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SIUE program director honored as Nurse of Year

Eight Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing faculty and students were honored as finalists during the March of Dimes’ eighth annual Nurse of the Year Awards Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel.

Each year, the March of Dimes presents awards across 20 clinical and practice specialties to extraordinary nurses in the area who go above and beyond to deliver compassionate care. By promoting nurses that exemplify enduring care, compassion, intelligence and unique skills, the organization supports the critical role that nurses play in advancing the mission of the March of Dimes, which is to lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies.

SIUE was a platinum sponsor of the event. Additionally, School of Nursing Dean Laura Bernaix, PhD, RN, acted as co-chair.

“It is a great honor to have so many of our SIUE School of Nursing faculty and students recognized at this prestigious event,” said Bernaix. “We are proud of their contributions to the nursing profession and for their commitment to the mission and values of SIUE.”

This year, Frank Lyerla, PhD, RN, director of SIUE’s online master’s of healthcare informatics program, was honored as the Nurse of the Year in the category of clinical informatics. As associate professor of primary care and health systems nursing, he specializes in adult medical and surgical nursing, critical care nursing, and nursing informatics. In addition to his expertise, he has contributed to knowledge available within the field by conducting research on nursing clinical decision support systems and nursing electronic medical record usability protocols.

“The March of Dimes is a wonderful organization with several campaigns purposed with improving the lives of infants and children,” said Lyerla. “I am honored to be selected as the nurse of the year for my work in SIUE’s master of science in healthcare informatics. Our program is preparing students to be innovative leaders using technology and information management to improve outcomes.”

Finalists were chosen in April from a pool of 870 nursing nominees within the region. Additional SON faculty and students were recognized among 172 finalists in the following categories:

•             Advanced practice: Greg Jennings, lecturer, family health and community health nursing

•             Critical care: Wendy Hochreiter, assistant professor, primary care and health systems nursing

•             Nursing education: Emily York, instructor, family health and community health nursing

•             General medical care: Katie Wollerman, lecturer, primary care and health systems nursing

•             Pediatrics: Mollie Ring, lecturer, family health and community health nursing

•             Student Nurse: Emily Hartmann, BS Nursing, ‘19

•             Student nurse: Grant Herring, BS Nursing, ‘19


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