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  Avila Dean Named as One of Ten Top Advocates for Nursing  
  American Association of Colleges of Nursing recognizes Dean of Nursing Susan Fetsch at semi-annual conference  
  Kansas City, MO    
January 5, 2010
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recently recognized Avila University Dean of Nursing Dr. Susan Fetsch, R.N., Ph.D., as one of the nation’s top ten individual advocates during its semi-annual conference, held Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

Specifically, the AACN noted Dr. Fetsch’s role as a statewide grassroots co-liaison to the organization for the state of Missouri, a position she shares with fellow nurse Nancy DeBasio, R.N., Ph.D., dean of Research College of Nursing, Kansas City.

Together, Drs. Fetsch and DeBasio mentor fellow deans of nursing across the state to advocate for nursing and healthcare legislation. Additionally, they lead semi-annual visits to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to lobby on behalf of nursing education. The two have shared this position since 2005.

“This news came as a surprise,” said Fetsch. “I enjoy having access to really good information from the AACN and then sharing it with fellow deans. Nancy and I have an opportunity to educate our legislators about academic and nursing issues, especially in the current healthcare environment. I am pleased to be recognized for my efforts.”

Additionally, Dr. Fetsch presented the abstract “Do Clinical Hours Matter?” at the AACN Baccalaureate Conference, also held in Nov. This presentation was part of her Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Leadership program, in which she was a fellow from 2006-2009.

“With staffing shortages and program expansions in today’s world of healthcare, a frequent topic of discussion among my colleagues is the difficulty finding clinical faculty and placement for clinical experiences,” Dr. Fetsch explained. “Academic nursing has not substantially changed its method of clinical instruction to reflect the current shortages. In talking with other deans and healthcare providers, I researched the question, ‘Does the number of clinical hours students experience in certain areas – such as mental health, pediatrics and mother/baby – make a difference in the student’s academic performance in the same areas?’”

Dr. Fetsch has served in her role as dean and professor of nursing at Avila for more than 15 years.


Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.