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Jane Barnsteiner to Receive American Academy of Nursing’s Highest Honor

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has named Jane H. Barnsteiner, PhD, RN, FAAN, a Living Legend for her significant contributions to nursing and health care over the course of her career. The official designation will be made at a ceremony during the AAN’s 2022 Health Policy Conference, taking place on October 27-29, 2022, at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. This year’s conference – From Reflection to Impact: Positioning Nursing Future – will be in-person only with no virtual option. This is the Academy’s highest honor.

“Dr. Barnsteiner spent three decades of her career at Penn in various roles—and left an indelible mark at Penn Nursing, with our clinical partners at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and on the impactful teaching, scholarship, and practice excellence for which we are known,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel. “Her passion for pediatric nursing and patient safety has had an impact on health care that cannot be understated. She is also a Penn Nursing alum, and we take great pride in her incredible accomplishments and impact.”

Barnsteiner is Professor Emerita at Penn Nursing and editor of the Translational Research and Quality Improvement for the American Journal of Nursing (AJN). She previously served as Director of Nursing for Translational Research at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and as Director of Nursing Practice and Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is internationally recognized as a leader in quality, safety, and evidence-based practice. Two common threads throughout her career are that she has straddled service and academia to ensure that practice is evidence-based and that education is relevant to practice. Additionally, she is known as an early thought leader in developing and implementing innovative programs to improve quality and safety.

Barnsteiner began her practice as a pediatric nurse and launched many innovations to help children with complex health issues, such as creating the first pediatric critical care advanced practice program in the world; developing the first course on caring for medically fragile children in the community; and being among the first to bring technology-dependent children and their families into the classroom to share their experiences first-hand with students. She also co-authored, Person and Family Centered Care, which received an AJN Book of the Year Award.

Barnsteiner was instrumental in the development of the Quality and Safety in Nursing Education (QSEN) initiative that outlined the competencies needed to be taught in schools to prepare nurses for entry into practice. Since the launch of the initiative, she has been an international leader in disseminating the QSEN framework. She co-led curriculum development and taught at eleven national QSEN Institutes, educating 1,500 faculty about the QSEN competencies and strategies for integrating them into curricula. She collaborated with clinical leaders to help incorporate QSEN principles into orientation, clinical advancement, and clinical research. She has provided dozens of consultations on evidence-based practice, quality patient care, and curricular reform in numerous international settings. She co-edited all three editions of Quality and Safety in Nursing, with both editions receiving AJN’s Book of the Year awards. These texts have been translated into four languages.

Barnsteiner co-led a funded national survey of nursing schools on nursing student errors and near-misses that documented the policies and practices schools had in place or lacked in terms of addressing safety, errors, and near-misses. She and colleagues then designed and tested a national database which the National Council for State Boards of Nursing acquired to track trends and errors made by nursing students. She has often been honored for her work; including with the Eastern Nursing Research Society Distinguished Researcher Award; Sigma’s Dorothy Garrigus Adams Award for Excellence in Fostering Professional Standards; the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania; and the Alumni Award for Distinguished Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Michigan School of Nursing and the Robert Wears Patient Safety Award from Jacksonville University. She was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in 1991. She received her diploma from Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia, a BSN and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from the University of Michigan.