenges, recognize strengths, and develop the interpersonal skills needed to be leaders in the nursing profession. I am committed to educating nurses who are prepared to safely manage patient care as well as advocate for patients and the profession.

Research Interests

My research include: student mental health, faculty-student relationships, resiliency, and social justice

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Nurses Association (ANA), American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN), Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)


  • Dean's Award for Excellence, PhD Program Widener University (2013)
  • Janssen Scholar, APNA (2011)


In the Media


  • Brenda Kucirka Publishes in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services

    Brenda Kucirka, assistant professor of nursing, published an article in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services about the difficulties of providing mental health care to individuals in correctional facilities.

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