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Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award

The Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award is given biennially, in odd years, to a nurse researcher who conducts studies that contribute to the advancement of nursing and patient care. (Note: current members of the Cathryne A. Welch Center for Nursing Research and Research Fellows are ineligible to be nominated or to participate in the nomination process).


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Licensed registered nurse, doctorally prepared, who has obtained at least one degree, either a baccalaureate degree or higher, in nursing;
  • Has data-based publications in peer-reviewed journals/publications which demonstrate a coherent research program;
  • Demonstrates quality and leadership in health care research which contribute to the science and art of nursing and health care;
  • Disseminates the findings of her/his research to the scientific and clinical communities;
  • As principal investigator, has consistently received substantial funding since completion of the doctorate.


Click here to download the Distinguished Nurse Researcher Application



Current Distinguished Nurse Researcher Awardee


2017 – Hyekyun Rhee, PhD, PNP, FAAN


Hyekyun Rhee is a Professor and Endowed Chair of Nursing Science at the University of Rochester School of Nursing.  Dr. Rhee’s research addresses interventions to promote effective asthma self-management that could lead to the improvement of asthma outcomes and quality of life in adolescents.  She leads a large NIH-funded multi-site project implementing a peer-led asthma self-management program that capitalizes on adolescents’ peer dynamics.  Her earlier NIH-funded study has led to a development of an innovative device, an Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring, that addresses adolescents’ poor symptom perception and enables objective and continuous symptom monitoring on a daily basis.  Her invention has garnered several national and international recognitions for its innovativeness and potential to change asthma outcomes.  The device is being ready for commercialization.  She has also developed a mobile phone-based asthma self-management aid that supports comprehensive domains of asthma self-management and facilitates parent-teen partnerships.

The impact of her work has occurred in the fields of academia and clinical practice.  Her research publications have been actively cited in journals representing a variety of disciplines including nursing, medicine, psychology, and engineering.  Her developmentally sensitive and innovative approaches to asthma self-management have inspired many researchers globally and contributed to the advancement of the state of science in asthma management and patient care.  Dr. Rhee received her BSN from Catholic University in Seoul, Korea, her MS/PNP from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Past Distinguished Nurse Researcher Awardees

2015 – Veronica D. Feeg, PhD, RN, FAAN
2013 – Deborah Chyun, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
2011 – Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM, FAAN
2010 – Nancy M. Watson, PhD, RN, FGSA
2009 – Gail D’Eramo Melkus, EdD,RN, C-NP, FAAN
2008 – Patricia W. Stone, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
2007 – Mary W. Byrne, PhD, MPH, FAAN
2006 – Hong Li, PhD, RN
2006 – Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN
2005 – Keville Frederickson, EdD, RN, FAAN
2004 – Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RNC, WHNP
2003 – Joyce K. Anastasi, PhD, RN, FAAN, LAc
2002 – Jean K. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN
2001 – Margaret Lunney, PhD, RN, CS
2000 – Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN-CS, PNP
1999 – Sandra Graham McClowry, PhD, RN, FAAN
1998 – Lillie M. Shortridge-Baggett, EdD, RN, FAAN
1997 – Judith Gedney Baggs, PhD, RN
1996 – Terry T. Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN
1995 – Elizabeth A. M. Barrett, PhD, RN, FAAN
1994 – Christine T. Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN
1993 – Kathleen B. King, PhD, RN
1992 – Susan E. Pollock, PhD, RN, FAAN
1991 – Bethel A. Powers, PhD, RN
1990 – Ellen M. Baer, PhD, RN
1989 – Thelma J. Wells, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN
1988 – Madeline H. Schmitt, PhD, RN, FAAN
1987 – Wanda C. Hiestand, EdD, RN
1986 – Marlene Ventura, EdD, RN, FAAN
1983 – Marlyn T. Oberst, EdD, RN
1982 – Carol N. Hoskins, PhD, RN
1981 – Jean E. Johnson, PhD, RN
1980 – Judith A. Sullivan, EdD, RN