LYNN K. ERDMAN, MN, RN, FAAN, BSN 1977 2015 UNCG School of Nursing Distinguished Alumna


Lynn Erdman, MN, RN, FAAN is the Chief Executive Officer of AWHONN, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses headquartered in Washington, D.C. AWHONN’s mission is to improve and promote the health of women through the lifespan and the health of babies. AWHONN strives to strengthen the nursing profession for 350,000 registered nurses working in women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing nationwide.

With 25 years in the hospital setting and 10 years in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors, Erdman is a highly skilled national leader in the field of nursing. Erdman previously held key senior national leadership positions with three global health organizations: the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen and the American College of Surgeons. Erdman has also served in top leadership positions with several hospitals and healthcare systems including Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health.

Erdman began her nursing career as a neonatal intensive care nurse and later moved into oncology focusing her work in cancer centers supporting women battling cancer. She also worked in women’s health, labor and delivery, high-risk obstetrics, GYN surgery, oncology and hospice care. Erdman has worked in roles including staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, nurse manager, nursing director and vice president in hospital systems. In Charlotte, NC, Erdman was the founding Director of the Presbyterian Cancer Center.

Throughout her career, Erdman has built numerous programs and partnerships to improve women’s health by providing access to care, making legislative changes, leading research studies and implementing prevention, treatment and early detection programs related to cancer. She was the first nurse appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to chair the NC Cancer Board as well as the Cervical Cancer Task Force. Erdman was also the first woman and first nurse to serve as chair of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Committee nationally for the American Cancer Society. She has also served on national boards and task forces for organizations including the American Cancer Society, American College of Surgeons, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Oncology Nursing Society, and Purdue Pharma.

Nationally recognized as an engaging speaker, Erdman has given more than 800 lectures in the U.S. and internationally on topics including women’s health, nurses making a difference and advocacy. Recently, Erdman spoke in India and China, on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court and was interviewed on the TODAY show. She frequently has blog posts published in the Huffington Post and been quoted in the New York Times and Newsweek Magazine.

Erdman earned a MSN the University of South Carolina. Lynn serves on the Board of Visitors at UNCG. Since 1994, Erdman has served as consulting faculty for Duke University’s Graduate School of Nursing.

Erdman received nursing’s top honor by being named a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) due to her nationwide advocacy for preventive care and mentoring opportunities she created for nurses. She has received numerous healthcare awards and been published in multiple nursing and medical journals.

Lynn is married to David Erdman, a prominent Charlotte Attorney and noted historian. They have two grown daughters, a nurse and a teacher.