Donna M Hallas


Donna Hallas headshot

Donna M Hallas


Clinical Professor
Program Director, Pediatrics NP

1 212 998 5295

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

Donna M Hallas's additional information

Donna Hallas, CPNP, FAANP, PMHS, PPCNP-BC, PhD, is director of the Pediatrics NP Program and a clinical professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and pediatric mental health specialist. Her research focus is on improving healthcare outcomes for pediatric patients. Hallas is also a faculty scholar of the International Qualitative Institute at Alberta, Canada. She is a fellow of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She maintains a practice as a PNP in primary care for high-risk children. At NYU Meyers, she prepares pediatric nurse practitioner students to provide quality health care services for infants, children, adolescents and young adults within a family-centered framework.

Hallas has presented at national and international conferences on the implementation of evidence-based practice in ambulatory pediatric healthcare centers. She has presented the results of a randomized controlled trial 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 healthcare needs of young children and has designed a new approach for oral health assessment in office-based practices regarding young children. 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 healthcare and status of this population. Hallas also served as an expert panel member for the systematic evaluation of oral health programs through a grant from Robert Woods Johnson.

Among her many honors, Hallas received the 2016 AANP Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice (New York State) and the Nurse Practitioner of the Year from the Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island.

Hallas earned her PhD from Adelphi University, MSs from the State University of New York and Indiana University, and BSs from Adelphi University and the University of Hartford. 

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

Primary care
Mental health

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

Faculty Honors Awards

Award for Excellence, American Association of Nurse Practitioners New York State (2016)
Distinguished Educator Award, NYU College of Dentistry (2012)
Fellow, 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)
President's Outstanding Contribution Team Award, Pace University NCLEX Success Team (2006)
Presidents Award for Excellence for the Manuscript, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (2003)
Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership, Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter (1993)
Fellow, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (1991)
Honors Graduate, Adelphi University (1990)
Induction Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter, International Honor Society for Nurses (1990)
Winning Essay, Health and Public Affairs Scholarship (1990)


Design and outcomes of a nurse practitioner preceptor development program

Hallas, D., Haber, J., Biesecker, B., Hartnett, E., Toft Klar, R., Djukic, M., Apold, S., Vetter, M. J., McMillan, A., Brilliant, M., Baldyga, J. A., Waingortin, R., & Fletcher, J. (2021). Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 33(11), 1007-1016. 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000570
ABSTRACT: Nurse practitioners (NPs) are educated to provide high-quality patient- and family-centered care to underserved, culturally diverse, medically complex populations. Nurse practitioner faculty plan curricular activities that challenge NP students to critically assess individuals and populations with the goal of preparing NP students to be "practice-ready" upon graduation. Nurse practitioner clinical training occurs in practice settings with NP preceptors, with specific areas of clinical expertise. However, there is a lack of NP clinical preceptors educationally prepared to clinically teach and evaluate NP students. This article presents the design, implementation, evaluation, and outcomes from a 3-year grant funded by the United States Human Resources and Administration Services that featured a web-based Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Preceptor Development Program. Ninety percent of NPs who precepted NP students completed all web-based learning modules. Preceptors with educational preparation via online modules to guide NP student learning in clinical settings are a critical resource for faculty to prepare NP students to be practice-ready upon graduation. This web-based learning platform for online NP preceptor education may be a successful approach for expanding and improving the NP preceptor pool nationwide.

Methodological Analysis: Randomized Controlled Trials for Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines

Hallas, D., Spratling, R., & Fletcher, J. (2021). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 35(4), 443-448. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2021.04.001
Critical appraisal of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) determines rigor, quality, and whether the findings are applicable to the populations served in clinical practices. The authors conducted a rigorous analysis using the RCT Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) Checklist for the two RCTs Pfizer (New York, NY) and Moderna (Cambridge, MA) conducted and the reporting of these RCTs using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials checklist. The goals for this analysis were twofold: (1) enable health care providers to understand the methods and outcomes of these RCTs, and (2) enable health care providers and community leaders to become champions for the vaccines to reduce vaccine hesitancy among all populations. The analysis is presented using each of the 11 questions on the CASP tool while comparing the methodology and results for each vaccine. Most CASP tool items were positive or yes for both the Pfizer and Moderna RCTs. Items that were not scored as yes are discussed. The analysis outcomes revealed that both RCTs were rigorously conducted and provide an assurance to all health care providers and the public of the safety and efficacy of both vaccines to impact the astounding morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 disease. The authors believed that the analysis was an essential component of the distribution process to develop plans and communication strategies to reduce potential vaccine hesitancy and resistance.

Reporting and Appraising Research Studies

Spratling, R., & Hallas, D. (2021). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 35(1), 108-113. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2020.08.008
In today's fast-paced health care delivery system, new evidence for practice emerges on a daily basis, and research results are quickly disseminated. Nurse practitioners are challenged to evaluate the relevance of the evidence to their patient populations and whether clinical practice should be changed on the basis of the presenting evidence. Nurse researchers also need to report study findings in a relevant, organized, and scholarly manner using reporting guidelines. This paper discusses both critical appraisal checklists and reporting guidelines providing exemplars for using each of the available tools.

Quadangulation: A New Methodology Combining Ethnographic Research and Quality Improvement Projects in Health Science Research

Rodriguez, K., & Hallas, D. (2020). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 34(3), 273-278. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2019.12.006
The purpose of this paper is to describe quadangulation as a methodology for conducting and analyzing combined ethnographic studies and quality improvement (QI) projects into one comprehensive investigation to improve the quality of health care. A comprehensive base of cultural influences in all health-care delivery settings, obtained from the design, implementation, and interpretation of a rigorous ethnographic investigation, and a QI project is new proposed methodology, called quadangulation. This new methodology has the potential to influence transformational cultural change, quality whole-person patient-centered care, and improved population health, through in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis of cultural influences and clinical problems.

