Paulina Van Named Prestigious American Academy of Nursing Fellow

Talya Sanders

Professor Paulina Van was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing’s newest class of fellows, recognizing her substantial, sustained, and global impact on nursing.

“As a member of the Academy, I now have more learning and diverse mentoring opportunities, and access to sit at the table and contribute to decision making that will have a long-lasting impact on healthcare and health equity,” said Van, who was honored last month at the Academy’s annual health policy conference in Washington, D.C.

As an AAN fellow, she joins more than 3,000 nurse leaders from around the world committed to changing nursing locally and globally in the areas of practice, policy, education, and research. “There’s something special about belonging to a community of like-minded nurse leaders with the same drive and energy, and that can lead to more innovation,” said Van. She is eager to join AAN expert panels focusing on maternal health, theory development, and mental health, as well as to nominate colleagues for the fellowship. 

Van first joined Samuel Merritt University’s faculty in 2007, after two decades in executive-level positions in acute care, home care, and public health. Her research focuses on maternal-child health, and she is renowned for developing a model for coping after pregnancy loss. Last year as a research fellow for the provost, she developed a comprehensive report assessing and recommending a research infrastructure at SMU. Mentoring is a core component of her work, from her numerous individual relationships with students to serving as the first principal investigator of SMU’s Nursing Workforce Diversity grant, overseeing $1.835 million in federal grant funds to grow the number of African American and Latinx nurses practicing in the Bay Area and beyond. Her recent work in mental health includes authoring a book of poetry used by healthcare providers, teachers, and lay people to promote healing. 

Celeste + Paulina
Dr. Celeste Villanueva pictured with Dr. Paulina Van

“Dr. Van has had a long and distinguished career as a nurse clinician, clinical nurse leader, academic nursing leader, scholar, advocate, innovator, and entrepreneur — all while serving as a mentor to countless nursing students and colleagues,” said Celeste Villanueva, who recently retired after 27 years as an SMU educator and administrator. “The fellowship application process is rigorous and competitive, and Dr. Van’s selection as a fellow is a reflection of her excellence.” 

“This recognition means so much to me professionally and personally. It’s the pinnacle of my career,” said Van. 

“It’s so special being awarded this recognition while a member of the SMU family because I’m sharing the spotlight with an organization that has been an innovative trailblazer in education of nursing and other health care professionals.”

You May Also Like:

View all news