Loralee Sessanna, DNS, RN, AHN-BC, Faith Community Nurse

Clinical Professor


School of Nursing
University at Buffalo
212 Wende Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-3079

PHONE: 716-829-3913

The motivation and passion for my work in holistic nursing and patient care practice is grounded in the experiences that I have had taking care of family, friends, patients and their loved ones. The lessons that I learned from having the privilege and honor of caring for others has profoundly impacted my life both as a nurse and as a fellow human being.

Loralee Sessanna is a clinical professor for the School of Nursing. She has dedicated her life and nursing career to holistic care. Sessanna believes compassion, empathy, kindness, unconditional love, authenticity and patience and respecting and valuing the beauty of everyone’s unique talents and differences reinforces the need and importance of caring for the “whole who.”

Sessanna was part of a UBSON team that started the interprofessional partnership between UBSON and Millennium Collaborative Care for the national Million HeartsĀ® initiative. The partnership began with a UBSON undergraduate course, “Health Promotion and Disease Prevention with Populations” that she co-taught with SON faculty. The course is designed to teach nursing students how to improve health outcomes among underserved populations. As a result of the collaborative partnership, nursing students gain valuable experience working alongside other health-related professions to provide free health care screenings multiple times a year throughout the Buffalo community.


  • DNS, University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, 2006
  • Master of Nursing Science, D'Youville College, 2000
  • Bachelor of Nursing Science, D'Youville College, 1998
  • AAS Nursing, Trocaire College, 1987

Areas of Research

  • Community health nursing
  • Faith community nursing
  • Spirituality
  • Holistic nursing and patient care
  • Mindfulness
  • End-of-life care

Teaching Responsibilities

  • NSG 311 Family Nursing
  • NSG 370 Nursing as a Profession
  • NSG 378 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention within Populations
  • NSG 410 Public Health Nursing
  • NSG 481 Concepts of Acute Care Practicum
  • NGC 638 Program Evaluation
  • NGC 520 Scientific Writing
  • NGC 692 Seminar in Grantsmanship
  • NGC 701 State of Nursing Science

Recent Publications

Sessanna, L., Pomeroy, S., & Askew, Y. (in review). Faith community nursing practice and holistic nursing practice: Specialty evolution, intention, similarities and differences. Journal of Holistic Nursing.

Askew, Y., Pomeroy, S., & Sessanna, L. (in review). Faith community nursing connections: A mixed methods study. Geriatric Nursing.

Chang, Y.P., Nisbet, P., Sessanna, L., & Balczark, L. (in review). Effect of a mindfulness-based intervention on treatment outcomes in chronic pain patients.

Brown, K. D., Sessanna, L., & Paplham, P. (2020). Nurse practitioners’ and nurse practitioner students’ LGBT health perceptions. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 16(4), 262-266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2019.12.028

Chang, Y.-P., Sessanna, L., & Schneider, K. J. (2017). The applicability of the decisional conflict scale in nursing home placement decision among Chinese family caregivers: A mixed methods approach. Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal, 2(3), 110-120. doi:10.9741/23736658.1064

Iverson, A., & Sessanna, L. (2012). Utilizing Watson's Theory of Human Caring and Watson's Emacipatory Pedagogy to educate hospital-based multidisciplinary healthcare providers about hospice. International Journal of Human Caring, 16(4), 43-48.

Abbotoy, J., & Sessanna, L. (2012). Hands-on BCMA education for direct care nurses. Nursing Management, 43(11), 15-18.

Sessanna, L., Finnell, D. B., Underhill, M., Chang, Y., & Peng, H. (2011). Measures assessing spirituality as more than religiosity: A methodological review of nursing and health related literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(8), 1677-1694.

Chang, Y. P., Wray, O. L., Sessanna, L., & Peng, H. L. (2011). Use of prescription opioid medication among community-dwelling older adults with noncancer chronic pain. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 22, 1-6.

Finnell, D. S., Jezewski, M. A., Meeker, M. A., Wu, Y. W., Sessanna, L., & Lee, J. (2011). Applying the Transtheoretical Model to health care proxy completion. Medical Decision Making, 31(2), 254-259.

Chang, Y. P., Schneider, J. K., & Sessanna, L. (2011). Decisional conflict among Chinese family caregivers regarding nursing home placement of loder adults with dementia. Journal of Aging Studies, 25(4), 436-444.

Carey, M. Al-Zaiti, S., Dean, G., Sessanna, L., & Finnell, D. (2011). Sleep problems, depression, substance use, social bonding, and quality of life in professional firefighters. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 53(8), 928-933.

Sessanna, L. (2010).  End of life care needs and preferences among independent community dwelling older adults: A secondary analysis.  Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 12(6), 360-369.*

Jezewski, M.A., Finnell, D.S., Meeker, M.A., Wu, Y.W., Sessanna, L., & Lee, J. (2009).   Psychometric testing of four Transtheoretical     Model questionnaires for the behavior, completing health care proxies.  Research in Nursing & Health, 32(6), 606-620.*           

Sessanna, L., & Jezewski, M.A.  (2008).  Advance directive decision making among community dwelling well older adults:  A systematic   review of the literature.  Journal of  Applied Gerontology, 27(4), 486-510.*    

Honors and Awards

  • Mecca S. Cranley Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, 2017
  • Keynote Speaker for School of Nursing Convocation, University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, Fall 2010
  • Keynote Speaker for Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society Beta Class Induction Ceremony, University at Buffalo, 2009
  • Dean's Mentor Award, University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, Spring 2010
  • Patricia H. Garman Behavioral Health Nursing Endowment Award, University at Buffalo ,School of Nursing, Spring 2010
  • Doctor of Nursing Science Petsan Scholarship Award, University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, 2002-2006

Professional Activities

  • Member, New York Organization of Nurse Executive Leaders
  • Member, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Member, American Holistic Nurses Association
  • Member, WNY Chapter of the American Holistic Nurses Association
  • Member, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society
  • Member, Professional Nurses Association of WNY
  • Board Certified Advanced Holistic Nurse (AHN-BS), American Holistic Nurses Association
  • Trained, Faith Community Nurse
  • Trained, Mindfulness
  • Trained, ELNEC Trainer (EOL)
  • Trained, Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master



June 2017 to May 2019
Research Consultant (PI: Yvonne Askew)
Faith Community Nursing (FCN) Connections
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
Award Amount: $35,000

Abstract: A pilot program exploring the role of the FCN as a caregiver-primary care physician liaison in helping caregivers manage patients with chronic disease through in-home visits.

Co-Investigator (in kind) (PI: Robecca Lorenz)
Mindfulness Based on Stress Reduction Plus Sleep Retraining to Improve Depressive Symptoms Among Adult with Multiple Sclerosis
University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, Garman Award

Study Team Member, Intervention Coordinator (PI: Yu-Ping Chang)
The Effect of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Treatment Outcomes in Chronic Pain Patients
University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, Garman Award