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Sunny G. Hallowell, PhD - Villanova University. VIllanova, PA, US

Sunny G. Hallowell, PhD

Associate Professor | M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing | Villanova University


Sunny G. Hallowell, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC is an expert in human milk and lactation, neonatal care, and children’s health policy.



Areas of Expertise (6)

Human Milk

Health Policy

Nursing Workforce Issues

Neonatal Intensive Care

Perinatal Outcomes

Lactation Consultation


There are many proven short and long-term benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Dr. Hallowell is at the forefront of the drive to utilize nurses to assist new mothers with breastfeeding as they transition from hospital to home and improve neonatal outcomes. With more than 15 years of clinical experience in pediatrics and perinatal care, and as a Lactation Consultant, Dr. Hallowell is a valuable source on all aspects of breastfeeding and neonatal care, as well as an advocate for patient-centered, evidence-based healthcare that is supported by policy and open to innovation.

Education (3)

University of Pennsylvania: PhD

University of Pennsylvania: MSN

University of Toronto: BSN

Select Accomplishments (3)

First Place Winner - Philadelphia Social Innovations Lab, Nursing & Community Health Innovations Spring 2016 Cohort (professional)


Jonas Foundation Health Policy Scholar for the Expert Panel on Breastfeeding at the American Academy of Nursing (professional)


Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at University of Pennsylvania (professional)


Affiliations (2)

  • President, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners - Pennsylvania Delaware Valley Chapter
  • Advocacy Scholar for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Select Media Appearances (9)

US Surgeon General Calls Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis

NBC 10  tv


The US Surgeon General made a landmark announcement calling the gun violence crisis a public health crisis. And now, he’s calling on Congress to pass new regulations. “We need to depoliticize the issue because we need everyone at the table,” said Sunny G. Hallowell, an associate professor at Villanova University’s M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, who studies gun violence. “Everyone wants their children, families and communities to be safe.”

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Keeping Burnout at Bay

Minority Nurse  online


You may have trouble sleeping, experience tension and stress, and potentially have prolonged feelings of depression, according to Sunny G. Hallowell, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC, associate professor, pediatric nurse practitioner, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, Villanova University. While blaming the pandemic for NP burnout would be easy, burnout was a phenomenon before COVID. “What happened during the pandemic is the phenomenon of burnout, which has been consistently well documented in the healthcare literature for decades before COVID. Those events were exacerbated by the pandemic,” according to Hallowell. “It was already there. It just got so much worse.”

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A stunning number Filipino nurses in the United States have died of COVID-19

Al Jazeera -- The Stream  tv


According to a new study, amongst all nurses of colour, Filipinos have been hit the hardest. In fact, while Filipinos represent just four percent of the nursing workforce, they have so far accounted for 31.5 percent of nurses who died. The figures include those born in the Philippines and also US-born Filipino Americans. So how did this one group become the frontline workers of all frontline workers? In this episode of The Stream we discuss the inequalities that researchers say contributed to this horrible phenomenon. .... Sunny Hallowell, Assistant Professor at Villanova University’s Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is a pediatric nurse practitioner who teaches health policy, research and pediatrics.

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Active-shooter drills in schools may do more harm than good

Phys.org  online


Active-shooter drills in schools expose students to frighteningly realistic scenarios with masked intruders and loud gunfire sounds. They also may be doing more harm than good, says a Rutgers University–Camden nursing scholar who urges school and law enforcement officials alike to include school nurses in their plans to prepare for violent situations. …. Donna Mazyck of the National Association of School Nurses and Sunny Hallowell of Villanova University also co-authored "School Nurses Share Their Voices, Trauma, and Solutions by Sounding the Alarm on Gun Violence."

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Trauma-Responsive Schools Must Be the New Gold Standard in Education

Healthcetera  online


American schools are no longer places where children, teachers and staff feel safe. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress, 57 percent of teenagers now fear a school shooting. The troubled youths who commit mass shootings typically have many “red flags” that fit a dangerous profile. In the wake of the Parkland, Florida tragedy, parents and school districts sought immediate deployment of security specialists and emergency response procedures. However, the most effective interventions to address school violence may be to better understand what children experience at home through trauma-informed care.

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How Does NICU Staffing Affect Babies' Outcomes?

Pebbles of Hope  online


Pebbles of Hope releases today the sixth episode of its podcast series, Bridging the Gap, in which we explore the issues affecting NICU families in underserved communities. This latest episode features Dr. Sunny Hallowell, an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Researcher at Villanova University College of Nursing. In this episode, Cheryl Chotrani, Executive Director of Pebbles of Hope, speaks with Dr. Hallowell to discuss the impact of NICU staffing on the outcomes of babies. A condensed version of our conversation is below.

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Commentary: 2 important reasons Congress should renew CHIP

Philadelphia Inquirer  online


Today, 9 million families are hoping for Congress to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides access to health care and broad benefits designed for children, affecting more than 342,000 kids in Pennsylvania. Despite the divisive political climate and the recent failure of the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, CHIP could be one piece of legislation to unite the interests of Congress.

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Guard the faith and make it grow, pope tells parents at baptism

Catholic Philly  online


unny Hallowell, a pediatric nurse practitioner and assistant professor at Villanova University’s College of Nursing who encourages new mothers to breastfeed as they transition from hospital to home, welcomed the pope’s comments. “The normalization of breastfeeding during Mass has the potential to alleviate the anxiety of many mothers who invest considerable effort into breastfeeding their infants,” Hallowell said.

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Study: Nurses’ work environment affects rate of babies discharged from NICU on breast milk

Nurse.com  online


A study in the International Journal of Nursing Studies concludes when NICU nurses have better work environments and higher education levels (at least a BSN) and the units are adequately staffed, more babies are discharged on breast milk, according to a news release. NICUs with better work environments allow nurses time and resources and have more supportive nurse managers and collaborative working relationships between nurses and physicians. These factors enhance nurses’ ability to provide breastfeeding support, which significantly increases the percentage of infants who receive breast milk.

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Select Academic Articles (5)

How Nurse Work Environments Relate to the Presence of Parents in Neonatal Intensive Care

Advances in Neonatal Care

Hallowell, S.G., Lake, E.T., Rogowski, J.A.


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Leveraging the Skills of Nurses and the Power of Language Nutrition to Ensure a Better Future for Children

Advances in Neonatal Care

Mahoney, A. D., Zauche, L. H., Hallowell, S., Weldon, A., & Stapel-Wax, J.


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Higher Quality of Care and Patient Safety Associated with Better NICU Work Environments

Journal of nursing care quality

Lake, Eileen T., Sunny G. Hallowell, Ann Kutney-Lee, Linda A. Hatfield, Mary Del Guidice, Bruce Boxer, Lauren N. Ellis, Lindsey Verica, and Linda H. Aiken


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Factors associated with infant feeding of human milk at discharge from neonatal intensive care: Cross-sectional analysis of nurse survey and infant outcomes data

International journal of nursing studies

Hallowell, S. G., Rogowski, J. A., Spatz, D. L., Hanlon, A. L., Kenny, M., & Lake, E. T.


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Human Milk and Breastfeeding: An Intervention to Mitigate Toxic Stress?

Nursing Outlook

Hallowell, S.G., Froh, E.B., Spatz, D.L.


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