by Matt Batcheldor
VUMC Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC, and Lead Research Nurse Coordinator Elizabeth Card, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, have been selected as fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN).
Dubree and Card are among 250 distinguished nurse leaders who were selected to be inducted into the 2022 Class of Fellows based on their contributions to advance public health. They will be recognized at the AAN’s annual Health Policy Conference Oct. 27‑29 in Washington, D.C. Induction into the AAN is a significant milestone in which nursing colleagues honor past and current accomplishments.
The 2022 fellows represent 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 17 countries. With this class of fellows, the AAN will be comprised of more than 3,000 leaders who are experts in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia that champion health and wellness, locally and globally.
Seven of the fellows are from Tennessee, with five from VUMC or Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN). New fellows from VUSN are Kelly Aldrich, DNP, MS, RN-BC, associate professor of Nursing; Laurie Connors, PhD(c), DNP, FNP-BC, AGN-BC, AOCNP, professor of Nursing; and Brenda Kulhanek, PhD, DNP, RN-BC, NPD-BC, associate professor of Nursing.
“It gives me great pride to announce the largest class of fellows since the organization began nearly 50 years ago,” said AAN president Kenneth White, PhD, RN. “At a time when investments in — and policy to address health equity, innovation, and access are paramount —the academy is thrilled to welcome these dynamic and courageous nurse leaders who will support our collective vision of healthy lives for all people.”
Since arriving at VUMC more than 45 years ago, Dubree has risen through the ranks from clinical nurse specialist and nursing instructor to her current role as executive chief nursing officer, where she serves more than 7,000 nurses. Since obtaining her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from VUSN in 1976, she has served as assistant professor, assistant dean for clinical practice and, currently, senior associate dean for clinical practice.
“I am thrilled to join this class of accomplished nurses,” Dubree said. “As Vanderbilt nurses, it is our privilege to care for our patients and families. Everything we do is toward this end, including our culture of shared decision making, transformational leadership and evidence-based practice, leading to better outcomes. Congratulations to Elizabeth and all the recipients of this honor.”
Dubree’s accomplishments over the years have been many, both at VUMC and in the community. Under her leadership, VUMC has obtained three successive Magnet designations from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the highest honor an organization can receive for the provision of nursing care and interprofessional collaboration. She has served on the Renewal House board of directors, graduated from Leadership Nashville and has been involved with and advocated for the Middle Tennessee chapter of American Heart Association, the Tennessee Board of Nursing, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and the American Cancer Society, just to name a few. In 2016, she was inducted into the YWCA’s Academy for Women of Achievement.
Card, who joined VUMC in 1994, is a nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt Health Walk-In Clinics and a research nurse practitioner in the Department of Anesthesiology. In the research setting she has functioned as a sub investigator or principal investigator on more than 125 clinical trials.
Her research interests include perianesthesia nursing practice, utilization of traditional medicine or complementary and alternative medicine, emergence delirium and post-operative cognitive decline, advance practice professional development, health literacy/patient education, burnout and workplace wellness and resilience. In her prior role as research nurse consultant, she educated, mentored and coached nurses in evidence-based practice and research.
Card received her MSN from Union University and is pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Aspen University. She served as president of the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) from 2020-2021.
Card led the creation and launching of The Empowered Nurse, VUMC’s twice-yearly, peer-reviewed journal for and about nursing research where she served as the executive editor until 2022. She is currently a section editor for the Journal of Emergency Nursing.
Card has served on the board of directors for the Tennessee Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses and the Tennessee Viticultural and Oenological Society, and as a member of the Perioperative Multi-Center Handoff Collaborative. She has volunteered for Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and Remote Area Medical.
“I am so very honored to be among this cohort of AAN Fellows,” Card said. “It is one of the highest recognitions for nurses who have contributed meaningfully to building the science and knowledge of our practice. At VUMC, all nurses have the opportunity to be innovative, make changes in our workplace, conduct research, and implement evidence-based practices and continuous improvement projects — all of which contribute to the building up of nursing practice and elevating patient care. Congratulations, Marilyn; I am so humbled and proud to receive this honor in the cohort with you.”