(Oct. 9, 2017) – Two outstanding UTHealth School of Nursing faculty members were inducted as Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) during the same exciting ceremony October 7 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.

Professor of Clinical Nursing Elda G. Ramirez, Ph.D., R.N., Department of Acute and Continuing Care, and Associate Professor Jing Wang, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., Department of Nursing Systems, both achieved membership in the 2017 class of 173 new fellows. Only six other new inductees are from Texas.

“I am proud to welcome this talented cohort of nurses as they join the ranks of the nation’ foremost healthcare thought leaders,” said Academy President Bobbie Berkowitz, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN. “They bring a rich variety of expertise to the table, and we look forward to working with them to transform health policy, practice and research by applying our collective nursing knowledge.”

The total number of Academy fellows stands at over 2,500. With more than 2.8 million registered nurses in the United States, selection is a very high professional honor.

A UTHealth faculty member since 1994, Ramirez has dedicated her career to working collaboratively with emergency care providers and other disciplines to prepare nurse practitioners in the specialty of emergency care. She also is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) and Fellow of the Emergency Nurses Association (FAEN).  Founder of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP), she has received over a million dollars in funding from the State of Texas to educate nurse practitioners in the specialty of emergency care.

“It was an amazing honor to be inducted into the American Academy of Nursing,” said Ramirez. “Wow! – very humbling! I got to meet some of my true nursing heroes.

Wang, who also is an adjunct associate professor in UTHealth’s School of Biomedical Informatics, researches mobile and connected technology to optimize behavioral lifestyle interventions and improve patient-centered outcomes in type 2 diabetes and obesity, especially among the underserved communities. She is a Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Macy Faculty Scholar (2016-18) and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar Program (2013-16). She joined the UTHealth nursing school faculty in 2011

Selection criteria as an Academy Fellow include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current Fellows. Ninety percent of the Fellows are doctorally prepared. Applicants are reviewed by a panel, and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing career “influenced health policies and the health and well-being of all.” New Fellows may use the credentials FAAN (Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing) after their induction.

In addition to 2017 inductees Wang and Ramirez, 11 other current faculty members of the UTHealth School of Nursing are FAAN-designated.