Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member to receive distinguished alumna award

09/26/05

NEWARK, N.J. Illinois Wesleyan University School of Nursing will present its Distinguished Alumna Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice, Education and Research to Wendy Nehring, associate dean for academic affairs, at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The awards ceremony will take place at the university's Beckman Lecture Hall, Center for Natural Science, Bloomington, IL on Oct. 8.

Nehring, who is also the director of the graduate program and associate professor, is receiving the award for her continuous contributions to research on nursing practice concerning persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Her research in I/DD includes the history of nursing in the field of I/DD, developmental and health experiences of adults with neural tube defects and of adults with Down syndrome, children and families with HIV/AIDS, the experiences of nurses in developmental centers who are being downsized, and pretend play in preschoolers with Down syndrome.

"I am honored to receive this award from my alma mater,"said Nehring, a Clifton, N.J. resident. "I am very pleased that my colleagues believe that my research has contributed to the betterment of healthcare for persons with I/DD."

This year, Nehring co-authored the book, "Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Nursing: Scope & Standards of Practice," (2004, American Nurses Association and the American Association on Mental Retardation), which addresses the role of nurses who specialize in I/DD. She also edited the book, "Core Curriculum for Specializing in Intellectual and Developmental Disability," (2005, Jones and Bartlett Publishers), in which interdisciplinary authors addressed topics on health care of persons with I/DD of all ages.

Nehring also edited the book, "Health Promotions for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities," which summarizes scientific data on 14 topics pertaining to the health and well being of persons with I/DD. It will be published by the American Association of Mental Retardation in the fall.

Nehring has received many honors including a Teaching Recognition Program Award from the Council of Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois at Chicago (1997), and the Young Investigator Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society, Pediatric Section (1997).

Nehring has served as the National Nursing Division President (1992-1994) and is currently serving as a board member for the American Association on Mental Retardation (2003-present). She also has served as the second Vice President (1991-1994) and as a member of the Board of Directors (1990-1998) of the National Association for Down Syndrome. She is also a Fellow of the American Association on Mental Retardation and of the American Academy of Nursing.

She was an invited participant at the Surgeon General's Conference on Health Disparities and Mental Retardation (2001), the Invitational Conference on Health Disparities and Developmental Disabilities in Wisconsin (2002), and was asked to present her work on health promotion for persons with I/DD for the President's Committee for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (2005).

Nehring is listed in the Who's Who in American Nurses, Who's Who in American Women, Who's Who in the Midwest, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World.

Before coming to Rutgers College of Nursing in 2003, she was acting associate dean for educational services, director of undergraduate programs and a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing at Edwardsville, IL.

From its headquarters at Rutgers Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master's program with unique practitioner specialties and the only doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.

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