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Dr. Ruth E. Irwin joined the School of Nursing as Assistant Professor in August 2015. Her research interests include simulation in pre-licensure nursing education, incorporation of cultural considerations for patient populations in simulation, techniques in debriefing during and at the conclusion of a simulation, and leadership development in nursing education and practice. Dr. Irwin received her Diploma in nursing from the Washington Hospital School of Nursing, her BSN from Slippery Rock University, MSN from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and PhD from Duquesne University, School of Nursing.

She guided the development and incorporation of simulation in an undergraduate nursing curriculum along with the use of handheld technology, and bar coding in the simulation laboratory. Dr. Irwin led the initiative of conducting Mini-Health Fairs in the community focusing on the inter-professional education of nursing and dental students.

Dr. Irwin has presented at several national and local conferences on simulation, debriefing, and teaching nursing students in the community setting. She has published her process used to disseminate simulation throughout a nursing program.

Dr. Irwin brings years of experience in nursing education. She taught in a RN to BSN program, undergraduate nursing programs, and hospital education department. Dr. Irwin has an extensive background in the acute care hospital setting with previous positions as Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Patient Care. In these roles she researched and planned outpatient care centers in the local community and led a multimillion dollar construction of an Ambulatory Care Center with full Surgical and Endoscopic suites, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapies, Medical Imaging Diagnostic services, Laboratory services, and physician offices.

Dr. Irwin has volunteered for the American Heart Association, Westmoreland County. Currently she serves on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Bayada Homehealth Pediatric division.


PhD, Duquesne University, School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA
MSN, Indiana University, Indiana, PA
BSN, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA
Diploma, Washington Hospital School of Nursing, Washington, PA


  • Simulation
  • Leadership
  • International education for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Staff development

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2013 - "The Evaluation of Teaching the Nursing Process using Traditional Lecture, Campus Laboratory, Clinical, and the Addition of High Fidelity Human Simulation (HFHS) Unfolding Scenarios." Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Doctoral Dissertation.

1985 - "Is there a difference in job satisfaction between full and part time RNs, Indiana University, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Thesis.

Peer Reviewed Publications:

Irwin, R.E. (in press). Using the NLN/Jeffries simulation framework: Evaluation of a simulation scenario for the conceptual component of design elements. Nursing Education Perspectives.

Wolfe, K.M., Irwin, R.E., Houck, N.M., Kramer, N.P., Zoucha, R., Martin, M.B., Stayer, D., Turk, M.T., Wills, J.S. (2013). Fieldwork as a way of knowing: An Italian immersion experience. Online Journal of Cultural Competence in Nursing and Healthcare, 3(3), pp. 1-15. doi:10.9730/

Irwin, R. (2011). The diffusion of human patient simulation into an associate degree in nursing curriculum, Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 6(11), 153-158.



2015 - Irwin, R. Invited to the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, District Six meeting to present " Simulation, Current Status and Opportunities for the Future", Pittsburgh, PA, November.

2014 -  Irwin, R. (Seminar presentation to new fulltime faculty) Developed and presented an eight session (16 hour) program entitled "Professional Nurse Educator Orientation", Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, PA, Academic Year 2014-2015.

2011 -  Irwin, R. (Seminar presentation to fulltime and adjunct nursing faculty). Nurse Educator: The Road to Success is Always Under Construction, Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, PA, August.

2009 - Irwin, R. (Seminar presentation to fulltime and adjunct nursing faculty). Learning Advanced Instructional Clinical Skills: How to Improve the Clinical Experience, Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, PA, August


2016 - Irwin, R.E. Drexel University EDU-SIM Conference 2016: "Culturally Competent Healthcare: Using High Fidelity Simulation Scenarios to Teach Nursing Students Through a Cultural Encounter.". Clearwater Beach, Florida, March.

2015 - Irwin, R.E. Innovations Conference 2015: Are You Ready? Healthcare is Sifting to the Community! League for Innovation in the Community College. Boston, MA, March. Declined opportunity due to financial restraints.

2014 - Irwin, R.E.; Malloy, K. A. Drexel University Nursing Education Institute: Our First Clinical Is In the Community & It Works! Concurrent Sessions. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, June.

2012 - Irwin, R.E.; Malloy, K.A.; Freedberg, P.; Shedlock, C. Innovations Conference 2012: Simulation Debriefing Isn't Always at the End! Forum Session. League for Innovation in the Community College. Philadelphia, PA, March.

2010 - Irwin, R.E.; Malloy, K.A.; Hricik, M.; & Vanderoff, V. Innovations Conference 2010: Use of Nursing Simulation in an Interdisciplinary Approach. League for Innovation in the Community College. Baltimore, Maryland, March.

2009 - Irwin, R.E.; Malloy, K.A.; Hricik, M.; & Vanderoff, V. Innovations 2010: Successful Teaching Conference: Using a Nursing Simulator in a College Classroom Multi-disciplinary Approach. In

2016 - Rita Carty Junior Faculty Award

2012 - Jonas Salk Fellowship in Leadership

2009 - American Heart Association - Heart of Gold Award, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania