Two College of Nursing Faculty Become American Academy of Nursing Fellows

By Spencer Watson

Jones and Lefler are two of 230 highly distinguished national and international nursing leaders selected by the academy for its 2020 class and the only two registered nurses from Arkansas chosen. They were honored at the academy’s annual Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference, which took place virtually October 29-31, 2020.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by peers for the work you do to contribute to the advancement of the profession, and I hope to advocate for that work as we shape national policy and practices in nursing,” said Jones.

Her research has focused on the psychological effects of violence and trauma and her recent work explores the mental health needs of first responders.

“I’m grateful to be elected to this prestigious organization of nursing leaders and will be proud to represent UAMS and Arkansas as a Fellow of the Academy,” said Lefler.

Lefler’s research is focused on improving the health and well-being of older adults, with a specific interest in treatment and prevention of heart disease.

Jones and Lefler join UAMS colleagues Patricia Cowan, Ph.D., RN, and Melodee Harris, Ph.D., RN, and Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., RN, and Claudia Beverly, Ph.D., RN, professors emerita, as fellows in the American Academy of Nursing.

The Academy is comprised of more than 2,600 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary commitment to the promotion of the public’s health through evidence and innovation.

Through a competitive and rigorous process, a committee of elected Fellows reviews hundreds of applications. The new Fellows were selected based on their impressive contributions to increase access, reduce cost and improve quality through nursing theory, practice and science. Induction into the academy is a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career where their accomplishments are honored by those within the nursing discipline.

“I am honored to welcome this exceptional class to the American Academy of Nursing. Their work, across many fields of expertise, exemplifies the power of nursing knowledge in creating meaningful change,” said Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx, Ph.D., RN. “As a policy organization, we strive to improve health and achieve health equity through nursing leadership, innovation, and science. Growing the Academy’s Fellowship bolsters our collective strength and further enables us to meet our policy priorities. Now, more than ever, our collaboration is critical and I am excited to congratulate this dynamic class of Fellows during the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.”