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Record number of Emory School of Nursing faculty win Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research awards
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School of Nursing Faculty Members

(L to R): Linda McCauley, Sandra Dunbar, Deborah Bruner and Eun-Ok Im

A record number of faculty from the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing have been named award winners by the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR). The annual awards recognize national nursing research leaders who have made significant contributions to nursing science.

The Emory recipients — who won four of the five award categories — were cited for their accomplishments and contributions to various fields of inquiry. They were honored at the FNINR NightinGala on Oct. 26 in Washington, DC. FNINR is an independent, nonprofit organization that seeks to magnify the impact of the National Institute of Nursing Research in advancing nursing science.

“This is an unprecedented and impressive recognition for our nursing colleagues at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in their respective areas of research,” says Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, FNAP, FAANP, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, who serves as FNINR awards chair.

The honored faculty from Emory are: 

Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, professor and dean at the School of Nursing, received the Ada Sue Hinshaw Award for her seminal research in environmental exposures. Her work has influenced national environmental health policies on how to reduce exposure to pesticides and measures to reduce the probability of exposure in pregnant women and children. The Hinshaw Award is the top honor given by FNINR. McCauley earned the recognition for her substantive and sustained program of science that continues to have a revolutionary impact on populations across the world.

Sandra Dunbar, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, FPCNA, the Charles Howard Candler Professor at the School of Nursing, is the recipient of the President’s Award for her exceptional research career in cardiovascular nursing science. Her body of work focuses on psychosocial responses to serious cardiac illness. It also addresses the social determinants of health in pub­lished papers on socioeconomic status discrimination and neighborhood incarceration rates as predictors of cardiovascular markers such as C-reactive protein. Dunbar’s findings have improved cardiovascular outcomes nationally and globally and have been adopted by other researchers.

Deborah Watkins Bruner, PhD, RN, FAAN, is an internationally renowned researcher whose contributions have changed clinical practice guidelines and impacted cancer care internationally. She received the Welch/Woerner Path-Paver Award for changing clinical practice by pioneering the development of the radiation oncology nursing role and its required training. Her work has altered and improved how nurses and other clinicians approach cancer symptoms and treatment outcomes. Bruner is senior vice president for research at Emory and the Robert W. Woodruff Chair in Nursing at the School of Nursing.

Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN, was honored with the Faye Glenn Abdellah Award for her commitment to eliminating gender and ethnic health disparities. Her groundbreaking body of research spans disciplines and cultural settings. An early influencer and leader in Internet-based research, Im has since investigated ways in which emerging technologies may optimize data collection and health interventions among ethnic minority women. Since the late 1990s, she has used innovative tools and data analytic techniques to capture women’s health experiences with more nuance and precision than traditional methods allow. Im is senior associate dean for research and innovation and the Edith Folsom Honeycutt Endowed Chair at the School of Nursing.

“Receiving a record number of FNINR awards is certainly an honor, but more importantly, it is a demonstration of the School of Nursing’s commitment to nursing research,” says McCauley. “The challenges before health care and nursing are multifaceted, and I am proud of our faculty for meeting these issues head-on and making a tremendous, wide-ranging impact.”

Cathleen Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP, FAAN, pres­ident of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and current FNINR board president, noted that Emory’s FNINR recipients are distinguished researchers who are advancing nursing science. “They join the echelons of other nation­ally recognized FNINR award winners contributing to the enhanced health and well-being of all Americans,” she says.

About the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing  

Ranked No. 2 in BSN and master’s degree programs and No. 6 in Doctor of Nursing Practice programs by U.S. News & World Report, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing produces nurse leaders who are transforming health care through science, education, practice and policy. Graduates go on to become national and international leaders in patient care, public health, government, research and education. Others become qualified to seek certification as nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives. The DNP program trains nurse anesthetists and advanced leaders in health care administration, and the school also maintains a PhD program in partnership with Emory's Laney Graduate School. The school is also among the top five nursing schools in the U.S. for funding from the National Institutes of Health. For more information, visit Follow the School of Nursing on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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