Behavioral Pediatric Healthcare for Nurse Practitioners

Hallas, D. (2019). Springer Publishing Company.

Critiquing Research Evidence for Use in Practice: Revisited

Dale, J. C., Hallas, D., & Spratling, R. (2019). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 33(3), 342-346. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2019.01.005
Nurse practitioners need to critically appraise the abundance of research evidence and clinical practice guidelines to make astute decisions about the implementation of the best available evidence to clinical practice. There are numerous ways to appraise research and practice guidelines that are designed to inform clinical practice with the overall goals of improving patient outcomes. This article presents existing tools to appraise the research evidence in addition to a guide for providers on critical appraisal of a research study.

Traditional and Nontraditional Collaborations to Improve Population Health Using Geospatial Information SystemMaps: Analysis of the Opioid Crisis

Hallas, D., Klar, R. T., Baldyga, J. A., Rattner, I., Waingortin, R., & Fletcher, J. (2019). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 33(3), 309-322. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2018.10.006
Introduction: The study aims were to analyze interprofessional practice collaborations among traditional and nontraditional health care providers and to educate nurse practitioner preceptors and students on population health, specifically, implementation of geospatial information system (GIS) maps and the correlation with the opioid crisis. Methods: A descriptive analysis was used to examine New York State data on the opioid crisis in comparison to outcome data from GIS maps of opioid use in two boroughs in New York City. Web-based modules were designed for analysis of GIS maps of opioid use near practice settings. Results: New York State data provided context for local opioiduse, while GIS maps identified specific areas of the New York City boroughs that were most affected by the opioid epidemic. Discussion: The importance of local GIS maps is that the information is available in real-time, and thus interventions can be designed, evaluated, and changed quickly to meet the immediate needs of the community.

Behavioral pediatric healthcare for nurse practitioners: A growth and developmental approach to intercepting abnormal behaviors

Hallas, D. (2018). Springer Publishing Company. 10.1891/9780826116819
This book uses a developmental approach to behavioral health for the entire pediatric population. Each section of this book is dedicated to the traditional developmental ages. Each opening chapter within the specific developmental age provides information for pediatric primary care providers to assess, identify, and intercept potential behavioral health problems through the use of a developmental approach to behavioral health assessments (infants, toddlers, preschool-age children, school-age children, and adolescents,). Assessment, screening, intervention, and treatment strategies are provided through analysis of the best available evidence by experts in the field of pediatric practice. Cutting-edge topics written by experts in the fields of pediatric primary care and pediatric behavioral health are highlighted in this book and include: infant brain development and outcomes from ineffective parenting; social determinants of health and effect on behavioral health; building resiliency in children; infant depression; behavioral problems in children with inborn errors of metabolism; autism, global developmental delays, and genetic syndromes; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and comorbidities. The topics also include bullying social media and behavioral health; eating disorders; the autistic adolescent in residential treatment facilities; child behaviors within military families; foster care; toxic stress; trauma-informed care; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescent; and holistic and integrative care, and holistic care, integrative medicine, and behavioral health. Within each developmental section, there are case studies that provide exemplary practices for assessing, diagnosing, and evaluating children presented with the particular behavioral health problem. Case studies include the following topics: failure to thrive in infancy; infant colic; toilet training; sleep disorders in children with autistic spectrum disorder and ADHD; toddler impulsive behaviors; nail biting; and adolescent substance abuse.

Case study

Dalina, K., Katinas, M. E., Ashmawi, S. M., & Hallas, D. (2018). In Behavioral Pediatric Healthcare for Nurse Practitioners: Adolescent with a substance use disorder (pp. 375-386). Springer Publishing Company. 10.1891/9780826116819.0028
This chapter discusses the case study of adolescent with a substance use disorder. Confidentiality is defined as an agreement between patient and provider that information discussed during the encounter will not be shared with other parties without patient permission. A confidentiality statement must be provided to adolescents at every healthcare visit. The confidentiality statement assures adolescents that information provided to the pediatric primary care provider (P-PCP) during the office visit is a standard of care that supports full disclosure and trust between the adolescent and the P-PCP, without punitive consequences for the adolescent. P-PCPs must be knowledgeable about the laws in the state in which they practice to provide accurate information to the adolescents with admitted substance use problems. The key to intercepting these behaviors is effective office-based screenings and an immediate intervention with prompt referral to treatment and interprofessional collaborative initiatives at the national, state, and local community levels.

Identifying and intercepting behavioral health problems in infancy

Hallas, D. (2018). In Behavioral Pediatric Healthcare for Nurse Practitioners (pp. 69-81). Springer Publishing Company. 10.1891/9780826116819.0006
Infancy is a wonderful time for healthy parents and healthy infants to grow together within healthy home and community environments that support the social-emotional development of infants, thus establishing the foundation for lifelong behavioral and mental health. Pediatric primary care providers (P-PCPs) must acknowledge the paradigm shift to attain behavioral health for all by viewing behavioral health as beginning at the moment of conception and existing on a continuum throughout the life span, delicately balancing between behavioral/mental health and well-being versus behavioral health disorders/mental illness and malady. This chapter examines, analyzes, and evaluates the best available evidence to identify and intercept behavioral health problems prior to conception, post-delivery, and during the first year of life. P-PCPs must assess the mother-infant bonding and attachment relationship, maternal nurturing behaviors, and maternal responses to the infant, as well as the infant’s social-emotional developmental patterns, at every primary care encounter.