Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) honors Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, with a 2018 AACN Pioneering Spirit Award.

This AACN Visionary Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions that influence high-acuity and critical care nursing and relate to the association’s mission, vision and values. The presentation will occur during the 2018 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Boston, May 21-24.

Melnyk is professor and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University (OSU) and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at OSU’s College of Medicine. She also serves as the university’s vice president for health promotion and chief wellness officer.

Recognized nationally and globally for her clinical knowledge and innovative approaches to a wide range of healthcare challenges, Melnyk has been instrumental in the adoption of evidence-based practice (EBP).

“Thanks in large part to Dr. Melnyk’s work, nursing has become more supported by modern scientific knowledge and less rooted in traditions that may be outdated,” said AACN board president Christine S. Schulman, MS, RN, CNS, CCRN-K. “She has inspired nurses around the world to provide more effective care and improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes through evidence-based practice.”

Her record as principal investigator includes over $36 million in sponsored funding from federal agencies and foundations, and her findings have helped document that EBP leads to a higher quality of care, improved population health outcomes, decreases in costs and empowerment of clinicians.

Under her leadership, OSU launched the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare in 2017. The Fuld Institute is a national hub for the dissemination, teaching and creation of best practices to improve healthcare quality, safety, costs and patient outcomes. Melnyk serves as the institute’s founding executive director. Her evidence-based programs are being used throughout the world to improve outcomes for critically ill children, premature infants and their parents.

She founded the National Interprofessional Education and Practice Collaborative to advance the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts Initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2022. The collaborative now has more than 150 participating academic institutions and organizations throughout the United States. She also founded a new national organization, the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, for which she served as its first president.

Melnyk is an editor of five books and has authored more than 315 publications; she also received two Book of the Year awards from American Journal of Nursing. She is a frequent keynote speaker and has consulted with hundreds of healthcare systems and academic institutions throughout the nation and world on how to implement EBP.

Prior to joining OSU in 2011, Melnyk was dean and distinguished foundation professor in nursing at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University. She also was a professor at her alma mater, the University of Rochester in New York, for several years, with faculty appointments to the School of Nursing and School of Medicine & Dentistry. Additional roles included serving as Rochester’s associate dean for research and director of the Center for Research and Evidence-Based Practice and the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program. Her nursing career began as a critical care nurse and pediatric nurse practitioner at hospitals and in private practice in Pennsylvania and New York

Melnyk earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from West Virginia University, a Master of Science with a specialization in nursing care of children and pediatric nurse practitioner from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in clinical research from the University of Rochester – where she also completed a post-master’s certificate as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. 


About the AACN Pioneering Spirit Award: The annual AACN Pioneering Spirit Award recognizes significant contributions that influence high-acuity 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 AACN’s Lifetime Member 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: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and has more than 200 chapters throughout the United States. 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.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109;  949-362-2000;;;