Two UA Nursing Professors Inducted into Prestigious Western Academy of Nurses

Apr 14, 2014

On April 10, two leading nurse scholars at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, Marylyn M. McEwen, PhD, PHCNS-BC, FAAN, associate professor, and Kate G. Sheppard, PhD, RN, FNP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, clinical associate professor, were inducted as Fellows into the Western Academy of Nurses.

Established in 1989 by the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN), the Western Academy of Nurses recognizes and honors nurses who have achieved superior accomplishments in the realm of direct care nursing practice, education or research.

About Dr. McEwen:
For more than 20 years, Dr. McEwen has promoted health in Mexican-Americans who reside in the U.S.-Mexico border region through community-based interventions and participatory research, among other activities. Dr. McEwen uniquely contributes to the body of knowledge about the context in which type 2 diabetes is managed by persons of Mexican origin along the border.

To advance her work, Dr. McEwen was awarded a $1.8 million, five-year grant from the  National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities titled “Decreasing Diabetes Disparities: Building Mexican American Family Social Capital.” In the U.S.-Mexico border region where type 2 diabetes occurrence is higher than the U.S. national rates for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, she seeks to build family capacity for improved diabetes management and to decrease diabetes health disparities among individuals of Mexican origin.

As the co-principal investigator on an Interdisciplinary Rural Health Training Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for 12 years, Dr. McEwen has an exceptional record of mentoring nursing and other health professions students to provide culturally relevant interventions in the Arizona-Sonora border region.
Dr. McEwen mentors Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) candidates, emphasizing health disparities, community-based interventions and qualitative methodologies.

About Dr. Sheppard:
Dr. Sheppard’s excellence as a nurse educator and practice innovator has been demonstrated by her position as the sole provider in clinical practice in rural northeastern California and her selection to receive the 2012 Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award from the UA College of Nursing.  

Dr. Sheppard focuses her research on compassion fatigue among nurses, which according to available literature, affects 30 to 90 percent of nurses, depending on the specialty in which they practice. Compassion fatigue occurs when being a health-care provider creates more sadness, stress or exhaustion than satisfaction, and providers begin to forego their own self-care.

Through the support of an American Nurse Practitioner Foundation research grant and the UA College of Nursing Laurence B. Emmons Research Award, Dr. Sheppard has developed a program of compassion fatigue awareness and training, which has been integrated into the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum. In the program, clinicians learn about three key concepts: burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion satisfaction, and practice strategies for heightened self-awareness of physical and mental discomfort and reflection on key triggers.

Dr. Sheppard is the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specialty coordinator and teaches advanced practice courses. She mentors Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) candidates, with an emphasis on mental health.

Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information about the college, please visit its website,


Original Story Link: