(May 6, 2021) – Susan D. Ruppert, PhD, RN, FNP-C, ANP-BC, has added the prestigious Minnie Stevens Piper Professor award to the long list of honors she has received in her more than three decades at Cizik School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). She is the school’s associate dean for graduate studies as well as a PARTNERS Endowed Professor in Nursing.
Ten Piper Professors are selected each year from among educators nominated by colleges and universities throughout Texas. Each receives an honorarium from the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in recognition of their effectiveness and dedication to teaching. Several UTHealth educators have received the award since the program was established in 1958, but Ruppert is the first Cizik School of Nursing faculty member to be honored.
“It has been my great privilege to work alongside and learn from Dr. Ruppert over the years,” said Dean Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN. “No one is more deserving of this tremendous honor. Dr. Ruppert has helped prepare thousands of students for meaningful careers in nursing, and her contributions have helped make Cizik School of Nursing the highly respected institution it is today.”
Ruppert joined Cizik School of Nursing in 1989 as an assistant professor and continuing education coordinator. She became an associate professor in 1994 and a full professor of clinical nursing in 2008. She held several leadership positions in the school’s acute and adult/gerontology primary care nurse practitioner tracks and the MSN program before assuming her current role as associate dean for graduate studies.
Her many honors throughout the years include a University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and induction into The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, M.D. Academy of Health Science Education as a Distinguished Teaching Professor. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Critical Care Medicine, and National Academies of Practice.
After beginning her career in the Midwest as an associate degree nurse and then earning her BSN from Northern Illinois University, Ruppert moved to Texas. She earned her MSN from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and received her PhD from Texas Woman’s University before completing a post-graduate family nurse practitioner program at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She is certified as both a family nurse practitioner and an adult nurse practitioner.
Ruppert’s contributions to nursing education extend beyond Texas as far as Oman and Hong Kong, where she has served as a national/international practice and education consultant. She has also been a textbook editor/contributor, serves as an editorial board member/reviewer and author for numerous journals, and has been editor-in-chief of The Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice since 1997.
Ruppert has held numerous national leadership positions within professional organizations. She is a past chair of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of Commissioners. She also served on CCNE Accreditation Review Committee as Co-Chair and on the CCNE Standards Committee. She currently is Co-Chair of the CCNE Nurse Practitioner Residency/Fellowship Standards Committee and member of the Report Review Committee, Vice-Chair of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) Board of Commissioners, and member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials Revision Task Force. She is also a member of the Texas Center of Nursing Workforce Studies Advisory Committee.