Hall of Fame

UNMC College of Nursing Hall of Fame

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing Hall of Fame was established in 2017 to identify distinguished and notable graduates and to recognize their extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession. This is the highest honor of the College and candidates may be inducted posthumously. Congratulations to the first group of inductees.

2017 Inductees

Kathryn E. Barnard, PhD, RN, FAAN
BSN 1960
Dr. Kathryn Barnard got her first nursing job in 1954 at Douglas County Hospital in Omaha. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Nebraska School of Nursing in 1960, earned a master’s degree in nursing at Boston University in 1963 and her doctorate at the University of Washington in 1972. She spent her career at the University of Washington School of Nursing. She developed an extensive program of research related to parenting and infancy, and early childhood development. Dr. Barnard was a pioneer in evidence-based practice and distance-learning, founding the Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training program to teach professional caregivers and parents how to optimally care for newborns, infants, and young children. She also founded the Center on Infant Mental Health and Development at the University of Washington in 2001. The Center was renamed in her honor in 2012. She was named a fellow in the Institute of Medicine in 1985. The American Academy of Nursing named her a Living Legend in 2006. She received an honorary Doctor of Science from UNMC in 1990. Dr. Barnard passed away in 2015 at the age of 77.

Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN
MSN 1983
Dr. Susan Hassmiller received her PhD in nursing administration and health policy from George Mason University, master’s degrees in health education from Florida State University and community health nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Florida State University. Dr. Hassmiller, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1997, is senior adviser for nursing and in this role she shapes and leads the Foundation’s nursing strategies to create a higher quality of care in the United States. In partnership with AARP, she also is director of the Foundation’s Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action initiative. Previously, Hassmiller served with the Health Resources and Services Administration, where she was the executive director of the U.S. Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellowship and worked on other national and international primary care initiatives. She also has worked in public health settings at the local and state levels and taught community health nursing at the University of Nebraska and George Mason University. She has been involved with the Red Cross in many capacities, including disaster relief efforts. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a member of the Joint Commission’s National Nurse Advisory Council. She is the recipient of numerous national awards in addition to receiving the distinguished alumna award for all the schools of nursing from which she graduated and two honorary doctoral degrees. Hassmiller is the 2009 recipient of the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor given to a nurse by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Beatrice J. Kalisch, PhD, RN, FAAN
BSN 1965
Dr. Beatrice Kalisch is the Titus Professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was the 2013-2014 American Academy of Nurses (AAN), American Nurses Foundation (ANF), American Nurses Association (ANA) Distinguished Nurse Scholar in residence at the Institute of Medicine. She has conducted numerous research studies on such subjects as nursing teamwork, missed nursing care (errors of omission), the image of the nurse, and the impact of U.S. federal funds on nursing education and practice. Dr. Kalisch has published extensively authoring eleven books, including The Nursing Shortage, The Advance of American Nursing, The Impact of Federal Aid on Nursing Education and Practice and The Politics of Nursing. Her most recent book, Errors of Omission: Missed Nursing Care, was published in June, 2015 by ANA. She has also published over 150 peer reviewed articles in such journals as Medical Care, American Journal of Medical Quality, Joint Commission Journal on Patient Safety, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, Healthcare Management Review, Journal of Healthcare Management, Nursing Research, Journal of Clinical Nursing and Journal of Advanced Nursing. She has made over 800 research presentations throughout the world including China, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan, Lebanon, Singapore, Korea, Argentina, Denmark, Equator, South Africa, England and Latvia and she is a member of editorial boards of several national and international journals. Dr. Kalisch has also served as a visiting professor at several institutions including Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Tongji Medical College. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the World, Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century and Community Leaders of the World. Dr. Kalisch is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a member of Phi Kappa Phi. She serves as a member as well as leader of numerous local, state and national advisory committees addressing health policy and nursing issues. Dr. Kalisch has been the recipient of many awards including distinguished alumnae at both the University of Maryland and the University of Nebraska, the Shaw Medal from the President of Boston College, the Department of Labor research award, the Andrews Bibliographic Award, nurse researcher award from the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Sigma Theta Tau International Award for Excellence in Nursing.

