BSN Alumnae Honored by American Academy of Nursing

OCTOBER 20, 2014 – Two Georgetown nursing graduates were honored last week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Nursing.

Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda (NHS’02), PhD, MPH, RN, CPH, FAAN, was inducted on Saturday as a fellow in the prestigious organization, which includes about 2,220 fellows who lead in education, management, practice, and research.

Bernardine Lacey (NHS’69), EdD, RN, FAAN, already a fellow, was recognized on Thursday as one of four Living Legends honorees.

Living Legends

Lacey served as founding dean of the School of Nursing at Western Michigan University. She earned the Distinguished Alumni Award from the then-School of Nursing at Georgetown in 1993.

The academy noted, in its announcement, that the distinguished Georgetown alumna “started the movement to include care of the underserved in the nursing curriculum. Because of this movement, the profession is better prepared to care for the most vulnerable in our society.”

“I sincerely thank the American Academy of Nursing Board of Directors for this recognition and my sponsors for nominating me for this award,” Lacey says. “I feel honored and humbled for this acknowledgment, but I am most grateful to the patients and clients that I have been privileged to serve over these 52 years. What more can be said for a life well lived?"

Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, the academy’s president, praised the honorees. “While all of the academy’s fellows have made significant contributions to improve health and health care, these four are particularly noteworthy for work that has been impressive, enduring, and historic,” she says.

New Fellow

Gonzalez-Guarda, now an assistant professor at the University of Miami School of Nursing & Health Studies, served as a co-author of the Institute of Medicine/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

“It is a great honor to join the many that I admire and have inspired me in fellowship at the American Academy of Nursing,” says Gonzalez-Guarda, who is pictured with Edilma L. Yearwood, PhD, RN, PMHCNS, BC, FAAN, associate professor of nursing and interim chair of the Department of Nursing at Georgetown. “I am humbled by the recognition and am grateful for educational experiences and mentors who paved the path for me to get here.”

Words of Praise

Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, the interim dean of Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, congratulated the alumnae.

“We are thrilled to see Bernardine and Rosa honored for their work by the American Academy of Nursing,” Cloonan says. “Our alumni make a meaningful impact in many environments. Their leadership to support communities, education, and the nursing profession reflects this university’s and our school’s commitment to the formation of women and men who live generously in service to others.” 

By Bill Cessato