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About Tamara Zurakowski, PhD, GNP-BC

I am a second generation nurse educator, and can't remember ever wanting to be anything else. I have spent most of my career working with pre-licensure students, and considering how to best prepare them for the important work of nursing. I am always looking for better ways to nurse, and to educate. I don't think we have designed the perfect nursing education system yet, and I am very interested in exploring innovative models that help students find their passion in nursing, and develop the skills needed to pursue it.

My clinical background is in community health and gerontologic nursing, and I am a certified gerontologic nurse practitioner. I was the project director on two HRSA-funded projects that provided undergraduate nursing students with education and clinical experience in community-based primary care nursing. Our project team worked with senior nursing students and nurses in primary care settings to advance a patient-centered model of care that maximized the knowledge and skills of nurses.


Present Program Director, MSNEL, St. Catherine University Department of Nursing
October 2015 - December 2020 Associate Clinical Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University ‐ Department of Family and Community Health Nursing
December 2012 - October 2015 Public Health Analyst, Health Resources and Services Administration ‐ US Department of Health and Human Services
June 2004 - December 2012 Practice Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania ‐ Department of Family and Community Health Nursing

Curriculum Vitae


2018 - 2021 PIONEER: Primary care Improving Outcomes with Nurses in Enhanced and Evolving Roles
HRSA - UK1HP31736
Role: Project Director
2016 - 2018 PrOMOTE: Primary care Options to Maximize Opportunities to Transform Education In Nursing
HRSA - D11HP29865
Role: Project Director
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2021 - Present Peer Reviewer, Administration on Community Living, US Department of Health and Human Services
2019 - Present Panel Member, Item Writer Panel, Next Gen NCLEX, National Council of State Boards of Nursing
2010 - Present On Site Evaluator, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
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Honors and Awards

  • Excellence in Nursing Education Award, Sigma Theta Tau, Gamma Omega Chapter, 2019, 2020
  • Outstanding Faculty Member, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, 2019
  • Family and Community Health Division Award for Teaching Excellence, University of Pennsylvania, 2009


  • Nursing Care of Older Adults
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Diagnosis and Management in Adults and Older Adults
  • Health Assessment


August 1996 - August 1997 Advanced Graduate Certificate, Primary Care of Older Adults, University of Connecticut
June 1990 - August 1992 Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University ‐ Elderly Care Research Center
August 1982 - May 1990 PhD, Case Western Reserve University ‐ Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
September 1978 - June 1980 MA, Community Health Nursing; Nursing Education, New York University ‐ Division of Nursing
September 1975 - June 1978 BS, Nursing, New York University ‐ Division of Nursing

Contact Information

Presentations (5)