PHILADELPHIA — Six Penn nurses have been selected as fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). The Academy consists of more than 2,200 nurse leaders including hospital and government administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers. Those selected demonstrated significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current Academy fellows.

The Penn inductees include:

  • Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC, NEA-BC, director of diversity and inclusion, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, is also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow (2012-2015). She strives to foster environments at Penn that embrace diversity, support inclusion, and provide culturally competent health care to all patients.
  • Deborah Becker, PhD, ACNP, BC, associate professor of nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.  Becker oversees implementation of the adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner curriculum, advises students, and teaches clinical seminar courses. Becker is actively involved in expansion of the scope of practice and role of the adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. She is also division chair of the Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning and Simulation; responsible for overseeing integration of simulation into undergrad and graduate curricula.
  • Regina S. Cunningham, PhD, RN, AOCN, chief nurse executive, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Cunningham is also adjunct associate professor of nursing in Penn’s School of Nursing. As Chief Nurse Executive, Cunningham leads broad strategic and operational functions in nursing, including developing professional practice standards and guidelines, outpatient and inpatient transitions of care, oversight of quality initiatives, and strengthening the integration of scholarly development within nursing practice.
  • Mary Kate FitzPatrick, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, ACNP-BC, clinical director of neurosciences, women's health & neonatal nursing, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Fitzpatrick is clinical director for neuroscience care and women's health & neonatal nursing and interim director for advanced practice on HUP’s senior leadership team, a 2014-2017 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, and past president of the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN). Fitzpatrick’s expertise covers diverse areas but focuses on trauma system development & policy setting, and leading innovations in peer review models for nurses.
  • Ann Kutney-Lee, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; Kutney-Lee’s scholarship is focused on the effects of nursing care organization on health outcomes. Her work has provided critical, cutting-edge research evidence to stakeholders on promising strategies for improving patient outcomes through investments in nursing.
  • William F. McCool, PhD, CNM, CRNP, RN, midwife director at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Midwifery Graduate Program in University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing; McCool’s emphases in teaching include the need for health care practitioners’ influence in public policy and development of the professional identity for midwives and women's health care nurse practitioners. His research focuses on experiences of pregnant and laboring women, especially as related to the role of stress, and experiences of midwives and traditional birth attendants who care to these women, particularly with regard to recovering from unexpected adverse health outcomes.

This year, the AAN selected 168 nurse leaders based on their leadership in education, management, policy, and efforts to improve health.

Applicants are reviewed by a panel comprised of elected and appointed fellows. Selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing career has influenced health policies and the health and wellbeing of all. New fellows will be eligible to use the credentials FAAN (fellow of the American Academy of Nursing) after their induction in October during the Academy’s 2014 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference on October 18, 2014, in Washington, DC.

The American Academy of Nursing works to advance health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy's more than 2,200 fellows are among nursing's most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research.

For the full list of inductees, see the AAN release.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.