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Ada Sue Hinshaw to Receive Honorary Degree at Penn Commencement

In recognition of her pioneering nursing research, Ada Sue Hinshaw, RN, PhD, FAAN, will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Sciences degree at Penn’s Commencement on Monday, May 15, 2017.

With a career that spans over 50 years, Hinshaw is known as one of the nursing field’s most impactful leaders and was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing in 2011. She is Dean Emerita of the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences as well as the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing.

“It is safe to say that the accomplishments of every nurse scientist for the past three decades, and of those well into the future, can attribute their success directly to Dr. Ada Sue Hinshaw’s service to the nursing profession. Her accomplishments ensure that nursing science will remain impactful for generations to come,” says Penn Nursing’s Dean Antonia Villaruel.

Her research on quality of care, patient outcomes, and positive nursing work environments has led to fundamental policy improvements in the field. The first permanent director of the National Center of Nursing Research and the first director of the National Institute of Nursing Research at NIH, Hinshaw was instrumental in establishing dedicated nursing research funding in the U.S. “Moving nursing research to the NIH was highly controversial even after approved by Congress. As the first permanent director, Dr. Hinshaw’s leadership was critical in translating nursing science into measureable improvement in healthcare outcomes not previously the focus of NIH research. Access to NIH nursing research funding contributed significantly to ensuring the future of nursing education in the nation’s leading research intensive universities like Penn,” says Linda Aiken, who holds joint appointments at Penn as the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing and as Professor of Sociology in the School of Arts & Sciences.

In 2008, Hinshaw left retirement to head USU’s Graduate School of Nursing, launching the Faye Glenn Abdellah Center for Military and Federal Health Care Research, supporting research and evidence-based practices for the care of the deployed, the wounded and their families. She received her B.S. from the University of Kansas, her M.S.N. from Yale University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arizona. She is a past president of the American Academy of Nursing, and a former member of the Institute of Medicine and its governing council, and serves on many study panels, task forces, and advisory boards. Hinshaw has received numerous awards, including the Nursing Research Society Lifetime Achievement Award and the United States Public Health Service’s Health Leader of the Year Award.

As Mary Naylor, the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at Penn Nursing affirms, “Our community is enormously proud that Ada Sue Hinshaw—a visionary, pioneer and leader in nursing research—will receive an honorary degree at Penn’s commencement this May.”