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OU College of Nursing Announces Distinguished Alumni

The Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center will recognize two graduates as inaugural recipients of the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award during a day of alumni events on October 27th, 2017.

The College of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumni award was established by the college and the Alumni Board of Directors to recognize graduates who demonstrate “outstanding leadership related to the field of nursing or health care” and who have made “significant clinical, academic, research, or other contributions to nursing or health care on a local, state, national, or international level.”

A reception honoring this year’s recipients will be hosted the evening of October 27th as part of the University of Oklahoma’s Homecoming Weekend festivities. Earlier in the day, alumni will be invited back to campus for Continuing Education opportunities. A full schedule of events will be released later this year.

The 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are:

Cole Edmonson, R.N.Dr. Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, FAAN

Dr. Cole Edmonson is chief nursing officer (CNO) at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from OU in 1992, followed by the Master of Science in Nursing in 1997. He completed a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Texas Christian University in 2011. Dr. Edmonson’s distinguished career includes selection as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the American College of Healthcare Executives, recognition as a Dallas - Ft. Worth Great 100 Nurse, the Nursing Management Visionary Leader award, and selection as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow, among numerous other honors. Frequently asked to present on topics in nursing and healthcare nationally, Dr. Edmonson is a leader in advocating for nurses and health, elected to the American Organization of Nurse Executives Board and is the creator of a national movement to increase civility and prevent bullying in healthcare through education, awareness and research. Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN

Dr. Janie Heath is the Dean and Warwick Endowed Professor of Nursing at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She completed her Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Specialist focus, at the University of Oklahoma in 1991. She previously obtained her BSN from Cameron University and went on to earn Nurse Practitioner certification from the University of South Carolina and a PhD in Nursing Science from George Mason University. With more than 38 years of experience across the spectrum of nursing, Dr. Heath is a noted national leader. She has served as a board member for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, chaired the Beacons of Leadership Initiative in Pursuit of Healthy Work Environments, and founded the Nurses for Tobacco Control national coalition for nurse educators. She has been honored as a Fellow in the National Academy of Practice and the American Academy of Nursing, along with numerous other honors. 


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