Suzanne C. Smeltzer, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN has been inducted into the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education, with the credential of “Fellow.” She joins the academy’s 202 fellows representing nursing schools and programs throughout the United States. Dr. Smeltzer is professor and director of the Villanova University College of Nursing Center for Nursing Research. The induction, in recognition of her scholarly work on behalf of people with disabilities, took place on October 2, during the NLN 2015 Education Summit in Las Vegas.
Dr. Smeltzer has worked for over twenty years to address the health issues of people with disabilities through education, research, and advocacy. She has brought attention to the need for the nursing profession and nursing faculty to prepare undergraduate and nurse practitioner students to provide high quality and sensitive care to people with disability.
Along with a group of Villanova nursing faculty, Dr. Smeltzer has developed and implemented a program that utilizes standardized patients with disabilities to teach nursing students about disability. The students are taught about disability by the experts: those living day to day with a disability. The project team recently received an Inglis 2015 Award for Continuing Excellence for their work in advancing health care for this underserved group. The Inglis Award will support Villanova’s leadership role in taking this issue to the national level in collaboration with the National League for Nursing. Dr. Smeltzer has published and presented widely on the topic of disability and has received several awards related to her work on this topic.
The NLN established the Academy of Nursing Education in 2007 to foster excellence in nursing education by recognizing and capitalizing on the wisdom of nurse educators who have made sustained and significant contributions to nursing education. Fellows provide leadership in nursing education and in the Academy of Nursing Education, and support the vision of the NLN to promote standards of excellence in nursing education. Fellows serve as important role models and resources for new educators and for those who aspire to become nurse educators.