Mary Puchalski, DNP, APN, CNS, NNP-BC

  • Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program Director

Dr. Puchalski is a neonatal nurse practitioner with nearly 30 years of nursing experience in the maternal-child nursing specialty. Her doctoral work focused on addressing the rapidly increasing incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) which has been identified as a national healthcare crisis. She developed an evidence-based practice change project designed to increase consistency in treatment for infants with NAS through implementation of a protocol, along with education to increase healthcare provider knowledge as well as sensitivity to the signs and symptoms of withdrawal in infants with NAS.

Dr. Puchalski also has a special interest in neonatal pain management. She participated in the development and initial research to establish validity and reliability of the N-PASS: Neonatal Pain, Agitation and Sedation Scale, a nationally recognized neonatal pain assessment tool. She is a member the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP), National Association of Neonatal Nurses Practitioners (NANN), American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN).

Current Area of Teaching

Dr. Puchalski teaches specialty courses in the DNP Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program, along with coordinating clinical practice sites and serving as a clinical preceptor.

Selected Honors & Awards
  • 2017 March of Dimes Jonas Salk Health Leadership Award for Nursing
  • 2014 Procter & Gamble Doctor of Nursing Practice Post Master's Scholarship though the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • 2014 March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship
  • Sigma Theta Tau (STTI), International Honor Society of Nursing
Selected Publications

Puchalski, M. (2017). Infant Pain Management, in Conversations in Perinatal, Neonatal & Pediatric Palliative Care, K. Kobler (Ed.). Pittsburgh, PA: Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

Puchalski, M. (2012). Chapter 12: The neonate. In Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (4 th Ed.). Des Plaines, Il: Emergency Nurses Association.

Hummel, P., Puchalski, M., Creech, S.D., & Weiss, M.G. (2008). Clinical reliability and validity of the N-PASS: neonatal pain, agitation, and sedation with prolonged pain. Journal of Perinatology, 28(1), 55-60. doi:10.1038/

Puchalski, M., & Hummel, P. (2002). The reality of neonatal pain. Advances in Neonatal Care, the Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, 2(5), 233-247. doi: 10.1053/adnc.2002.35486

Hummel, P., & Puchalski, M. (2001). Assessment and management of pain in infancy, Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, 1(2), 114-121. doi:10.1053/nbin.2001.25104