Donna Hallas headshot

Donna M Hallas


Clinical Professor
Program Director, Pediatrics NP

1 212 998 5295

433 First Avenue
Room 526
New York, NY 10010
United States

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Professional overview

Dr. Donna Hallas is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and a certified pediatric mental health specialist. She is a Fellow of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP). Dr. Hallas is a Faculty Scholar of the International Qualitative Institute at Alberta Canada. At NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Dr. Hallas prepares pediatric nurse practitioner students to provide quality health care services for infants, children, adolescents and young adults within a family centered framework. She maintains a practice as a PNP in primary care for high risk children. She has presented at national and international conferences on implementation of evidence-based practice in ambulatory pediatric health care centers. Her research focus is on improving health care outcomes for pediatric patients. She has presented the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to improve the social-emotional development of toddlers and improve maternal confidence in caring for toddlers at research conferences. She presented a qualitative study on the social and emotional development of adolescents whose mothers died during their pre-teen and teenage years. She implemented a funded study on oral health care for newborns and young children. She worked collaboratively with dental faculty to improve the oral health care of children from diverse populations. She is published in peer reviewed journals on the oral health care needs of young children and has designed a new approach for oral health assessment in young children office based practices. She was a content expert for the American Academy of Pediatrics for the design of a web-based program for pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and all primary care providers on oral health assessments, management, and referrals for children and adolescents to improve the oral health care and status of this population. She served as an expert panel member for the systematic evaluation of oral health programs through a grant from Robert Woods Johnson. She is the PI on a funded study and will conduct a “RCT to Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy in Prenatal Women and Mothers of Newborns” in 2016-2017. She is also the PI on a funded HRSA grant to develop “An Innovative Academic-Clinical Partnership: Primary care Practitioner Preceptor Development Program” (2016-2019). She is the recipient of the 2016 AANP Nurse Practitioner Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice (New York State). 


PhD, 1999, Adelphi University
MS, 1991, State University of New York
BS, 1990, Adelphi University
MS, 1979, Indiana University
BS, 1974, University of Hartford
Diploma, 1971, St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing

Honors and awards

American Association of Nurse Practitioners New York State Award for Excellence; (2016)
Named One of the Top Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Faculty in the U.S. (2014)
New York University College of Dentistry Distinguished Educator Award; (2012)
Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (2011)
Nelms-Miller Editorial Award, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (2011)
Nurse Practitioner of the Year, Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island (2010)
Award for Excellence in Education Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter (2009)
Outstanding Contribution Team Award, President, Pace University NCLEX Success Team (2006)
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner’s Presidents Award for Excellence for the Manuscript (2003)
Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership , Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter (1993)
Fellow, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (1991)
Health and Public Affairs Scholarship Winning Essay (1990)
Induction Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter, International Honor Society for Nurses (1990)
Honors Graduate, Adelphi University (1990)


Primary care
Mental health

Professional membership

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
Fellows AANP
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF)
Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Faculties (AFPNPF)
International Institute of Qualitative Methodology
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter and Upsilon Chapter
Greater New York Chapter of NAPNAP



Social-Emotional Development of Toddlers: Randomized Controlled Trial of an Office-Based Intervention

Hallas, D., Koslap-Petraco, M., & Fletcher, J. (2016). Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 10.1016/j.pedn.2016.11.004
Purpose: During the toddler years, temper tantrums and impulsive behaviors are the norm. These behaviors can frustrate even the most experienced mothers. Design and Methods: A prospective, double blind, randomized controlled trial using pre-test/post-test experimental design was used to examine the effectiveness of an office-based educational program to improve maternal confidence and the social-emotional development of toddlers. The Toddler Care Questionnaire (TCQ) was administered to all mothers as a pre and post intervention test. The treatment intervention was a videotaped (DVD) parenting skills intervention on the social-emotional development of toddlers and on maternal confidence in caring for toddlers. Results: Sixty mothers and 60 toddlers entered the study with 29 mothertoddler dyads randomized to the treatment group and 31 to the control group. Twenty-six (26) mother-toddler dyads in the treatment and 25 mother-toddler dyads in the control group completed the study. Pairwise comparisons of adjusted means showed significant improvements for both toddler groups on the Brigance toddler screen, and no statistically significant difference in gains between the groups. The mixed model results for the TCQ showed an overall significant improvement from preto post-test, and a non-significant interaction between group and time indicting no significant difference in gains seen by treatment groups. Conclusions: Brief educational programs on DVD's are an efficient way to offer information to mothers while in the office waiting area. Practice Implications: Pediatric nurses who encounter mothers who struggle with caring for their toddlers may find brief-office based interventions a valuable tool for educating parents.

Haber et al. respond

Haber, J., Hartnett, E., Allen, K., Hallas, D., Dorsen, C., Lange-Kessler, J., Lloyd, M., Thomas, E., & Wholihan, D. (2015). American Journal of Public Health, 105(5), e3-e4. 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302648

Management of a child with nutritional rickets, multiple cavities, enamel hypoplasia, and reactive attachment disorder

Hallas, D., Herman, N. G., Benichou, L., Morales, E. L., & Touchette, L. (2015). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 29(3), 283-288. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2014.11.010

