UW News

October 12, 2011

American Academy of Nursing inducts three from UW School of Nursing faculty

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

The American Academy of Nursing has announced its 2011 Fellows. Included in the 142 new inductees are three UW School of Nursing faculty members: Betty Bekemeier, Cindy Dougherty and Brenda Zierler. Also included is School of Nursing alumna Lori Loan, an affiliate faculty member in the UW Department of  Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems  who now works for  Madigan Hospital. The new  inductees were honored at the AANs annual meeting Oct. 12 in Washington, DC.

The American Academy of Nursing selects Fellows each year based on their contributions to the nursing profession and to healthcare as a whole. AAN Fellows also have a responsibility to contribute their time and energies to the Academy, and to engage with other healthcare leaders outside the Academy in transforming America’s healthcare system by enhancing the quality of health and nursing care; promoting healthy aging and human development across the life continuum; reducing health disparities and inequalities; shaping healthy behaviors and environments; Integrating mental and physical health care; and strengthening the nursing and health care delivery system, nationally and internationally.

Betty Bekemeier is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health Nursing. She is viewed as a national leader in public systems research as it pertains to how the delivery of services by local public health departments impacts health and health disparities. Her research with state and local health departments has promoted innovation in public health systems research to improve health outcomes. As deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded National Turning Point Initiative, Bekemeier actively assisted many state public health leaders in strengthening their public health systems  through complex assessment, planning and partnerships. Today, 12 states and their local public health practice-based research partners have formally partnered with Bekemeier to examine how to better meet the needs of their communities.

Cynthia Dougherty is a professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems. Through her intervention and translational research, Dougherty has contributed to knowledge on survival after sudden cardiac arrest and living successfully with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Dougherty is a pioneer and remains one of a handful of nurse scientist experts in promoting health for patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators and their families.  The national recognition for her research program is reflected in her reputation as an authority in the areas of sudden cardiac arrest, post-ICD implantation, and the effects of cardiac disease on patients’ partners with this work referenced by many in the field.

Lori Loan is an affiliate faculty member in Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems. Loan is also chief of Nursing Research Services at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma. She received her M.S. from the UW in 1993 and her Ph.D. in 2000.  She has been actively engaged in the UW School of Nursing and the nursing community for several years.


Brenda Zierler, is an associate professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems. Zierlers work in promoting patient safety and quality through research, interprofessional education, national leadership in nursing safety curriculum development and in translating research findings into policy and practice are among her many contributions to the field of nursing. Recently, her research efforts have led to the development of a nationally recognized venous thromboembolism (VTE) safety toolkit to be incorporated in a commercial training program on VTE prevention.  Zierler co-directs the Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies masters program. She currently leads a Health Resources and Services Administration training grant on faculty development in the use of technology.  Zierler is a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Program’s  2008 cohort.