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Kennerly, Sitzman inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing

October 24, 2016

Two East Carolina University faculty members have been inducted as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing. College of Nursing Professors Dr. Susan Kennerly and Dr. Kathleen Sitzman were honored during a ceremony at the academy's annual conference Oct. 20-22, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

“I am delighted to welcome this superb cohort of talented clinicians, researchers, policy leaders, educators and executives as they join the ranks of the nation's leading nursing and health care thought leaders,” said Academy President Dr. Bobbie Berkowitz.

Dr. Susan Kennerly
Dr. Susan Kennerly

Selection criteria for fellowship include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel of elected and appointed fellows.

Kennerly is an eminent scholar known for her work in geriatric nursing and on the influence of nursing culture on care practices. She led entrepreneurial practice activities that enhanced nursing care delivery and outcomes and informed the science behind nursing practice environments by co-authoring the Nursing Culture Assessment Tool, the first of its kind, now used nationally and internationally to evaluate and shape nursing culture.

Kennerly is widely recognized for her pioneering work testing systematic interventions for pressure ulcer prevention in nursing homes. She was a co-investigator on the seminal research that aimed to reduce pressure ulcers by using music to cue staff to reposition nursing home residents every two hours. The pioneering study — which resulted in a 45 percent protective effect against pressure ulcers — was broadly reported in high-impact journals and serves as a key reference for subsequent work in advancing nursing best practices.

Kennerly currently serves as the co-principal investigator on a nearly $3 million National Institutes of Health grant that aims to determine if every two hour repositioning frequency can be extended to three or four hours without negative outcomes for residents at risk of pressure ulcer development. In 2014, she was a member of a working group that published standards for the International Clinical Practice Guideline for Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Treatment. Kennerly is wound care certified and a certified nurse educator, and serves as a team leader and evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Sitzman is an internationally respected expert for her knowledge and research on human caring in nursing. One particular area of her expertise is virtual caring, in which Sitzman explores the scholarship of teaching in ways that convey and sustain communities of caring among students and faculty in online classroom settings. She has been primary investigator for eight studies on this topic alone. In addition to ECU, she is an adjunct professor with the Watson Caring Science Institute and created the College of Nursing’s first Massive Open Online Course, on the topic of Caring Science, which has been attended by over 2,000 people internationally since its first offering.

Dr. Kathleen Sitzman
Dr. Kathleen Sitzman

In addition to publishing more than 100 journal articles, she has co-authored four successful nursing textbooks. Her book A History of American Nursing: Trends and Eras won the American Journal of Nursing Textbook of the Year Award in 2009. Two of her books are being translated: Caring Science, Mindful Practice is coming out in Chinese and Spanish; Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists is being translated into Spanish.

Sitzman serves as assistant editor and peer review board member for the International Journal for Human Caring. She is a peer reviewer and editorial board member for Nursing Education Perspectives, the journal of the National League for Nursing. She was inducted into the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education in 2015. In November, she will be a keynote speaker at the Third International Congress of Nursing in Lima, Peru, where she will receive an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Privada Norbert Wiener S.A.

Also inducted as a fellow was North Carolina State Rep. Gale Adcock, an ECU alumna, College of Nursing Hall of Fame member, and recipient of nursing’s 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award.

The academy comprises more than 2,400 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. Fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers. With the new class of 164 inductees, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 28 countries are represented.