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Professor and Global Health Expert Inducted as Fellow of American Academy of Nursing

Michele Upvall, professor at the UCF College of Nursing [1], has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Upvall [2], who is one of 173 highly distinguished nurse leaders inducted in the 2017 class of fellows, was selected for her dedication to innovations in global health. The newly inducted fellows [3] were honored during a ceremony at the American Academy of Nursing’s annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7.

A global health expert, Upvall has dedicated her career to improving global health by creating and advancing nursing education programs. Her efforts extend beyond traditional university-based settings to encompass the “train the trainer” model, which enhances the knowledge and skills of local nurses. To date, more than 4,000 students have graduated from the programs she has helped develop.

“As an early proponent of global health nursing, Dr. Upvall has been at the front line of creating culturally proficient nursing education programs across the world to improve health care services to those most in need,” said Eileen T. Breslin, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “Over the last two decades, I have observed her passionate commitment to quality nursing education and her masterful ability to align resources, and develop and maintain partnerships in the global arena.”

Upvall developed the first bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) program on American Indian lands, and in Pakistan, developed both the first master’s degree in nursing (MSN) program and first fully integrated BSN program where both male and female students attend classes together. In 2009, she led a team of five nurses from the U.S. to train local nurses in Botswana to work in the first new hospital in the country in more than 30 years. In 2016, she received a Fulbright Scholar Award [4] to develop research skills of nursing faculty at a university in Thailand. Currently, she is investigating ways to improve global health education and research ethics capacity with universities in Thailand and Vietnam.

“I am honored to become a fellow of the academy, and join thought leaders from across the U.S. and around the world to transform health care policy and research,” said Upvall. “Leveraging my skills and passion, I hope to advance the academy’s mission of raising the standard of health for diverse populations and reducing health disparities in the U.S. and worldwide.”

A professor at the college since 2015, Upvall is the director of the Nurse Educator Program [5] and co-editor of the book “Global Health Nursing: Building and Sustaining Partnerships.” She serves on the Center of Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board for the American Nurses Association, and has been a member of the Education Steering Committee for Health Volunteers Overseas since 2009 where she co-directs the education program in Bhutan. Upvall is a certified family nurse practitioner, holds a PhD in transcultural nursing from the University of Utah, MS in nursing from The Pennsylvania State University and BS in nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The American Academy of Nursing [6] has more than 2,400 fellows representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 29 countries who are nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice and research. Upvall joins four other College of Nursing faculty members [7] who have been inducted as fellows in the prestigious academy.