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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Jennifer A. Disabato, DNP, CPNP-PC, AC

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing & School of Medicine; Specialty Coordinator, Acute Care PNP; PNP, Neurology, Children's Hospital Colorado (CHCO)

Jennifer Disabato

Jennifer Disabato began her role as an assistant professor in the clinical teaching track in early 2013, after five and a half years as senior instructor and lead program planner/administrator for continuing nursing education in the Office of Lifelong Learning. Her current teaching responsibilities include undergraduate pediatrics and professional issues courses. In July 2013, she was appointed Specialty Coordinator for the new acute care PNP post-master's certificate program.

Disabato earned her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Colorado College of Nursing in 2012. Her capstone project, Improving Transition from Pediatric to Adult Specialty Care for Adolescents and Young Adults with Refractory Epilepsy, was awarded an exceptional pass.

Her clinical background with both acute- and chronic-illness populations serves as a foundation for her development of team-based strategies to care for youth during the transition from pediatric to adult-care settings. Disabato was the recipient of a doctoral student scholarship from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Foundation in 2010.

In December 2012, Disabato and co-investigator, Paul Levisohn, MD, were awarded a one-year Clinical and Operational Effectiveness and Patient Safety Grant from the CU School of Medicine and The Children’s Hospital Colorado Quality Improvement Department to expand to all neurology patients her capstone work on epilepsy patients' transition to adult care. Disabato maintains a 20% clinical practice at CHCO in neurology, specifically as a PNP in the inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. She is dually certified as a primary and acute care PNP.

Disabato earned her bachelor of science in nursing from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, then her master's in nursing from the University of Colorado in 1986. She has been an advanced practice nurse at Children’s Hospital Colorado, a clinical nurse specialist and a pediatric nurse practitioner. Her 25 years of advanced practice has primarily been in the neurosciences: pediatric neurosurgery, neurology/epilepsy, and chronic pain. She has been a preceptor for numerous graduate nursing students, and from 2005-2007, she was a clinical scholar for baccalaureate nursing students from both the University of Colorado and Regis University in their pediatric clinical rotations.

Current service activities include active membership on the Nursing Research Council at Children's Hospital Colorado, the CNE Approval Board at the Colorado Nurses Association, and the College of Nursing's Health Care Partners Board.

She is a member of the Colorado Society of Advanced Practice Nurses, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, the Society of Pediatric Nurses, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Kappa Chapter, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Dr. Disabato has lectured extensively locally, regionally, and nationally on clinical topics and has published articles and chapters primarily in the area of pediatric neuroscience.

Awarding Institution Field of Study Graduation Date


University of Colorado
College of Nursing
Aurora, Colorado




University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado

Care of the Child and Family with additional clinical hours allowing for certification as a PNP in Primary Care through the PNCB.  Certification is current and maintained



Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, Indiana



  1. Disabato, J. (2007) Neurological assessment of the neonate, infant, child and adolescent. In: Nursing Care of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Patient, Cartwright, C & Wallace, D. (Eds). p. 1-27. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg.
  2. Disabato, J. & Wahlstrom, J. (2004) Prescriptive authority for advanced practice nurses, Caring For our Future, Nursing Publication, The Children’s Hospital, Denver, CO
  3. Disabato, J. & Ritchie, A. (2003) Intrathecal baclofen for the treatment of spasticity of cerebral origin. Journal of the Society of Pediatric Nurses (JSPN), 8(1), 31-33.
  4. Disabato, J. & Karn, M. (2003) New seizures meds will dramatically change care.  ED Nursing, 6(3), 32-33. American Health Consultants.
  5. Disabato, J. (2002) New impatient neurologic monitoring unit provides care for patients with complex epilepsy, Caring For Our Future, Nursing Publication, The Children’s Hospital, Denver, CO.