Skip to main content
Main Penn College Website

Penn College nursing faculty members earn doctorates


Four members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s nursing faculty recently received doctoral degrees.

Dianne M. Eberle
Dianne M. Eberle

Dianne M. Eberle, associate professor of nursing, received a doctorate in education from Capella University, where she graduated with distinction. Her dissertation explored student perceptions of academic dishonesty and clinical integrity. The 17-question qualitative tool she developed for her dissertation research is being used by a group of scholars who have published research on the same topic. The researchers asked Eberle to serve as an expert reviewer once the questions she developed have been modified for use in their study, which is intended to close a gap in the knowledge base on the subject.

Eberle has been a full-time faculty member at Penn College since 2008, after serving as a part-time instructor since 2003. She holds a Master of Science in nursing from Mansfield University, bachelor’s and associate degrees from Penn College, and a practical nursing diploma from the former Danville Area Practical Nursing Program.

Barbie Denise Harbaugh
Barbie Denise Harbaugh

Barbie Denise Harbaugh, assistant professor of nursing, received a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Walden University, graduating summa cum laude (with highest honors).

Her dissertation is titled “Implementing a Diabetes Optimization Protocol for Elective Surgery Patients.” Her goal is to improve the surgical readiness of the diabetic patient by optimizing their hemoglobin A1C in order to improve post-operative surgical outcomes.

Harbaugh has taught at Penn College for 21 years, first as an adjunct before joining the faculty full time.

She received a master’s degree in nursing education from Walden University, a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Lycoming College and a registered nursing diploma from the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing.

Dawn E. Murafka
Dawn E. Murafka

Dawn E. Murafka, instructor of nursing, earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Wilkes University. Her dissertation is titled “Evidence-Based Professional Development Protocol for Nursing Faculty for Multi-Patient Simulation.”

Murafka began working for Penn College as an adjunct clinical instructor in 2012 and has been a full-time faculty member since 2014. She holds a Master of Science in nursing from Bloomsburg University and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Lycoming College.

Diane L. Smith
Diane L. Smith

Diane L. Smith, who recently retired as director of nursing, associate degrees, and remains a part-time instructor, earned a doctorate in nursing with a focus on nursing education from Nova Southeastern University, where she graduated magna cum laude. Her dissertation explored incivility among nursing and health science students.

Smith joined the Penn College faculty as an instructor of surgical technology in 2005 and has held the positions of director of surgical technology and assistant director of nursing. She holds a Master of Science in nursing with a nursing education focus from Mansfield University and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Misericordia University.

The Penn College nursing program offers six degree options, including traditional two- and four-year degrees and a graduate degree, as well as pathways for licensed practical nurses to become RNs and for RNs with a diploma or associate degree to pursue a bachelor’s degree. It welcomes high school and transfer applicants for entry each semester. To learn more, call 570-327-4519.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Related Stories

Jets of water shoot from airport-owned apparatus. Faculty & Staff
College provides invaluable assist during airport ’emergency’
Read more
Faculty & Staff
Dining Services’ COVID response noted in national trade publication
Read more
Drawing inspiration from Scandinavian folk art, graphic design student Kaylee N. Masullo, of Bellefonte, says, “I wanted to convey a sense of comfort in home … there is much to appreciate about our homes.” Faculty & Staff
Ceramic masks reveal students’ pandemic emotions
Read more