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NLN Announces New Leadership

Media Contact: Michael Keaton; 202-909-2544
NLN Announces New Leadership

Nursing Education Leader Installed as NLN Chair
Washington, DC — The National League for Nursing 2021 Education Summit concluded with a new NLN Chair and Chair-Elect in place, following the Board of Governors election and installation, held during the Annual Business Meeting. Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, an assistant dean of undergraduate programs and faculty development at Michigan State University, was elevated to NLN Chair, having served since 2019 as NLN Chair-Elect under Immediate Past NLN Chair Dr. Patricia S. Yoder-Wise. Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, Dean and Strawbridge Professor at Ursuline College, Breen School of Nursing, is the new NLN Chair-Elect.

NLN President and CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, welcomed Dr. Poindexter to the top volunteer leadership spot, while expressing high praise for her predecessor. “Kathleen has been more than a chair-in-waiting these past two years, having contributed her wise counsel and experience to the Board through some of the toughest challenges facing nursing and nursing education during the world’s public health emergency,” said Dr. Malone. “I look forward to being by her side for the coming NLN Chair term, sharing both the responsibilities and the satisfactions of fulfilling the National League for Nursing’s mission.”

Dr. Malone added, “On behalf of the National League for Nursing, I also extend deep gratitude to Pat for her extraordinary service as NLN Chair. I am confident that we may continue to count on her wisdom, guidance, and dedication to the League.”

In addition to her responsibility as associate dean, Dr. Poindexter is an associate professor at MSU and, as coordinator and faculty of record for the College Teaching in Nursing Certificate Program, provides faculty consultations on teaching to support student learning outcomes, on best practices for managing on-site and online instructional environments, and on scholarship of teaching research projects. She previously directed the MSN CNS and Education Program at MSU.

Dr. Poindexter is board certified in nursing education and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Nursing Education. An inducted fellow in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education, she served as a member for six years of the NLN Certification Board of Commissioners.

In her Inaugural Address, Dr. Poindexter told Summit attendees that the pandemic taught the world “what we already knew,” about the dedication, resilience, and innovative spirit guiding nurses as they go about their jobs every day. Missing from the headlines, she observed, was the behind-the-scenes creativity, agility, and excellence of academic nurse faculty that feeds the pipeline of nursing school graduates who join the frontline health care heroes. The past year-and-a-half, she believes, have set the stage to achieve even greater progress and transformation.

“Together,” she said, “let us imagine the future of nursing education and join the National League for Nursing to advance the following initiatives.”

• Stronger curricula to promote health equity, reduce inequalities in health care delivery, and improve overall health outcomes across diverse population segments
• Recruitment, support for, and mentoring of faculty and students from diverse backgrounds to better reflect the communities from which they come and will serve
• Seamless academic progression across the spectrum of higher education in nursing
• Evidence-based resources and integration of technology to optimize virtual learning, virtual simulation and Artificial Intelligence
• Recognition of and support for the value of the specialized role of academic nurse educator
• Support for scholarly research to advance nursing education and develop evidence-based teaching innovations and competency-based models

Also newly installed this election cycle:

NLN Chair-Elect (2-year term: 2021-2023)—Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN

Winner of the 2021 NLN Mary Adelaide Nutting Award for Outstanding Teaching or Leadership in Nursing Education, Dr. Patricia Sharpnack is Dean and Strawbridge Professor at Ursuline College, The Breen School of Nursing and Health Professions. She holds leadership and board positions on several regulatory bodies, health care agencies, and professional organizations at the regional, national, and international levels. She sits on the Ohio Board of Nursing as past president and current supervisory member and nursing education chair, is a NCSBN delegate, a member of the NLN Residency Task Force, NLN Grant Review Panel, and as an NLN Ambassador.

Previously, she served as an inaugural member of the NLN CNEA Pre-Accreditation Committee. Dr. Sharpnack is a TeamSTEPPS Master Team Trainer and member of the Advisory Board to the American Hospital Association. She is on the editorial board and reviewer for several refereed journals and has extensively published and presented at national and international conferences. Dr. Sharpnack is a Fellow in both the Academy of Nursing Education and the American Academy of Nursing.

Board of Governors At-Large (3-year term: 2021-2024)

• Audrey Beauvais, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Fairfield University
• Walter Bumphus, PhD, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
• Majeda El-Banna, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, Associate Professor, Chair, Acute and Chronic Care Community & RN to BSN/ MSN Program Director, The George Washington University School of Nursing

Nominations Committee (3-year term: 2021-2024)

• Sonique Sailsman, PhD, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Mercer University
• Katherine Williams, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, CNOR, RNFA, Midwest Division Perioperative Services Clinical Practice Coordinator, CHI Health Service Center

NLN Certification Board of Commissioners (3-year term: 2021-2024)

• Christopher W. Blackwell, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, AGACNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, FAAN, Associate Professor and Program Director, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Programs, Department of Nursing Practice, College of Nursing, University of Central Florida
• Brenda Morris, EdD, MS, RN, CNE, Clinical Professor of Nursing, Edson College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University

For more information, visit
About the National League for Nursing
Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its nearly 45,000 individual and 1,100 institutional members, comprising nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education and health care organizations. Learn more at
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