Posted on Sep 28, 2017

Two USF College of Nursing Leaders to be Honored as Fellows in the American Academy of Nursing

Two USF College of Nursing Leaders to be Honored as Fellows in the American Academy of Nursing

In the nursing world, becoming a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing is among the most prestigious national recognitions.

Some have compared it to winning an Emmy or an Oscar.

For two USF College of Nursing leaders, it is their turn to accept that honor when they are inducted into the 2017 class of fellows at the Academy’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. this week.

Vice Dean for Clinical Scholarship and Integration Dr. Susan Perry, PhD, CRNA, and Associate Professor Dr. Denise Maguire, PhD, RN, CNL, are among the 173 distinguished nursing leaders and researchers who make up this year’s elite group. The pair are among seven in Florida who will receive the title this year.

“It’s an unbelievable honor. It was something I always aspired to, but I never expected happening,” said Dr. Maguire.

This year’s group of inductees represent 32 states and 12 countries. With the addition of this new class, the total number of Academy fellows stands at more than 2,500. Fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers.

Within the College of Nursing, 14 percent of full-time faculty are Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing.

Potential members are nominated by two current Academy fellows. Their selection is based on showing significant contributions to nursing and health care, as well as having a nursing career that has influenced health policies.

Dr. Maguire’s nomination was initiated by USF College of Nursing’s Dr. Maureen Groer, PhD, RN, FAAN, and also recommended by Dr. Karen D’Apolito, a professor and Director of the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. D’Apolito and Maguire are experts in the same area of study.

Dr. Maguire was selected based on her years of research on neonatal abstinence syndrome, both increasing awareness in the U.S., and contributing to the understanding of the needs of these infants and their mothers in Panama.

“It’s an honor. It’s a recognition of the contributions that you’ve made in the national and international aspects of nursing. It’s really one of the top awards you can achieve,” said Dr. Maguire said.

Dr. Perry said she learned she would be a fellow while sitting in a coffee shop with her daughter in North Carolina.

“I just broke down crying,” she said. “And my daughter was like, ‘What happened?’ I could barely speak. I told her, and she’s like, ‘That’s a good thing, right?’.”

Dr. Perry, who spent 25 years in the military, was selected based on her extensive work in influencing national policy for advanced practice nursing, specifically as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, as well as her expertise in nurse anesthesia education, practice, and standardized policies.

Dr. Perry was nominated by Dr. Bruce Schoneboom, a CRNA and director for education and professional development for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and by Dr. Christine Kasper, a professor in the Graduate School of Nursing at Uniformed Services University.

Dr. Perry said she feels the same sense of bewilderment, excitement and professional accomplishment as when she was promoted to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force.

“You never think you’re going to be a fellow,” said Dr. Perry. “So then when it happens, it’s a mixture of humility and excitement.”

Dr. Perry said peers wanted to nominate her in years past, but she declined. This year, she relented. Since there are so few CRNAs who are fellows, Dr. Perry said the honor would bring more prominence to the profession as well as the university.

“In order to really influence policy on a global level, the best way to do it is through the Academy,” she said. “So I needed to be a member of the Academy if I was going to be able to work at that global level.”

Story by Elizabeth Brown, USF College of Nursing

Photo by Judy Plazarin