Press Room

NACNS Leaders Named American Academy of Nursing Fellows

12 CNSs Honored as Distinguished Leaders

RESTON, VA – October 13, 2021 – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) announced today that Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, President and Phyllis Whitehead PhD, RN, APRN/CNS, ACHPN, PMGT-BC, FNAP, President-elect of NACNS were inducted into The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) 2021 Class of Fellows. The inductees were recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the Academy’s Annual Health Policy Conference, October 7-9, 2021. Out of the 89,000 CNSs in the United States, Powers and Whitehead are part of an elite group of 12 CNSs inducted into the AAN 2021 Class of Fellows:

Jan Powers, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN, NE-BC, FCCM, President of NACNS—Parkview Health, Fort Wayne, IN

Phyllis Whitehead, PhD, RN, APRN/CNS, ACHPN, PMGT-BC, FNAP, President-elect of NACNS – Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA

Gail E. Armstrong, PhD, DNP, ACNS-BC, RN, CNE – Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

Virginia Capasso, PhD, CNP, CNS, CWS, FACCWS – Massachusetts General Hospital, MA

Joanne DeSanto Iennaco, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC – Yale University, New Haven, CT

Linda S. Ehrlich-Jones, PhD, RN, CNS – Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Chicago, IL

Rebecca Bartlett Ellis, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC – Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Melanie Gibbons Hallman, DNP, RN, CNS, CRNP, FNP-BC, ACNP-BC, ENP-C, FAEN – University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL

Cynthia Taylor Handrup, DNP, PMHCNS-BC – University of Illinois Chicago, IL

Roberta Kaplow, PhD, APRN-CCNS, AOCNS, CCRN – Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA

Martha Mathews Libster, PhD, MSN, APRN-PMHCNS, APHN-BC – Rogers Behavioral Health, Wisconsin

Jamie Myers, PhD, RN, AOCNS – University of Kansas, Lawrence, KA

“The Academy aims to improve health and achieve health equity through nursing leadership, innovation, and science,” said Powers.  “The Academy now has over 2,900 Fellows, or members, who collaborate and create research-based policy initiatives to advance the field of health care.”

The AAN invites nurses in education, management, practice, and research every year to become Fellows. These members exhibit significant career accomplishments and are expected to contribute time and knowledge to enhance the quality of health and nursing, promote healthy aging and development, and shape healthy behaviors, among other responsibilities.

Powers was elected president of NACNS in March 2021 and has served as the Director of Nursing Research and Professional Practice at Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, IN, since 2015. She received her BSN, MSN, and PhD in Nursing from Indiana University.

Whitehead serves as the president-elect of NACNS, is a clinical ethicist and palliative care clinical nurse specialist with the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and is an Associate Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. She received her BSN and MSN from Radford University and earned her PhD at Virginia Tech.

About The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) is the only national association representing the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). CNSs are the most versatile advanced practice registered nurses and work in health care specialties to ensure delivery of high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. As leaders in the acute, post-acute, and ambulatory health care settings, CNSs impact direct patient care, nurses and nursing practice, and organizations and systems to optimize care and drive outstanding clinical outcomes. NACNS is dedicated to advancing CNS practice and education and removing unnecessary and limiting regulatory barriers while assuring public access to quality CNS services. For more information or to join NACNS, click here

About The American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) serves the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy through organizational excellence and effective nursing leadership. The Academy consists of approximately 2,900 Fellows, or members, in the roles of association executives, university presidents, chancellors and deans, elected officials, state and federal political appointees, hospital chief executives and vice presidents for nursing, nurse consultants, and researchers and entrepreneurs. Academy Fellows contribute time and effort to engaging with Fellow members of NACNS as well as health leaders outside the Academy to transform America’s health system. For more information on AAN, click here.

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