Prof. Shelly Smith has been elected to the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority's executive board (VHWDA), a group established by the General Assembly to identify and address health workforce issues across the state.
Through assessments, priority setting, policy work, pipeline development, collaborations with businesses and social organizations, recruitment and retention efforts, and developing opportunities to collaborate and innovate, the VHWDA facilitates a health workforce that is resilient, diverse, geographically equitable, and culturally competent.
The mission of the VHWDA is to facilitate the development of a statewide health professions pipeline that identifies, educates, recruits and retains a diverse, geographically distributed and culturally competent quality workforce for all Virginians.
Smith's Leadership Trajectory
Prior to her appointment at UVA, Smith worked at VCU School of Nursing where she was a clinical associate professor and served as director of nursing graduate programs overall. As a Translational Research Fellow in Residence at VCU, Smith mentored faculty scholars in legislative advocacy, proposal and grant writing, and authoring policy briefs and white papers.
A long-time preceptor to UVA nurse practitioner master's students, and part of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority’s nursing preceptor incentive program work group, Smith understands well the importance of nursing schools’ ability to build and maintain strong clinical partnerships with health systems around the Commonwealth that augment students’ education and experience.
A Leading Voice for NP Autonomy
A fierce advocate for nurse practitioner autonomy, Smith has frequently lent her voice and expertise at the Virginia General Assembly, providing expert testimony during legislative sessions, at caucus, subcommittee, and committee meetings, and, ultimately, helped shape House Bills 793, HB 1600, and Senate Bill 170.
Smith became an American Academy of Nursing Fellow in ’21, was a Distinguished Policy Fellow for the National Academy of Practice, a Wilder School of Government & Public Policy Translational Research Fellow, and a member of the AACN’s Leadership for Academic Nursing Program in 2016. She’s earned multiple awards, too, including an NP State Excellence Award from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2021, Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners’ (VCNP) Distinguished NP Award in 2019, and a Distinguished Nurse Practitioner Award from the Richmond chapter of the VCNP.
Smith earned both a BSN and a DNP from UVA School of Nursing and is a member of the University's distinguished Raven Society.