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OHIO Southern nursing faculty earn doctorates

Two members of Ohio University Southern’s nursing faculty have recently earned their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees. 

Mashawna Hamilton, associate director and associate professor of the nursing program, and Beth Delaney, associate professor of nursing, both earned their DNP from Northern Kentucky University. 

“In order to become great professionals, students must first gain knowledge from great teachers,” said Dr. Char Miller, director for OHIO's School of Nursing. “I'm proud of our Nursing faculty's commitment to furthering their education, staying on top of cutting-edge medical trends and helping to foster the next generation of healthcare leaders.”

Mashawna Hamilton
Mashawna Hamilton

Hamilton, a Wurtland, Ky., resident, said she became a nurse because of her desire to care for those in need.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marshall University in 1996, and a Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Educator Tract, from Ohio University in 2009. She began at OHIO Southern as an adjunct instructor in 2005. She became the nursing skills lab coordinator in 2006, followed by assistant professor in 2011. She was tenured and promoted to associate professor and associate director of nursing in 2017. 

“Nursing requires a commitment to lifelong learning,” Hamilton said. “Healthcare evidence grows exponentially daily. To be a competent and effective nursing professional, it is essential nurses continue to seek ongoing educational opportunities. It feels wonderful to have completed a challenging program and earned the terminal degree for my profession. However, I will pursue continuing education throughout my professional nursing career.”

Hamilton’s degree project aimed to increase Appalachian adult diabetic patient perception of care and decrease Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels. The project was based on data pointing to the disparities the Appalachian adult diabetic population experiences, she said. 

“There is a need to improve patient perception of care which the evidence has shown will empower patients to be more engaged in their healthcare and thereby improve physiological outcomes,” Hamilton said. 

Delaney, an Ashland, Ky., resident, began her career in health care as a respiratory therapist after earning a degree from Shawnee State Community College, now Shawnee State University. She worked as a respiratory therapist at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital while finishing an associate degree in nursing from Shawnee. 

“As a respiratory therapist I was able to see in the hospital the opportunity to expand my learning and role in patient care, so I moved into nursing,” Delaney said. 

Elizabeth Delaney
Elizabeth Delaney

She later attended Ohio University to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and later a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky, which led to becoming a board-certified family nurse practitioner in 1999.

Delaney began teaching at OHIO Southern in 2005 as an adjunct instructor and became full-time in 2006, transitioning to a tenure track position in 2007. She obtained tenure in 2013 and became an associate professor of nursing. She served as associate director of the nursing program for two years before returning to a core faculty position in 2015. 

“My whole life I have been motivated by the role modeling of my parents regarding ambition, pursuing life dreams, and giving back to others with love and compassion,” she said. “Advancing my education has given me opportunities to be the type of person I want to be and care for others.”

Delaney’s degree project centered around teaching and learning.

“I like learning how the neurology of brain-based learning strategies supports innovative teaching,” she said. “My doctorate project was the use of mindfulness activities to support elementary students impacted by emotional trauma’s resilience in the school room setting.”

“Mashawna Hamilton and Beth Delaney are both incredibly dedicated nursing faculty members who instill nursing excellence into every student they encounter,” said Dr. Nicole Pennington, executive dean for regional higher education and lifelong learning and dean of campus and community relations at the Southern Campus. “I am extremely proud of their recent achievements to advance their own nursing education. Their own professional growth will only further enhance Ohio University’s nursing programs.”

Ohio University Southern’s nursing programs provide classroom and clinical education that prepares graduates for the challenges of complex and changing healthcare systems. For more information about these selective admissions programs, visit

September 14, 2021
Staff reports