Three UNC Greensboro School of Nursing faculty members will be inducted later this year as fellows into the American Academy of Nursing, a prestigious honor that recognizes their contributions to health care and the nursing profession.

Kay Cowen, Dr. Laurie Kennedy-Malone, and Dr. Kenneth Rempher were among 250 distinguished nurse leaders from across the country to be selected for the Academy’s 2022 Class of Fellows. They’ll be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 29 during the Academy’s annual Health Policy Conference in Washington DC.

Only 11 nurse leaders in North Carolina were selected this year to be Academy fellows following a competitive, nationwide application process. UNCG was the only in-state university to have as many as three faculty members to earn this honor.

“We are delighted that our colleagues at UNCG have achieved this high honor,” said Dr. Debra J. Barksdale, dean of the School of Nursing. “As a fellows-only organization, induction into the American Academy of Nursing represents one of the highest honors that one can achieve in nursing. We welcome them to the ranks of Spartan FAANs!”

With the addition of the three new inductees, the School of Nursing will have eight Academy fellows on its faculty:

  • Debra J. Barksdale, PhD, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, ANEF, FAAN
  • Kay Cowen, MSN, RN, PED-BC,CNE, ANEF
  • Laurie Kennedy-Malone, PhD, GNP-BC, FAANP, FGSA, FAGHE
  • Heidi Krowchuk, PhD, RN, FAAN (Associate Dean Emeritus)
  • Susan Letvak, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Kenneth Rempher, PhD, RN, MS, MBA, CENP
  • Audrey Snyder, PhD, RN, FAANP, FAEN, FAAN
  • Debra Wallace, PhD, RN, FAAN

Cowen is a clinical professor in the School of Nursing and has been a faculty member for 38 years. She co-authored three nursing textbooks – “Maternal & Child Nursing Care,” “Principles of Pediatric Nursing: Caring for Children,” and “Child Health Nursing: Partnering with Children & Families.” She serves as a co-investigator on a U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal Child Health grant to increase the maternal child workforce. She has published research related to gaming in the classroom and nursing students’ perceptions and expectations of the clinical experience. She recently served on the Society of Pediatric Nurses Pediatric Excellence Task Force that developed a Pediatric Nursing Excellence Model.

Kennedy-Malone has worked as a gerontological nurse practitioner since 1982 and a professor in the School of Nursing since 1990. She’s a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Gerontological Society of America. She was the 2007 recipient of the John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing’s “Geriatric Nursing Faculty Champion.” She received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association in 2020 and Sigma Theta Tau’s Edith Moore Copeland Award for Excellence in Creativity and Innovation in 2021. She co-authored “Integrating Gerontological Content into Advanced Practice Nursing Education” and “Advanced Practice Nursing in the Care of Older Adults.” Both books received an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.

Rempher is a seasoned health care executive and an adjunct professor in the School of Nursing. Over his 30-year career, he has held prominent positions in public and private health care organizations. Most recently, he served as the executive vice president and chief nurse executive at Cone Health, where he had clinical, administration, and operational responsibility for 6,000 nurses and other staff. He previously served as the chief nurse executive and the associate dean for clinical practice at the University of Iowa.

Story by Alex Abrams, School of Nursing