Donna M Hallas


Donna Hallas headshot

Donna M Hallas


Clinical Professor
Program Director, Pediatrics NP

1 212 998 5295

433 First Ave
New York, NY 10010
United States

Donna M Hallas's additional information

Donna Hallas, CPNP, FAAN, 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 (CPNP: PPCNP-BC) and a pediatric mental health specialist (PMHS). Dr. Hallas is fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN); a fellow of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; 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. She maintains a practice as a PNP in primary care for high-risk children and for young children with behavioral problems. 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.

Prof. Hallas’ research is practice focused and includes developing and testing interventions for vaccine hesitant and refusing individuals. The overall goal of her research is to improve healthcare outcomes for pediatric patients. Her research focus for educational initiatives includes developing and testing interventions to increase diagnostic reasoning in nurse practitioner students.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Hallas has been a frequent speaker locally and nationally on the topic of vaccine hesitancy providing guidance on ways to improve vaccine uptake. In addition, she has been frequently asked to provide guidance on how to prevent COVID-19 infections for children in all settings.

Prof. 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 the outcomes for a qualitative study on the social and emotional development of adolescents whose mothers passed away during their pre-teen and teenage years. She implemented a funded study on oral health care for newborns and young children. She works collaboratively with dental faculty to improve the oral health care of children from diverse populations. She conducted a randomized controlled study to reduce the incidence of vaccine hesitancy in prenatal women and mothers of newborns. Prof. Hallas also received a 2.1-million-dollar HRSA grant to develop an innovative academic clinical partnership and educational program for preceptors who clinically educate primary care nurse practitioners.

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. Prof. Hallas writes a monthly column for nurse practitioners which is published in Contemporary Pediatrics. She is also co-editor for the Research Methodology section of the Journal of Pediatric Health Care. In 2018, Dr. Hallas’ first textbook, Pediatric Behavioral Health for Nurse Practitioners: A Growth and Developmental Approach to Intercepting Abnormal Behaviors, received the prestigious American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award: First Place for Psychiatric Mental Health and Third Place for Child Health.  

Among her many honors, in 2022, Prof. Hallas received NYU Distinguished Teaching Award and the NYU Meyers Distinguished Teaching Award; In the 2018, she received the Nassau County Woman of the Year Award from NYS Assemblyman Representative, John Mikulin; In 2016 she received the AANP Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice (New York State) and the Nurse Practitioner of the Year award from the Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island.

Prof. 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 Academy of Nursing (Fellow)
American Association of Nurse Practitioners
American Association of Nurse Practitioners Fellows
Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Programs
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Greater New York Chapter of NAPNAP
International Institute of Qualitative Methodology, Alberta, Canada
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty
Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter and Upsilon Chapter

Faculty Honors Awards

Distinguished Teaching Award, NYU (2022)
Distinguished Teaching Award, NYU Meyers College of Nursing (2022)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2019)
Book of the Year Award, American Journal of Nursing (2018)
Woman of the Year, Nassau County 17th District (2018)
Award for Excellence, American Association of Nurse Practitioners New York State (2016)
Named One of the Top 25 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Faculty, U.S. (2014)
Distinguished Educator Award, NYU College of Dentistry (2012)
Nelms-Miller Editorial Award, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (2011)
Fellow, American Academy of 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, Nassau Association of Nurse Practitioners (1991)
Fellow, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (1991)
Induction Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter, International Honor Society for Nurses (1990)
Winning Essay, Health and Public Affairs Scholarship (1990)
Honors Graduate, Adelphi University (1990)


A New Focus on Global Health

Hallas, D. (2024). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 38(1), 1-2. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2023.09.007

Artificial Intelligence and Nursing: It's All About Trust

Hallas, D. (2023). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 37(5), 461-462. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2023.06.004

New Beginnings

Hallas, D. (2023). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 37(4), 353. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2023.04.001

Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Examination: Job Task Analysis

