MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A West Virginia University School of Nursing faculty member has been selected to receive one of the highest honors bestowed on any nursing professional. Laurie Badzek, R.N., J.D., has been selected as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN).

The professor and nurse attorney will be inducted as a fellow Oct. 15 at the Academy’s 38th Annual Meeting and Conference in Washington, D.C. With 142 nurse leaders selected to receive the designation this year, the 2011 class of inductees is the largest class of fellows.

“Selection for membership in the Academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing,” Academy President Catherine L. Gilliss, D.N.Sc., said. “Academy fellows are truly experts. The Academy Fellowship represents the nation’s top nurse researchers, policymakers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners.”

Badzek teaches nursing, ethics, law and health policy and has practiced in a variety of nursing and law positions. She was appointed to the West Virginia State Guardianship Commission in 1989 and to the West Virginia Catastrophic Illness Commission in 1999. The Guardianship Commission has been instrumental in the development and passage of legislation on advance directives, guardianship and other issues related to end-of-life care. Badzek served as the primary recorder and drafter on a number of bills that were ultimately enacted by the legislature.

Badzek currently serves as director of the American Nurse Association’s Center for Ethics and Human Rights and is an active researcher, investigating ethical and legal health care issues. She is also director of the WVU School of Nursing’s Appalachian Quality of Life Institute.

“It’s what you work for all your life,” Badzek said. “I’ve been at WVU for 20 years and working incredibly hard the entire time I’ve been here. It’s really exciting that other people recognize and value what I have accomplished.”

The Academy’s approximately 1,600 fellows have been chosen from among the best nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research. The selection of an AAN fellow is not just a measure of one’s accomplishments; the fellowship formally commits the honoree to the responsibility of transforming our health care system for the greater good.

For more information: Leigh Limerick, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
lal: 10-10-11