Dr. Constance Smith Hendricks, RN, FAAN, dean of Tuskegee University’s School of Nursing and Allied Health, was awarded the Mary Elizabeth Carnegie Award at the Southern Regional Education Board’s Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing annual meeting in November in Atlanta.
SREB’s Mary Elizabeth Carnegie Award is awarded by the council to a nurse educator who best exemplifies Carnegie’s quest for excellence in nursing education. The honor is a regional award in recognition of Dr. M. Elizabeth Carnegie, who was a trailblazer, pathfinder, scholar and advocate for workforce diversity in nursing education and practice.
In her acceptance speech, Hendricks spoke of her relationship with the late Carnegie — noting that Carnegie was powerful and influential in her approach.
Hendricks also thanked SREB, saying, “It is because of this organization that the schools of nursing in this region have progressed and have moved the trajectory of nursing and nursing scholarship because it was in this organization that deans and directors came together to galvanize and synergize their strengths and learn how to develop their programs and their faculty.”
SREB was “the place where southern regional deans actually demonstrated equity, diversity and inclusion,” Hendricks said. “And yes, they did it with civility, even before we taught the word civility.”
A Selma, Alabama, native, Hendricks has held leadership positions in nursing education at several institutions, including Concordia College, Hampton University and Kentucky State University, where she facilitated the implementation of the university’s first doctoral level program, doctorate in nursing practice, with a focus in gerontology.
Hendricks also established collaborations between the schools of nursing at Auburn University and Tuskegee University, and launched the first doctoral nursing program at Southern University.
The SREB Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing helps strengthen schools of nursing at colleges and universities to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to train the nation’s registered nurses.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan interstate compact, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislators who recognized the link between education and economic vitality. SREB states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information, visit www.sreb.org.
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