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Kathleen M. Fisher Named NLN Ambassador to Drexel University’s College of Nursing & Health Professions Programs

Program Facilitates Communication Between National League for Nursing and Nurse Educators

New York, NY, April 14, 2011 — The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University is pleased to announce that Kathleen M. Fisher, PhD, CRNP, Associate Professor of Nursing, has been appointed by the National League for Nursing to serve as an NLN Ambassador. As a participant in this elite corps, Dr. Fisher will help keep faculty and administration informed about the NLN’s initiatives, grant opportunities, conferences, publications, workshops, and other benefits available to NLN members.

“We created this selective program to make it as easy as possible for nurse faculty and nursing programs at all levels of academia to understand what the NLN has to offer to enhance professional development and status,” explained NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone. “At the same time, we expect the Ambassadors to communicate to NLN professional staff and the board what issues and challenges are of greatest concern to nurse educators in the field so that we can maximize the effectiveness of our programming and services. The Ambassadors are, in effect, the NLN’s ‘eyes and ears’ on campus.”

Kathleen Fisher is a Nurse Researcher at the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University. Following her early years as a Nurse Practitioner, she joined Penn State as an instructor and researcher in 1997, where she was involved in working with the Amish community and observed a high risk of farm injuries among children. Looking for a way to educate these kids and minimize their injury risks, she developed an interactive board game on farm safety that became extremely popular with these children. While still at Penn State, she was instrumental in establishing the South Central Healthcare Quality Unit with the help of grants she received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Kathleen works extensively with the Intellectually Disabled population championing their cause for access to better healthcare and improvement in their Quality of Life.

Kathleen has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NINR) to study decision making by proxy for those with intellectual disabilities. She is also the receipent of funding from the Commonwealth of PA's Health Research Formula Fund i.e. Tobacco Fund to conduct a phenomenological study with parents to assess aging and future planning needs for individuals with intellectual disability. In Nov 2009 she was awarded the International Research Prize for her qualitative study entitled: A content analysis from a US statewide survey of memorable healthcare decisions for individuals with  intellectual disability,"  as this was judged to be the most outstanding contribution among all papers published in the Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability throughout 2009. The Eastern Nursing Research Society awarded Dr Fisher the Suzanne Feetham Nurse Scientist Family Research Award on  March 25, 2010.

It is anticipated that, as do all NLN Ambassadors, Dr. Fisher will encourage colleagues at Drexel Nursing to participate in NLN professional development programs; apply for research grants; submit abstracts for the annual Education Summit and manuscripts to the NLN's peer-reviewed journal, Nursing Education Perspectives; volunteer for task groups and special committees; run for elected office; nominate colleagues for awards; and complete research surveys. She will be prepared to answer any questions other faculty or administrators have about the NLN and, when necessary, refer them to the appropriate NLN staff person.

The NLN Ambassador Program was established in the fall of 2006 with an initial cadre of 126 members who teach in all types of nursing programs –  practical nurse, associate degree, diploma, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral. Today there are over 700 ambassadors representing schools of nursing in 49 states plus Canada, Guam and the Virgin Islands. New ones are appointed twice a year to meet the goal of having one NLN Ambassador in every school of nursing. Observed Dr. Malone, "We are confident that the insights gained through this valuable relationship will help make the NLN more responsive to the needs of our dedicated nurse educators."

For more information about the NLN Ambassador Program, please contact NLN Director, Membership and Excellence Initiatives, Tish Hess, at 212-812-0374 or thess@nln.org.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick, at 212-812-0376 or kklestzick@nln.org.
Dedicated to excellence in nursing education, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 28,000 individual and over 1,100 institutional members.