Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) will present Linda D. Scott, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FNAP, FAAN, with its AACN Pioneering Spirit Award.

This AACN Visionary Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions that influence acute and critical care nursing and relate to the association’s mission, vision and values. The official presentation is scheduled to take place during the 2021 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI), due to the COVID-19-related cancellation of NTI 2020.

“Dr. Scott has long recognized that the clinical decisions made by nurses in critical care units are crucial to patient safety,” said AACN board president Megan Brunson. “As a nurse scientist, she provided concrete evidence on the effects of nurse fatigue, which helps inform national recommendations and policies promoting rested and alert staff.”

Scott is professor and dean of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing. She served as associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing from 2012 to 2016, and associate dean for graduate programs at Grand Valley State University Kirkhof College of Nursing from 2009 to 2012.

Scott has spent more than two decades studying the effects of fatigue, including conducting the first national quantitative study of nurses’ work hours. Her research shows that human factors, such as hours worked, fatigue levels and sleep deprivation, and the health of the work environment, affect nurses’ decisions and play a major role in achieving optimal patient outcomes.

Her innovative research has shed light on the effects of nurse fatigue on patient outcomes, adverse events and decision regret. Her research on nurse fatigue, loss of sleep and inability to recover between shifts provides scientific evidence to support increased nurse staffing and better fatigue management.

In addition to her work as a nurse scientist, Scott has developed and implemented nursing school programs focused on economically disadvantaged students, including racial and ethnic minorities. She has led diversity efforts across academic degrees, curricula and universities, including the implementation of holistic reviews for admissions.

She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the National Academies of Practice. She also serves as an editorial board member for Nursing Outlook.

She earned her BSN from Michigan State University and MSN from Grand Valley State University. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Michigan.


About the AACN Pioneering Spirit Award: The annual AACN Pioneering Spirit Award recognizes significant contributions that influence acute and critical care nursing regionally and nationally, and relate to AACN’s mission, vision and values. Recipients of this Visionary Leadership Award come from business, academia and healthcare, and receive a plaque and $1,000 honorarium at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition. Other Visionary Leadership awards, AACN’s highest honor, include the Lifetime Membership Award and the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career.

About the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition: Established in 1974, AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) represents the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Bedside nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners attend NTI.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to acute and critical care nursing excellence. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. AACN is the world's largest specialty nursing organization, with more than 120,000 members and over 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000;;;