Loyola Faculty Member Named American Academy of Nursing Fellow

News Archive October 21, 2011

Loyola Faculty Member Named American Academy of Nursing Fellow

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Professor Inducted for Contributions in Nursing Leadership

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Fran Vlasses, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 15 at the academy’s 38th Annual Meeting and Conference in Washington, DC. Dr. Vlasses is an associate professor and chair in the Department of Health Systems, Leadership and Policy at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).

Selection for membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing. The academy fellows represent the nation’s top nurse researchers, policy makers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners.

Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care. Two academy fellows must sponsor each nominee. The new fellows are then selected by a panel of elected and appointed fellows. Selection is based, in part, on the extent to which nominees’ nursing careers influence health policies and health-care delivery for the benefit of all Americans.

Dr. Vlasses was among 142 fellows inducted into the academy. She was named a fellow for her contributions to the field of nursing, which include her leadership in promoting the profession nationally and internationally.

“I am particularly honored to be invited into the academy this year since five of the seven inductees from Illinois are Loyola alumni,” Dr. Vlasses said. “I look forward to working with them to advance health policy and improve the health of our nation."

Dr. Vlasses received her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Villanova University, her master’s of science in nursing from Ohio State University and her doctorate from Loyola University Chicago. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in nursing intervention outcomes at University of Iowa.

Dr. Vlasses publishes and speaks on issues related to the quality of nursing work life and creative strategies for health-care leadership. Her scholarly and creative initiatives have affirmed the work of nursing as caring knowledge. She is an accomplished researcher and writer who has published “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The Stories of Nurses”. After the book was released, Dr. Vlasses received more than 100 invitations to speak across the nation and to hold book signings, which brought national attention to the profession of nursing and its ability to effect change for patients. This book was named Best of Books in 2003 by Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing.

“Fran has made significant strides to advance the image of nursing in the public,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, RN-Cs, ACNP, CCRN, dean of MNSON. “Her work has given a voice to nursing and issues related to the health-care needs of our society."

Dr. Vlasses also has conducted research on work environment and patient quality-care issues. In 2009, she was named expert faculty for the Sigma Theta Tau Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy. Her volunteer involvement in raising 12 service dogs has allowed her to advocate for individuals with disabilities and improve their quality of life.

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is located in a state-of-the-art educational facility on the campus of Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood. The school, which provides instruction to 520 medical students, has been in the vanguard of institutions that have created new, active learning curricula to help students meet the challenges of 21st century health care. An estimated 8,000 to 9,000 students compete each year for 130 openings in the Stritch medical school's first-year class. In addition to the more than 500 students, Loyola's medical educational programs provide instruction and training to an estimated 400 residents and 100 fellows.
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