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Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N.

Magazine honors Conway-Welch

BY: KATHY RIVERS

4/24/2009 - Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N., dean of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, has been named to Modern Healthcare's list of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2009.
Conway-Welch was recognized for her leadership in the areas of nursing education, emergency preparedness, HIV/AIDs awareness, global health and the education of health care professionals in the U.S. Military.

“Colleen is very deserving of this national honor,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor of Health Affairs. “To be chosen as one of the Top Women in Healthcare means you have had an impact. Colleen has had an enormous impact on health care and her field by redefining the nursing profession. She is a forceful advocate for an expanded role for nurses. She takes risks and she leads.”

Conway-Welch will celebrate her 25th year as dean of VUSN this fall and is one of the longest-sitting nursing school deans in the country.

She is recognized for designing an innovative nursing curriculum that launched the first “Bridge program” (B.S.N. equivalent), which created a new platform for feeding into master's level education in nursing.

Today, this same approach is available at hundreds of schools across the country, referred to as accelerated B.S.N. programs.

In the 1990s, Conway-Welch ushered in the school's Ph.D. program and most recently launched the school's Doctor of Nursing Practice program, designed to transform the nation's delivery system.

Conway-Welch has served on top-level health committees dealing with national health and social issues. In 2007, she was appointed to the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of health.

She is a former president, and one of the founders, of Friends of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Nursing Research.

She was recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a charter Fellow of the American College of Nurse Midwives.

She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2008, she was awarded the National League for Nursing Award for Outstanding Leadership in Nursing Education.

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