Susan Breakwell, D.N.P., PHNA-BC

Susan Breakwell
Susan Breakwell, D.N.P., PHNA-BCMarquette University

Clark Hall, 233

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3848

Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Institute for Palliative & End of Life Care

Highest Degree

D.N.P., Rush University

Courses Taught

HEAL 4901-HEAL 5901:  Interdisciplinary Palliative Care

NURS 6007:  Ethics, Policy, and Healthcare Advocacy

NURS 7996:  DNP Capstone I

NURS 7997:  DNP Capstone II



Professional Affiliations

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

Association of Community Health Nurse Educators

International Home Care Nurses Organization

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

Midwest Nursing Research Society

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Institute of Medicine Chicago


Specialized training: End of Life Nursing Education Consortium Trainer


Public Health Nurse Advanced - Board Certified (PHNA-BC)

Selected Publications

Fennimore, L., Wholihan, D., Breakwell, S., Malloy, P., Virani, R., & Ferrell, B. (2018). A framework for integrating oncology palliative care in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Education. Journal of Professional Nursing 34 (2018), 444-448. Doi:

Schlicht, C., Shaw, C., Haglund, K., & Breakwell, S. (2017). Evaluation of a primary care weight loss program. Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice 10 (1).

Petersen, C. L., Breakwell, S., & Callahan, M. (2014). Palliative and end-of-life care precepts and ethics for the orthopaedic population. Orthopaedic Nursing Journal 33 (3). 127-134. DOI: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000044.

Levin, P., Swider, S., Breakwell, S., Cowell, J. & Reising,V. (2013). Embracing a competency based specialty curriculum for community-based nursing roles. Public Health Nursing 30.  doi: 10.1111/phn.12042

Phillips, M., Breakwell, S., Faut-Callahan, M., Kim, M. (2012). Clinical observation reflections from students in an interdisciplinary palliative care course. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 14 (4), 274-282.

Callahan, M., Breakwell, S. & Suhayda, R. (2011). Knowledge of palliative and end-of-life care by student registered nurse anesthetists. American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal 79 (4) Special Research Edition. S15-S20.

Breakwell, S. (2009). Exemplar Domain 1, Guideline 1.3: Education: Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Education Framework. In National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, Clinical practice guidelines for quality palliative care (p. 25). Pittsburgh, PA: National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care.

Honors and Awards

Recognition, ‘50 Top Nurse Practitioner Professors’ Nurse Practitioner


Faculty, Team Leader (compassion and empathy module work group). Developing and Implementing Interprofessional Education in the Health Sciences through a Collaborative Learning Approach. The goal of this project of the Interprofessional Education Task Force: to create and implement interprofessional learning opportunities for students in health-related programs of study. Funded 2015, Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award, Marquette University, Milwaukee WI. (Co-Project Managers: M. J. Weimiller, M. Frenn)

Summit Participant, Portland OR, Palliative CARES - Competencies And Recommendations for Educating undergraduate nursing Students. The goal of this project is to develop competencies and recommendations for an innovative online competencies-based nursing curriculum for integrating palliative care content into prelicensure/baccalaureate programs. Funded 2015, Cambia Health Foundation, AACN and ELNEC (Project Investigators: B. Ferrell, P. Malloy, P. Mazanec).

Project Consultant, Faculty, Integrating Palliative Oncology Care into D.N.P. Curricula. The goal of this project is to develop and disseminate Palliative Oncology Care curricula for D.N.P. faculty to be able to integrate into their programs and to better prepare D.N.P. students or incorporating palliative oncology care into their advanced roles. Funded 2013-2015, NIH-NCI, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope, Duarte CA (Project Investigator: Betty Ferrell).

Project Investigator, Palliative Care in African American Communities: Focus Group Study. The goal of this project is to explore perceptions of a sample of African Americans in Greater Milwaukee area communities about palliative care through facilitated focus groups, which will lay the groundwork for the development of palliative care educational and outreach programs that are community oriented and culturally relevant. Funded 2013-2014, Greater Milwaukee Foundation (Project Investigators: Margaret Faut Callahan, Ronda Hughes).

Project Director, Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Education Program. National Cancer Institute (R25 Education grant), $1.2M, funded 2005-2011, Rush University College of Nursing, (Principle Investigator: Margaret Faut Callahan).

Recent Presentations

Barnes, S., Breakwell, S., Cannon, J., & Myers, J. “Interprofessional Workshop: Preparing Health Profession Students for Conversations about Advance Directives”. Poster, 2018 MCW Innovations in Healthcare Education Research Conference, Milwaukee, WI: April 26, 2018.

Breakwell, S. “Considerations and Conversations in Serious Illness, Palliative, Hospice and End of Life Care”. Interactive Presentation, Pastoral Leadership in a Cultural Context Summit. Marquette University Manresa for Faculty, West Bend, WI: February 20, 2018.

Cannon, J., Frenn, M., Breakwell, S., Johnson, N. Wiemiller, M. J., Krueger, W., Ronco, S., Ferguson, C., & Barnes, S. “Interprofessional Education: In Search of Instruments to Measure Program Outcomes”. Poster, Learning Together at the Nexus: Provocative Ideas for Practical IPE. National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, Minneapolis, MN: August 2017. 

Breakwell, S. “Palliative Care, the DNP and Interprofessional Teams”. Invited General Session Presentation, Mississippi Health Care Symposium on Patient-Centered Care: Pathways Toward Ending Health Disparities. MECDNP, Alcorn State University, Loman, MS: June 9, 2017.

Head, B., Breakwell, S., & Donesky, D. “Interprofessional Education in Palliative Care: A Report from the Trenches”. Concurrent session presentation, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine & Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Annual Assembly, Phoenix AZ: February 23, 2017.

Breakwell, S. “Issues at the End of Life: Palliative Care and Hospice”. Presentation, Pastoral Leadership in a Cultural Context Program, Marquette University Manresa for Faculty, Milwaukee, WI: November 15, 2016.