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Renee McLeod-Sordjan: Fortifying an Extensive Nursing Education

Student, Graduate Student

Renee McLeod-Sordjan


December 4, 2013

Renee McLeod-Sordjan: Fortifying an Extensive Nursing Education


by Jeffrey Weisbord

“When I came to Adelphi to interview, I knew this was a place that would allow me to hone my skills.”—Renee McLeod-Sordjan

“I was born a critical care nurse but didn’t know it,” said Renee McLeod-Sordjan, D.N.P., R.N., FNP-BC, an Adelphi University graduate student currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing. She earned her previous degrees—a B.S., M.S. and Doctor of Nursing Practice—from Pace University.

A credentialed nurse practitioner with the North Shore-LIJ Health System since 2007, Dr. McLeod-Sordjan has devoted more than 16 years to providing primary and gynecological care to underinsured and underserved clients. She has also been an assistant clinical professor at Pace’s College of Health Professions since 2010.

Dr. McLeod-Sordjan received the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Novice Faculty Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award in 2012. That same year, she received the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future/AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars Award—one of only five recipients selected nationwide. The award matches the funding she received for the Ph.D. program.

While a D.N.P. candidate at Pace, she experienced the awakening of two dormant interests, teaching and research. “The clinical doctorate aided in my pursuit of translating nursing evidence but awakened a desire to create nursing evidence that led me to the Ph.D.,” she said.

Adelphi’s College of Nursing and Public Health emerged as the perfect setting to continue her education, given the strong reputation of its alumni.

“Adelphi has a long tradition of graduating Ph.D.s who have excelled as nursing leaders,” Dr. McLeod-Sordjan said. “My mentors Dr. Joanne Singleton, Dr. Harriet Feldman, Dr. Toby Haghenback and my colleague Dr. Kathleen Gallo are all alumni. When I came to Adelphi to interview, I knew this was a place that would allow me to hone my skills.”

Dr. Singleton is a department chair, Dr. Feldman a dean and Dr. Haghenback an assistant professor within Pace’s Lienhard School of Nursing, while Dr. Gallo is senior vice president and chief learning officer with the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

Dr. McLeod-Sordjan was also impressed with Adelphi faculty’s diverse experience and their willingness to offer guidance.

“At Adelphi, the faculty all have strong backgrounds in areas of nursing research and have published in leading peer-reviewed nursing and social science journals. As faculty discussed their own doctoral journeys [during an Open House],” she said. “I was amazed at all of the resources in the room. The faculty is accessible and willing to work with you on processing your research ideas.”

Dr. McLeod-Sordjan hopes to continue as a nurse educator, and to “create common pathways to educate diverse cultural groups in nursing,” she said. In 2011, she published “Assessing Functional Health Literacy Among Hispanic Elders With Chronic Disease” in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. As a doctoral student, she plans to continue her current research assessing health literacy in Latino/a populations with chronic disease.

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