School of Nursing dean named a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing

SAN ANTONIO (July 28, 2009) — Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has been named a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in the field of nursing.

Dean Breslin, who also serves as the Dr. Patty L. Hawken Endowed Professor in the Department of Family Nursing Care, will be inducted during the academy’s 26th annual meeting and conference Nov. 7 in Atlanta, Ga.

Since joining the Health Science Center in April 2008, Dean Breslin has focused on addressing the national nursing shortage, updating and improving the School of Nursing curricula, laying the groundwork to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and improving the quality of care in South Texas through evidence-based practice.

“This is a really exciting time to be in nursing,” Dean Breslin said. “There is so much change and opportunity going on in the profession. During the past year we have completely revamped our curricula to include the recommended national nursing competencies and to incorporate evidence-based practice so that our graduates can actively participate in bringing high-quality, scientifically based care to patients.”

The UT Health Science Center offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing. “We are the only nursing school in South Texas that offers doctoral degrees,” she said. “This shows the commitment we have in preparing nurse leaders who will not only be better clinical and administrative decision makers but the academic leaders who will teach the next generations of nurses. This is one of our responsibilities in addressing the national nursing shortage — to prepare the leaders of tomorrow.”

Dean Breslin began her career as a registered nurse in obstetrics and gynecology in Arizona, where she spent the first 17 years of her career providing care in underserved areas, similar to the Health Science Center’s mission of service in South Texas. During that time she also entered academia as a teaching assistant at the University of Arizona, and rose through the ranks at Northern Arizona University as an assistant, associate and full professor, then chair of the Department of Nursing from 1989 through 1998.

In 1998 she became dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she led a number of major initiatives that were firsts in the state, including the initiation of a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, a clinical nurse leader master’s degree and a dual Master of Science/Master of Public Health degree.

“I am honored to be named a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing,” she said. “This is a special honor for nurses who have demonstrated leadership and knowledge of nursing, but who also are committed to continuing to contribute to the profession. I am committed to that and am proud to join 12 of our School of Nursing faculty members who also are fellows in the academy,” she said.

Dean Breslin is also a fellow in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and a Distinguished Practitioner in Nursing in the National Academies of Practice. She has served on the boards of the Association of American Colleges of Nursing and the Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 26,400 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

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