Joan M. Lappe, PhD, RN, FAAN
BSN 1981, PhD 1992
Dr. Joan Lappe received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1981 and her doctorate in 1992 from the UNMC College of Nursing. As a long-time faculty member in the Creighton University College of Nursing, Dr. Lappe has served in a variety of leadership roles and is currently Professor and Associate Dean of Research and the first holder of the Creighton University Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss and Drs. Gilbert and Clinton Beirne Endowed Chair in Nursing. She holds a secondary academic appointment as Professor of Medicine, Osteoporosis Research Center, at Creighton University. Findings of her health promotion research with osteoporosis and Vitamin D have influenced health behaviors across the globe. Dr. Lappe was the first to conduct a randomized trial of vitamin D and calcium supplementation to decrease cancer incidence. The findings were widely recognized internationally. She has received more than $17 million in funding, primarily from the National Institutes of Health. She received the Irma Kyle Kramer Award for Scholastic Achievement and has been inducted into a variety of organizations, including Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Gamma Pi and Iota Tau chapters of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society and Alpha Sigma Nu, one of the highest honors bestowed by a Jesuit university. Creighton University recognized Dr. Lappe with the CON Alumni Merit Award, the CON Dean’s Faculty Excellence Award, the Joan Norris Mentorship Award, and the university-wide Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Creighton Award.

Major General (Ret.) Kimberly A. Siniscalchi, MSN, RN
MSN 1988
Major General Kimberly Siniscalchi received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Duquesne University, her military officer commission in 1979 from the University of Pittsburgh and her master’s in nursing in 1988 from the UNMC College of Nursing. She is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and Chief Integration Officer for Southwestern Health Resources. Previously she served 34 years of active duty service in the Air Force, most recently serving as Air Force Assistant Surgeon General of Medical Force Development and Nursing Services. In her roles, she established new and appraised existing personnel policy and staffing requirements for over 45,000 active-duty, officer, enlisted and civilian personnel and was responsible for all medical education and training. She also created and evaluated nursing policies and programs for 19,000 active-duty, guard and reserve nursing personnel. She commanded at Air Force squadron and group levels, and served Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as the Air Force nurse assigned to the White House Medical Unit. She also deployed as Commander of the 380th Expeditionary Medical Group. Her major military awards include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. She was named 2008 UNMC College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni, and received the 2013 American Medical Association Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. In 2013, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Health Science from the University of Nebraska.

Gladys E. Sorensen, EdD, RN, FAAN
BSN 1945
Dr. Gladys Sorensen received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1945, her master’s in nursing from the University of Colorado in 1951 and her doctorate from Columbia University in 1964. She received both an honorary doctorate degree from UNMC in 1985 and a Distinguished Alumnus award from the UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Association in 1986. As the second Dean of the University of Arizona College of Nursing (1967-1986), she led the College to national prominence in nursing education. During her tenure, graduate education in the College, particularly the PhD program, was recognized throughout the world for excellence in nursing research. Dean Sorensen was acknowledged by students and alumni as an excellent teacher, both in clinical and classroom settings. Her leadership in national nursing organizations helped shape the future of nursing and nursing education. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1977 and served as the American Nurses Association President from 1985-1987. She also served on the Executive Committee at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing from 1975-1979. She is recognized as a prominent leader in nursing education around the country. Dr. Sorensen served in numerous organizations including as President of the American Academy of Nursing, multiple positions on the Western Council on Higher Education for Nursing, Editorial Board of the Journal of Nursing Education, the National Advisory Council on Nursing Training for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs, National League for Nursing, and the Executive Committee, American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Carol M. Wilson, MA, RN
BSN 1951
Carol Wilson was a longtime, legendary nursing administrator for University Hospital. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Park College in Parkville, Missouri in 1947 and her graduate nursing degree in 1951 from the University of Nebraska School of Nursing. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1956 in nursing service administration and education. She served on the Visiting Nurses Association board of directors for 15 years. In 1992, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Association. In the 1980s, Wilson was one of the first nurse administrators in Nebraska to implement the care delivery model known as primary nursing in which one nurse would be accountable for all nursing care received by a patient during a hospital stay. She retired in 1992 after serving nearly 40 years as director of nursing and later in her career as assistant director for health services administration. The Carol M. Wilson Endowed Chair in Nursing was established at the UNMC College of Nursing in her honor. Wilson passed away in 2007 at the age of 82.