OHEP: An Oral Health Education Program for Mothers of Newborns

Hallas, D., Fernandez, J. B., Lim, L. J., Catapano, P., Dickson, S. K., Blouin, K. R., Schmidt, T. M., Acal-Jiminez, R., Ali, N., Figueroa, K. E., Jiwani, N. M., & Sharma, A. (2015). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 29(2), 181-190. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2014.11.004
Introduction: The purposes of the study were to determine (a) the knowledge base of mothers of newborns on oral health for newborns and young infants and (b) the effectiveness of an oral health education program provided to mothers of newborns prior to discharge from the postpartum unit. Methods: Ninety-four mothers of healthy newborns on a postpartum unit were randomized to the treatment or control group. A pretest was administered to each mother to assess the mother's knowledge of infant oral health. The treatment intervention was a DVD designed collaboratively by an interprofessional team of nurse practitioners and dental faculty to educate the mothers on oral health care for their newborns. The control intervention was a DVD on newborn nutrition. All participants received routine newborn nursery discharge instructions by the postpartum nurses and physicians. Follow-up appointments were scheduled 6 and 12months later for administration of the posttest to the mothers and for oral health assessments of the infants. Results: Pretest questionnaire results revealed that most mothers lacked knowledge about oral health care for infants and young children, especially concerning vertical transmission of streptococcus mutans through food-sharing practices. In addition, 28.4% of the mothers were not aware of the benefits of fluoride as a prevention strategy for dental caries. A significant no-show rate for the planned follow-up visits in the dental clinic hindered our plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the oral health educational program on prevention of dental white spots or decay when the study infants were 6 and 12months old, respectively. Discussion: The knowledge deficit of mothers of newborns regarding oral health care for infants may be one of the contributing factors to the high prevalence rate of dental caries in children younger than 71months. An oral health educational program provided to mothers on the postpartum unit prior to discharge from the hospital may help increase mothers' knowledge about oral health care and prevention of dental caries in infants and young children.

Putting the mouth back in the head: HEENT to HEENOT

Haber, J., Hartnett, E., Allen, K., Hallas, D., Dorsen, C., Lange-Kessler, J., Lloyd, M., Thomas, E., & Wholihan, D. (2015). American Journal of Public Health, 105(3), 437-441. 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302495
Improving oral health is a leading population health goal; however, curricula preparing health professionals have a dearth of oral health content and clinical experiences.We detail an educational and clinical innovation transitioning the traditional head, ears, eyes, nose, and throat (HEENT) examination to the addition of the teeth, gums, mucosa, tongue, and palate examination (HEENOT) for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of oral-systemic health. Many New York University nursing, dental, and medical faculty and students have been exposed to interprofessional oral health HEENOT classroom, simulation, and clinical experiences. This was associated with increased dental-primary care referrals.This innovation has potential to build interprofessional oral health workforce capacity that addresses a significant public health issue, increases oral health care access, and improves oral-systemic health across the lifespan.

Home-use whitening toothpastes for whitening teeth in adults

Brennan, M., Hallas, D., Jacobs, S. K., Robbins, M., & Northridge, M. (2014). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014(1). 10.1002/14651858.CD010934
This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows: To assess the beneficial and adverse effects of home-use whitening toothpastes with an abrasive or chemical action or both, in the prevention and removal of extrinsic dental stains in adults.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Coucouvanis, J., Hallas, D., & Farley, J. N. (2013). In Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health: A Resource for Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Primary Care Practitioners in Nursing (pp. 238-261). John Wiley and Sons. 10.1002/9781118704660.ch13

Evidence-Based Nursing Practice

Hallas, D., & Bonham, E. (2013). In Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health: A Resource for Advanced Practice Psychiatric and Primary Care Practitioners in Nursing (pp. 475-482). John Wiley and Sons. 10.1002/9781118704660.ch26

The Sensitivity Training Clown workshop: Enhancing therapeutic communication skills in nursing students

Leef, B. L., & Hallas, D. (2013). Nursing Education Perspectives, 34(4), 260-264. 10.5480/1536-5026-34.4.260
Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the long-term effectiveness of the Sensitivity Training Clown Workshop (STCW) provided to 131 baccalaureate nursing students. Background: The STCW was designed and implemented through a collaboration between the artistic director of the Big Apple Circus and nurse faculty to help students understand emotions, learn peripheral awareness skills, and become engaged with patients. Method: Forty participants responded to an 18-month follow-up evaluation survey. Results: The majority of participants reported applying lessons learned in the workshop in their current practice, regardless of their area of nursing employment Conclusion: The STCW is an effective method of educating nursing students for pediatric practice. The techniques used in the workshop are applicable to other practice settings.

Evaluation of the clinical hour requirement and attainment of core clinical competencies by nurse practitioner students

Hallas, D., Biesecker, B., Brennan, M., Newland, J., & Haber, J. (2012). Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 24(9), 544-553. 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2012.00730.x
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the national practice of fulfilling 500 clinical hours as a requirement for graduation from nurse practitioner (NP) programs at the master's level and to compare this standard to a comprehensive approach of evaluating attainment of clinical competencies. Data sources: The National Organization of NP Faculties (NONPF) and specialty accreditation bodies publications were used for references to clinical hour and core competency requirements for graduation from NP programs. Data from one university from student documentation on a commercial electronic tracking system were also analyzed. Conclusions: Data analysis revealed that the 500 clinical hours correlated to populations, skills performed, required levels of decision making, and expected diagnoses. However, assurance that these clinical hour requirements translated to exposure to all core competencies for entry into practice could not be established. Implications for practice: A more comprehensive approach to the evaluation of student core competencies by implementing one or more performance-based assessments, such as case-based evaluations, simulations, or objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), as a strategic part of NP evaluation prior to graduation is proposed. This change is viewed as critical to the continued success of NP programs as master's level education transitions to direct BS to DNP educational preparation for advanced nursing practice.