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

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

Clark Hall, 233

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3848

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

Highest Degree and Institution

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

Research Interests

Broadening the understanding, valuing, and integration of palliative care into health care practice is foundational to Dr. Breakwell’s research and role as director, Institute for Palliative and End of Life Care. Her work focuses on palliative care, advance care planning, and interdisciplinary education and practice as it relates to students, nurses, other disciplines, and communities.

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)


 Link to Marquette University E-Publications - Breakwell

Book chapters

Breakwell, S. Health promotion and palliative care (in press). In M. Frenn & D. Whitehead (Eds.). Translating the evidence for health promotion. Philadelphia PA: F. A. Davis.

Journal articles

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).

Kallio, P.J., Nolan, J., Olsen, A.C., Breakwell, S., Topp, R., Pagel, P. (2015) Anesthesia Preoperative clinic referral for elevated Hba1c reduces complication rate in diabetic patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty. Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine 5(3), e24376. Published online 06/22/2015. DOI:10.5812/aapm.5(3)2015.24376.

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

Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing (FPCN), Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association
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), funded 2005-2011, Rush University College of Nursing, (Principle Investigator: Margaret Faut Callahan).

Emory T. Clark Hall, home of Marquette University's College of Nursing

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