Newsmaker: Valerie Howard
Noteworthy: Howard was named acting dean of the Robert Morris University School of Nursing, replacing the school's founder, Lynda Davidson. Howard pioneered the use of simulation training for nurses and health care workers and helped found the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education Center at RMU.
Family: Husband, Matthew; children, Kayla, 21, Sarah, 19, Joshua, 18, and Maura, 18.
Background: Howard started her nursing career at Presbyterian Hospital in 1988. She taught at the University of Pittsburgh from 1996 to 2004 and then went to RMU to help start its nursing school.
Education: Howard graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1988, obtained a Master of Nursing Education from Pitt in 1995 and a doctorate in higher education administration from Pitt in 2007. Quote: “Simulation is simply re-creating the environment of a healthcare setting use highly technical mannequins or actors. ... If we can allow our students and healthcare workers to practice many of their skills in a safe environment of a healthcare simulation, then we feel that they are better prepared and that will enhance patient safety and decrease medical errors.”