Practical Nursing

Practical Nursing Program Staff

The Prince William County School of Practical Nursing faculty brings almost 100 years of nursing experience to their teaching platforms. All areas of nursing are represented, including medical, surgical, maternity, pediatrics, neonatal, emergency and intensive care settings.

The Prince William County School of Practical Nursing
8909 Euclid Ave.
Manassas, VA 20111

Office: 571-598-3907
Contact the Director at:


Current Program Faculty

Tammy Dean, RN, BSN
Program Director

Tammy R. Dean

I am from upstate New York and moved here in 2002 with my military husband and two children. I have traveled and worked all over the United States and Germany. I have worked here in the Practical Nursing program since moving here in 2002. I began nursing as an LPN, moved onto an RN and now am working on my MSN with an emphasis in education. When I first went into nursing, I worked on a general Medical/Surgical floor and soon moved to a Neuro ICU. I then decided I needed a positive change and turned my nursing efforts into the Maternal Child area. I then became a Nurse Manager/ Element Chief for OB and Pediatrics Units. I have also been a Director for Utilization Management. I retired from the United States Air Force Reserves in 2012 after serving 20 years. While living in Germany I worked in the Department of Defense Educational Activity Schools as a school nurse. While working as a school nurse I found my love for teaching. When we decided to move to this area there was a job opening for a PN instructor. I interviewed for it the first day off the plane from Germany and got the job...the rest is history. In 2010 I took over as director of the program and now only teach minimally. I love to teach and I love nursing! I believe the nursing career field encourages people to become life long learners. As the director, I encourage all of our students and faculty to strive for the best and continue with their education. In my spare time, I love anything SOCCER! Especially watching my daughters play competitively! 

Staff Pic

Darlene Curran, RN
Clinical Instructor & Simulation Coordinator, PN III

I am from Southeast Missouri and came to PWC School of Practical Nursing in 2008 after having been an RN for 13 years. I began my career as an Emergency Department secretary and progressed to Emergency Medical Technician, working as a technician in the ER. After graduating in 1995 from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO, I worked on a Progressive Care Telemetry Unit, then went back to my first love: the Emergency Department. My nursing experience includes working in various Emergency Departments in Missouri, South Carolina and Virginia. I came to northern Virginia as a traveling ER nurse, met my husband and settled here. Since arriving in northern Virginia, I made a career switch to another specialized area: PACU (Recovery Room), where I continue to work part- time. I never dreamed of becoming a Nursing Instructor, but after interviewing and being offered the position, I made this my third big career switch. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for me. I have recently gone back to school to further my nursing degree. In my spare time I enjoy beach trips, boating, painting, and visiting with my grandchildren.

Debra Midkiff, RN, BSN
Clinical Instructor,  PN III 

Debra Midkiff

I was raised outside of Chicago and moved to Virginia at age 11. I went to Nursing School at Northern Virginia Community College and earned my Associates Degree in Nursing in 1980. I have spent the last thirty plus years in Maternal Child Health Nursing, with areas to include NICU, PICU, Pediatrics, and Post Partum. I went back to school at George Mason University and obtained my Bachelor Degree in Nursing. I came to Prince William County Schools 13 years ago as a School Nurse. I am excited to start this new career in nursing as an Instructor for the second year nursing students. I live in Prince William County with my husband, and youngest son, Evan. I have 2 other sons, a daughter-in-law, and a grand-daughter, Kalli. Our family enjoys camping, biking, boating, hiking and most out door activities.

Leah Sowalla, RN, BSN
First Year Instructor

Leah Pic
I received my nursing degree in 1992 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I worked in trauma ICU (intensive care unit) and eventually made a change to the CCU (coronary care unit). Teaching intrigued meso, in 1994, I began teaching nursing students on a part time basis and have done that ever since. I taught the second level of this program from 2001-2003 then spent several years as a school nurse, still within Prince William County Schools. 2009 brought me back to this program to teach first year students. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 16 years of nursing and look forward to many more interesting years. I live locally with my husband and 4 children.

Nancy Schaeffer, RN, BSN
Clinical Instructor, PN III
Nancy pic

I was raised in Lancaster County, PA. Ever since I was a child I wanted to be a nurse, and in 2006 I graduated from Messiah College with my BSN in nursing. After nursing school, I moved to North Carolina to be with my husband and gained experience in surgical, neurosurgical, and trauma intensive care. From there, the military moved us to Kentucky, where I gained experience as an Emergency Department nurse, followed by a move to Northern Virginia in 2010 where I began working as a Progressive Care nurse. After my husband exited the military we decided to make Prince William County a more permanent home, and live locally with our 2 sons. Teaching nursing to nursing students has been a dream for me and I’m excited to be working with second year students.