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Distinguished Nurse Researcher

Since 1980, the Foundation of New York State Nurses has sponsored a program to recognize nurse researchers who conduct studies that contribute to the advancement of nursing and patient care. Since its inception, many New York nurse researchers have been honored. These scholars have created a legacy of leadership and scholarship which continues to inspire programs of nursing research. (Note: current members of the Center for Nursing at the Foundation of New York State Nurses Cathryne A. Welch Center for Nursing Research and the Research Fellowship are ineligible to be nominated or to participate in the nomination process.) This award is conferred biennially (2017, 2019, etc. ).

Distinguished Nurse Researcher

Licensed registered nurse, doctorally prepared, who has obtained at least one degree, either a baccalaureate degree or higher, in nursing and –

  • 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.

Criteria for the award include:

  • Evidence of a coherent research program;
  • Evidence of leadership in nursing research;
  • Quality of research;
  • Contribution to the science and art of nursing and health care; and
  • Dissemination of research to the scientific and clinical communities.


Nomination packets can be found on this website. Applications are due in April and the Steering Committee makes a recommendation to the Foundation Board of Trustees in June.


2017 Distinguished Nurse Researcher Awardee

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.



Previous Distinguished Nurse Researcher Awardee

2017 Hyekyun Rhee, PhD, PNP, FAAN
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
1985 none
1984 none
1983 Marlyn T. Oberst, EdD, RN
1982 Carol N. Hoskins, PhD, RN
1981 Jean E. Johnson, PhD, RN
1980 Judith A. Sullivan, EdD, RN