In early October, 2017, a trio of UVA Nursing faculty were inducted as Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing, among the highest professional honors a nurse may receive:
- Jann Balmer, clinical professor of nursing
- Beth Epstein, associate professor
- Richard Westphal, professor
The nation’s nearly 2,400 Fellows include leaders in education, management, practice and research who devote time and energy to the organization and engage with other health care leaders to transform the American health care system.
Balmer, Epstein and Westphal bring the School's national academy fellowships to 43, and its Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing to 30.
Balmer, an integral part of our Continuing Education programs as co-nurse planner, is a national expert on interprofessional education, chair of the ANCC commission on accreditation, and was the driver of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions’ shift to include a nursing (not just medical) lens. In her dual role with the School of Medicine, where she’s director of Continuing Medical Education and an associate professor, she’s worked as an advisor to the School’s Leadership Partners in Healthcare Management program with Darden and a tireless champion of nurses.
Epstein, whose research focuses on pediatrics and moral distress, was a longtime NICU nurse before joining the School in 2007. A triple, `Hoo, widely-published and much-beloved by her students and colleagues, she earned the Lucie Kelly Faculty Leadership Award in 2012, the John Casteen Fellowship in Ethics in 2012, and the SON’s Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014. Last month, she was named to the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities board.
Westphal's four-year tenure at UVA belies his sizable impact. Prior to his 2013 arrival at UVA, he was head of the nursing research department at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., before becoming executive manager of the Navy and Marine Corps Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Programs at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and a captain in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. His important work on recognizing stress injuries among emergency personnel earned him, just last week, a regional award for outstanding contributions to EMS health and safety from the Thomas Jefferson EMS Council.