October 24, 2022

Shaffer named a Living Legend


Franklin Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN, FFNMRCSI, president and chief executive officer of CGFNS International, Inc. and University of Minnesota School of Nursing Dean’s National Board of Visitors member, was named a Living Legend. It is the highest designation awarded by the American Academy of Nursing.

Shaffer has made global efforts to transform the nursing workforce through his leadership. CGFNS, formerly known as the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, is the world’s leading standards-setting and credentials evaluation organization for nursing and allied health professions. “Every step of Frank Shaffer’s career has been one of bravery, courage, innovation and impact,” says Dean Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, FNAP. “Frank has had expansive national and international impact from leading acceptance of men in nursing to unwaveringly advocating for inclusivity, diversity and equity, and leading innovation to ensure a quality and safe nursing workforce. I specifically celebrate Frank’s leadership as president of FNINR, his executive expansion of CGFNS, and his commitment and contributions to our School’s Dean’s National Board of Visitors.”

With the naming of Shaffer as a Living Legend, there are now two Living Legends serving on the Dean’s National Board of Visitors. Brig. Gen. (ret.) Clara Adams-Ender was named a Living Legend in 2013.

New Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty launched

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing announced a new academic offering, the pediatric nurse practitioner-acute care (PNP-AC) specialty. Individuals who hold an advanced practice certification as a pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree can apply to begin the program in June of 2023. The post graduate certificate specialty can be completed in three semesters. There are also options to obtain the PNP-AC post-graduate certificate for individuals without a DNP degree. For more information, contact

Four faculty promotions

Faculty promotions

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the promotions of four faculty in the School of Nursing. Sarah Hoffman, PhD, MPH, RN, Martin Michalowski, PhD, FAMIA, and Lisiane Pruinelli, PhD, RN, FAMIA, were promoted to associate professor with tenure. Barbara Peterson, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, FNAP, was promoted to clinical professor.



School of Nursing Foundation grants awarded to faculty, students

The Office of Nursing Research and Scholarship announced the award of School of Nursing Foundation grants to three faculty and six students.

Faculty projects include:
Examining Consumer Use and Knowledge of Data Sharing Practices within Mobile Health Applications (Assistant Professor Robin Austin, PhD, DNP, DC, RN-BC, FAMIA, FNAP)
Protect Against Heart Attack & Stroke: Know Your Numbers to Control Your Risk! (Associate Professor Erica Schorr, PhD, RN, FAHA)
Preparing Heart and MindTM: Human Milk Feeding: A Small Feasibility Study of an eHealth Care Program for Spanish Speaking Mothers/Birthing Parents of Infants Prenatally Diagnosed with Complex Congenital Heart Disease (Associate Professor Anne McKechnie, PhD, RN)

Student awards include: 
Skin Deep: Stage 1 Pressure Injury Identification in Patients with Darkly Pigmented Skin. A Quality Improvement Project to Address Health Disparities Based on Skin Color (DNP student Annamaria Cioffi)
The Experience of Gender Dysphoria in Transgender Young Adults (PhD student Ann Seppelt)
The Relationships between Abnormal Biomarkers, Motor Symptoms, and Sleep Disorders in Older Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease (PhD student Bella Xiong)
Transgender Patient Simulation for Pre-Licensure Nursing Students: A Pilot Project (DNP student Mollie Ness)
Participatory design of vital sign visualizations in a patient dashboard for in-hospital nurses (PhD student Suhyun Park)
Sustaining Stroke Prevention Education through Community Sharing Forums: A Novel Approach to Dissemination (DNP students Zach Taylor and Emily Gorzycki)

School receives 7th consecutive Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award


For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing received the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine. The school was one of only 16 nursing schools to receive the HEED Award, which honors U.S. nursing, public health, medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, veterinary, and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“We are honored to be recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine through receiving this award and are energized to continue this important work,” says Barb Peterson, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, APRN, FNAP, director of Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity. “The School of Nursing is creating and sustaining a school environment that prioritizes inclusion, diversity and equity in every facet of the school."

Recently, a number of collaborative efforts between IDE leaders and the Faculty Search Committee, including implicit bias workshops, faculty listening sessions and questions related to equity and inclusion in faculty interview sets the stage for all faculty to consider ways they can further the work of IDE. In the past two years, the number of black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) faculty joining the school grew from 13% to more than 25%.

Additionally, the school’s partnerships with St. Cloud State University, Bemidji State University and St. Paul College created a pathway for underrepresented students to enter the nursing profession, and faculty were hired to specifically support the success of American Indian students.

The school’s efforts to recruit and retain diverse students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program resulted in an increased BIPOC enrollment from 6% in 2015 to nearly 30% in 2021. Last year the number of BIPOC graduates from the DNP program increased to 23%, showing retention.

Student surveys show an increase in their favorable sense of belonging with more than 80% of students reported feeling a sense of belonging.

Meanwhile, the most recent Employment and Engagement survey showed that 91% of faculty and staff believe the school has a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The School of Nursing will be featured along with the 64 other recipients of the 2022 HEED Award in the December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Kroh named director of the Integrative Health & Wellbeing Coaching Program

Cherie Kroh, EdD, FACSM, NBC-HWC, EP-C, PAPHS, CHWC, EIM Level II, joined the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing as director of the Integrative Health & Wellbeing Coaching Program.

Kroh earned an EdD in higher education administration at St. Cloud State University, where her dissertation focused on intercultural competence. She holds a master’s degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Minnesota State University – Moorhead. She completed health coaching training through the Mayo Clinic and WellCoaches and is National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) certified.

Previously, Kroh was employed at Western Governors University Academy, where she has held various roles as a manager of success coaching, academic programs, and the design and development team. Prior to this, she served as an associate professor in the PhD of health science, health promotion, and wellness concentration at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Kroh has also served as a behavioral health specialist and coach at CIGNA Corp. and as an academic coordinator at the Mayo Clinic Health Systems. She is the owner of Wellness Coaching Elevated.

Outstanding preceptors recognized at ceremony

The school recognized the 2021-2022 outstanding preceptors at a ceremony in June. Those interested in working with graduate nursing students as a preceptor can learn more at

Laura Kitch from Essentia Health, Duluth was honored for being an adult health/gerontological clinical nurse specialist preceptor.

David Macomber from M Health Fairview was honored for being an adult health/gerontological primary care nurse practitioner preceptor.

Cori Benson from Allina Highland Park was honored for being a family nurse practitioner preceptor.

April Prunty from the VA was honored for being a health innovation and leadership preceptor.

Wanda Baker from Cincinnati Children's Hospital was honored for being an integrative health and healing preceptor.

Dan Levie from Regions Hospital was honored for being a nurse anesthesia preceptor.

Amy Ntoburi from Olmsted Medical Center was honored for being a nurse-midwifery preceptor.

Piper Ranallo from M Health Fairview was honored for being a nursing informatics preceptor.

Mary Sachs from Children's Hospital St. Paul was honored for being a pediatric nurse practitioner preceptor.

Tamara Tew from Aris Clinic was honored for being a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner preceptor.

Mark Elias from Mercy Health Care Center (Allina) was honored for being a Women's Health/Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner preceptor.

Categories: School News