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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.

  • Irwin, R. E. (2023) Sigma Theta Tau, Epsilon Phi Scholars Night. Fieldwork Exploration to Evaluate the Feasibility o an Immersion Experience for Master of Science Nursing Students on the Crow Indian Reservation, Montana. March 15. [Virtual Podium Presentation]
  • Irwin, R. E. (2023) Carol Carfang Nursing & Healthcare Ethics Conference. The Perspective of Historical and Intergenerational Trauma: The Crow Indian Tribe. Clearwater Beach, Florida, March [Podium Presentation, Peered Reviewed].
  • Irwin,  R.E. (2022) McGinley – Rice Symposium - The Face of the Person Who is Socially Isolated. The Social Isolation of Indigenous People: The Crow Indian Tribe. Pittsburgh, PA for October 2022 [Accepted for Breakout session Presentation, Peered Reviewed].
  • Irwin, R.E. (2022) McGinley – Rice Symposium - The Face of the Person Who is Socially Isolated. The Social Isolation of Indigenous People: The Crow Indian Tribe. Pittsburgh, PA for October 2022 [Accepted for Poster Presentation, Peered Reviewed].
  • Wilson, B. & Irwin, R.E. (2020) McGinley – Rice Symposium - The Face of the Person Who is Hungry. Already Vulnerable, Hungry People: Heightened Food Insecurity During a Pandemic Emergency. Pittsburgh, PA via Zoom, October [Zoom Podium Presentation, Peered Reviewed].
  • Irwin, R.E. (2018) Carol Carfang Nursing & Healthcare Ethics Conference. Adults with Autism: When Parents Age Out of Being the Care Giver: Where Do They Go? Clearwater Beach, Florida, February [Podium Presentation, Peered Reviewed].
  • Irwin, R.E. (2017) Sigma Theta Tau International’s 28th International Nursing Research Congress. Does a Culturally Infused High Fidelity Simulation Scenario Accurately Depict the Culture? Dublin, Ireland, July [Podium Presentation, Peered Reviewed].
  • Irwin, R. (2015) The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, District Six meeting to present “Simulation, Current Status and Opportunities for the Future”, Pittsburgh, PA, November. [Invited]
  • Publications:
  • Irwin, R. E. (2022). Finding a home for Allen: A case study of Autism in adults. MEDSURG Nursing. January February 2022 31(1) 13-17
  • Irwin, R. E. (2016). Using the NLN/Jeffries Simulation Framework: Evaluation of a simulation scenario for the conceptual component of design elements. Nursing Education Perspectives, 33(6), p.p. 325-327. doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000073
  • 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.

2016 - Rita Carty Junior Faculty Award

2012 - Jonas Salk Fellowship in Leadership

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

  • Center for Global Engagement Summer Study Abroad for Crow Indian Nation for GPNG 527 - awarded for 2022, 2023, & 2024
  • Awarded Sigma Epsilon Phi Grant for Scholarly work with the Crow Indian Nation - $1500.00