Two Alumnae to be Inducted to the American Academy of Nursing

Two Pitt Nursing alumnae are among those who will be inducted as fellows to the American Academy of Nursing this week. Theresa Brown (BSN ’07) and Debra Thompson (BSN ’77, MSN ’81, PhD ’10) each were selected for induction at the academy’s 2019 conference.

Brown is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, for which she writes about nursing and health care. Her opinion series, “Bedside,” examined health care from a nurse’s point of view. One of her columns for The New York Times “Well” blog earned Brown an invitation to the White House, where President Obama quoted her in defense of the Affordable Care Act.

She has written for, The Journal of the American Medical Association,, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and has a quarterly column in The American Journal of Nursing called “What I’m Reading,” that discusses books of interest to nurses. Brown speaks nationally on topics relating to nursing, health care and end of life. Her first book, Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between, is used as a textbook at schools of nursing around the country.

Thompson is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association and serves as a vice president. She is chief executive officer of Debra N. Thompson, LLC and holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the School of Nursing.  In 2013, Thompson founded The Newmeyer-Thompson Doctoral Student Award at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

She has expertise in leadership development, patient safety, and quality improvement, and has extensive experience in using Toyota Production Systems/Lean within health care to improve safety, quality, and care outcomes. She works with a variety of health care organizations nationally and internationally to apply these principles. Thompson is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and served as a member of the Foundation Education Committee and the Patient Safety and Quality Committee. Thompson has been involved with the Center for Evidence Based Management since its inception. She is past president, Eta Chapter of Sigma International, and is the current vice president.

Induction into the academy is a selective and prestigious honor for nurse leaders. Fewer than 250 individuals were selected for 2019, representing 38 states, the District of Columbia, and 17 countries.


Creating Bonds Beyond Belief

Tracy Floyd (BSN ’91) didn’t know Carla Jackson (CGS ’91) well when the two were at Pitt for their undergraduate degrees. But that didn’t stop Floyd from giving Jackson a kidney.

Read Floyd’s story in Pitt Magazine. 


Support Young Alumni and the Next Generation of Nurses

The University of Pittsburgh and the Pitt Alumni Association are launching a new program: Pitt Commons! You can sign up for The Pitt Nursing Professional Alumni Society where alumni will be able to view resources from the School of Nursing, connect and network with other Pitt nurses, and share interesting industry content with one another on your networks discussion boards.

The Pitt Nursing Professional Alumni Society is open to all nurses (and aspiring nurses) in the Pitt Community, not just Pitt School of Nursing alumni. This group will also connect you to your classmates and help mentor our next generation of nurses. Sign up here!


Doctoral Graduate First Recipient of Joint Fellowship

Recent PhD graduate Letitia Graves was chosen as one of the three Future of Nursing Scholars from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Graves was the first scholar awarded a joint postdoctoral fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

As part of this prize, she will receive $50,000 from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support her postdoctoral research. She will complete her project, “Gene Expression of Symptom Emergency Following Tissue Injury” at the NINR.

Graves graduated in August.


New Methodology Course Now Available

A new learning opportunity is now available through the Department of Professional Development and Continuing Nursing Education. “Methodologies for Improving Health Outcomes” focuses on the knowledge and skills about methodologies frequently used to conduct Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) projects, specifically, quality improvement, program evaluation, surveillance, and N of 1 projects.

The five-part, online series includes a one-hour Introduction module to set the stage for discussion of the four methodologies. One-hour modules on the four methodologies follow, which cover essential content along with application in a published project. The information will be useful for nurses advising DNP students and collaborating with DNP graduates, as well as advanced practice nurses who want to expand their skill set to participate in and/or lead efforts to improve health outcomes.

The course presenter is Elizabeth Schlenk, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

Registration information may be found on the CE webpage