Hallas, D., Heuer, B., Sesay-Tuffour, S. A., & Foerster, L. A. (2023). Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 19(2). 10.1016/j.nurpra.2022.08.024
Developmental, behavioral, and mental health (DBMH) conditions among pediatric populations have increased in prevalence in primary care. Approximately 1 in 5 children have mental health conditions, but only 20% receive care. In October 2021, a national emergency in children's mental health was declared. The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board offers a pediatric primary care mental health specialist (PMHS) examination that validates the knowledge, skills, and abilities of certified nurse practitioners caring for children, adolescents, and young adults with DBMH conditions. This review describes the methodology, data analysis, and results of the job task analysis that ensures examination quality measuring preparedness to practice as a certified PMHS.

Quality Improvement Projects… It's Time for Change

Hallas, D. (2023). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 37(6), 587-588. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2023.09.003

Vaccine hesitancy in prenatal women and mothers of newborns: Results of an interventional study

Hallas, D., Altman, S., Mandel, E., & Fletcher, J. (2023). Nurse Practitioner, 48(3), 36-47. 10.1097/01.NPR.0000000000000018
Introduction:The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a web-based, vaccine resource-directed, interactive communication intervention for vaccine-hesitant prenatal women and mothers of newborns/infants to make informed decisions based on scientific evidence about vaccinating themselves and their newborns/infants, respectively.Methods:A prospective quasi-experimental design was used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention for vaccine-hesitant prenatal women (stage 1) and for mothers of newborns (stage 2). A survey was administered to prenatal women to determine attitudes about vaccines for themselves during pregnancy. A survey on parental attitudes about vaccination for their children was administered to mothers of newborns. The surveys were administered to determine levels of vaccine acceptance. Vaccine acceptors and vaccine-hesitant individuals were included in the study as control and intervention group participants, respectively; vaccine refusers were eliminated from the study.Results:Among prenatal vaccine-hesitant women, 82% had full prenatal vaccination coverage after receiving the intervention (χ2= 7.2, P =.02). The majority of mothers of newborns/infants (74%) fully immunized their infants.Discussion:The interventions for prenatal vaccine-hesitant women were effective in changing their status from hesitant to acceptors. The mothers of newborns/infants who were initially hesitant had vaccination rates that exceeded the comparison group comprised of vaccine acceptors.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Coucouvanis, J., & Hallas, D. (2021). In Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (1–, pp. 267-289). Wiley. 10.1002/9781119487593.ch16
Autism is seen as a spectrum from very mild to very severe. This chapter uses the term autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to refer to this group of syndromes. It provides a discussion of the many factors that may contribute to the etiology of ASD. The chapter analyzes clinical problems and evidence-based interventions for the treatment of ASD. If ASD is suspected after screening and comprehensive health assessment, the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) should refer the child and family to a professional or agency that is experienced in making this diagnosis, such as an interdisciplinary early identification program, child psychiatrist or psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech and language pathologist, or psychiatric-mental health APRN. The ideal intervention for youth with ASD is individualized and treats each child's complex and unique set of communicative, behavioral, sensory, and cognitive characteristics. The chapter contains referral resources that offer the services needed to evaluate a child suspected of having ASD.

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
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.

Evidence-based Nursing Practice

Hallas, D., & Lusk, P. (2021). In Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (1–, pp. 503-511). Wiley. 10.1002/9781119487593.ch29
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has evolved into an evidence-based practice (EBP) framework that has been embraced by nursing, the social sciences, including psychology, and other allied health professions. This chapter describes the process for implementation of EBP in pediatric and adolescent primary care and mental health practice settings. The standard of practice is for advanced practice registered nurses to continuously raise relevant evidence-based formatted questions, critically appraise and analyze each phase of the evidence-based care management process, and use the best available evidence for each clinical decision to provide care that is scientifically based. Successful implementation of the evidence-based process in clinical practice is dependent on formulating relevant clinical questions, using a format commonly referred to as PICO questions. The chapter identifies national and international EBP resources that are available to improve care for children/adolescents and their families using the best available evidence.

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.