Posted on Sep 17, 2018

Three USF College of Nursing Faculty Named Fellows to the American Academy of Nursing

Three USF College of Nursing Faculty Named Fellows to the American Academy of Nursing

Three USF College of Nursing faculty members have been named fellows in the American Academy of Nursing — a highly competitive and coveted honor that recognizes their national and international contributions to nursing and health care.

The trio will be inducted into the 2018 class of fellows at the organization’s annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., in early November.

The college’s inductees include Professor and Associate Dean Theresa M. Beckie, PhD, MN, RN, FAHA, Assistant Professor Alicia Gill Rossiter, DNP, FNP, PCPNP-BC, FAANP, and Assistant Dean Teresa N. Gore, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, CHSE-A. They are among the 195 distinguished nursing leaders and researchers worldwide and among 11 in Florida receiving the distinction this year.

“To have three fellows being inducted into the academy in one year is a stellar achievement and a testament to the caliber of faculty at this college. Their accomplishments should make us proud,” said College of Nursing Dean Victoria L. Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN.

This year’s group represents 35 states and 10 countries. The total number of Academy fellows stand at more than 2,500. Members include hospital and government administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers.

Continuing Research in Women’s Heart Health

Dr. Beckie has spent the past three decades contributing to the science of heart disease in women.

She said she is honored to be invited to be a fellow and plans to continue to find ways to improve the lives of women with heart disease.

“I want to continue my international reputation in women’s cardiovascular health,” she said. “That’s my passion in life, and if that can be my legacy — to improve the lives of women surviving heart disease — then that’s all I care about.”

Potential fellows require sponsorship letters from two current members. The academy’s selection committee also considers whether an applicant has shown significant contributions to nursing and health care, as well as having a nursing career that has influenced health policies.

Kathleen Dracup, PhD, RN, FAAN, one of Dr. Beckie’s sponsors, said the long-time nurse researcher has done that and more.

Dr. Dracup is a dean emeritus at the University of California San Francisco’s School of Nursing and has known Dr. Beckie for two decades.

In her letter of recommendation, Dr. Dracup not only described Dr. Beckie as someone highly deserving of membership, but praised her significant contributions to nursing science and hailed her as a “leader in the development of clinical guidelines for treating women with heart disease.”

“Dr. Beckie undertook her program of research at a time when the vulnerability of women to heart disease was not appreciated by the general public or even health care providers,” she wrote. “Over her 30-year career, she has been an ardent voice for women in the world of car diology.”

Dr. Beckie said her current research seeks to improve access to health care for women with heart disease. She is developing a mobile platform that brings a traditional face-to-face cardiac rehabilitation program onto a mobile app with wearable sensors.

“I hope it revolutionizes recovery from a heart attack and open heart surgery,” she said.

A Focus on Veterans and Military Kids

Dr. Rossiter, who heads the college’s V-CARE program, said she learned of her acceptance during a conference in Michigan where she spoke about helping veterans transition from the role of medic or corpsmen into the professional nursing role.

She was in the middle of a presentation when her phone kept buzzing. It was her daughter trying to tell her the Academy’s letter had finally arrived. When she realized she got in, she was floored.

“I was totally shocked. I started crying. I just couldn’t believe it,” Dr. Rossiter said. “(Fellows) are the people you read about. They’re nursing theorists you read about in your undergrad program or leaders across the world in nursing. And to think that you are even in that realm is just unbelievable.”

One of Dr. Rossiter’s mentors, Peggy Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN, the executive dean and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, recommended her.

Dr. Wilmoth, who chaired the academy’s military and veterans health expert panel, wrote about how Dr. Rossiter’s ability to combine her military expertise, her clinical background, and her academic leadership has had a two-fold impact on society — more nurses with a military background have joined the civilian workforce, and as a result, military families have more access to nurses sensitive to their individual needs.

“Her unique attributes include her military service and the way she has used her military experiences to ground the work she has done and continues to do to improve the health and access to quality health care for military families and veterans,” wrote Dr. Wilmoth.

As a fellow, Dr. Rossiter said she plans to join two of the academy’s expert panels — one on military and veterans health and one on child adolescent and family — to work towards improving the health care outcomes of military kids.

“We have entire generations of military children whose parents would have potentially been at war, deployed, or involved in some type of engagement for most of their child’s lives,” she said. “We know that has a significant impact on their (child’s) physical, psychological, and behavioral health and it is imperative that we join forces to support our military-connected children.”

Continuing to Lead in Experiential Learning

Recognized as an international simulation expert, Dr. Gore says being inducted as a fellow is considered one of the highest honors in nursing and being chosen puts a “cherry on top” of a career that specializes in health care simulation education and began about 10 years ago.

Dr. Gore recently finished her presidency at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) and is a member of a small group of educators who have achieved an advanced certification in health care simulation.

She also has been invited to speak on simulation and experiential learning in China, England, and Switzerland.

“I’ve just continued to try to build and contribute to the science,” she said.

Elizabeth Mancini, RN, PhD, NE-BC, FAHA, ANEF, FAAN, senior associate dean for education innovation at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation, recommended Dr. Gore because she has shown the leadership to promote international nursing education.

Dr. Mancini cited Dr. Gore’s work in helping to develop the first Standards of Best Practice: Simulation through her work with INACSL.

“She is so very suited for simulation teaching and learning due to her combined PhD and DNP-FNP degrees. Her mind just seems to effortlessly produce creative strategies to make very complex information easily digestible for nursing students and the practicing clinician,” wrote Dr. Mancini.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing