Two UA College of Nursing Professors Honored by Induction into the American Academy of Nursing

Oct. 12, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. – Two faculty members at the University of Arizona College of Nursing were selected for fellowship in the prestigious American Academy of Nursing (AAN), one of the highest honors in the nursing profession.

Dr. Jane Carrington, PhD, RN, associate professor and Kate Sheppard, PhD, RN, FNP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, clinical associate professor, join the existing group of 16 AAN fellows at the UA College of Nursing.

Drs. Carrington and Sheppard join 173 national and international nurse leaders who were inducted as fellows Oct. 7 during the Academy’s annual meeting and conference in Washington, D.C. Chosen by top leaders in the field, selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and influence on health policies and the health and wellbeing of all.

Dr. Carrington is a 2008 graduate of the UA College of Nursing PhD program and she was inducted as a fellow of the Western Academy of Nurses in 2016. A nationally recognized expert in nursing informatics and health-care technology, Dr. Carrington is conducting a three-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, to increase patient safety by enhancing nurse-to-nurse communication. By sophisticated augmenting of the electronic health record, clinical data is analyzed and used to trigger alerts that herald an imminent or emerging serious clinical event linked to a higher risk of unexpected patient death. She and her team aim to improve nurses’ identification and reporting of clinical events to prevent adverse consequences and save lives.

As an educator, Dr. Carrington is known for her innovative teaching methods that include using Twitter assignments to engage her students and using game theory as the foundation for several of her online courses. A highly sought-after mentor, during the Western Institute of Nursing conference, Dr. Carrington has led symposiums with her PhD and DNP students that showcases their work focused on innovations to engage nurses, providers and patients in effective communication.

Dr. Sheppard has made significant, sustained contributions to the field by transforming nursing and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) education programs, vastly improving rural emergency health-care access, and applying interventions directly into clinical practice. Furthering emergency health in rural Northeast California, she worked as a mobile intensive care nurse (MICN), family nurse practitioner and educator; developed regional educational programs for fire departments, pre-hospital providers and nurses; and taught all their didactic and clinical courses, including courses for first responders, paramedics and MICNs. She procured grants to purchase advanced life support equipment, including on ambulances. Her efforts moved patient care from basic stabilization to highly skilled care delivered by paramedics and MICNs.

Dr. Sheppard’s awards include Regional MICN of the Year, induction as a fellow of the American Association of Nurses Practitioners in 2011, and the Western Academy of Nurses in 2014. She is a multiple recipient of the Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award from the UA College of Nursing (2012 and 2014). As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Dr. Sheppard focuses her research on compassion fatigue among nurses, which according to available literature, affects 30 to 90 percent of nurses, depending on the specialty in which they practice. Compassion fatigue is evident when being a health-care provider creates more sadness, stress or exhaustion than satisfaction, and providers begin to forego their own self-care.

Through the support of an American Nurse Practitioner Foundation research grant and the UA College of Nursing Laurence B. Emmons Research Award, Dr. Sheppard has developed a program of compassion fatigue awareness and training, which has been integrated into the college’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum. In the program, clinicians learn about three key concepts: burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion satisfaction, and practice strategies for heightened self-awareness of physical and mental discomfort and reflection on key triggers. She has consulted for more than 25 state, national and international organizations intent on reducing compassion fatigue.

The American Academy of Nursing is comprised of more than 2,200 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. With the addition of this newest class, the Academy fellows represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 24 countries.