About the Award
As one of the nation’s most respected advocates for higher education in nursing and interprofessional engagement, Dr. Polly Bednash worked tirelessly during her 28 year tenure at AACN to improve the quality of our nation’s health care by preparing a well-educated nursing workforce. This lectureship award honors Dr. Bednash for her distinguished record of service to AACN. Award recipients are chosen by the AACN Board of Directors on the basis of their scholarship and the notability of their contributions to nursing, health care, higher education, and/or interprofessional education. Awardees are asked to share pragmatic insights with deans when presenting at the AACN Deans Annual Meeting (formerly known as the Spring Annual Meeting). Learn more.
From left to right: AACN Board Chair Dr. Ann Cary, Award Winner Dr. Brenda Zierler, Professor and Interprofessional Education Scholar in the School of Nursing at the University of Washington Health Sciences Center
The Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Lectureship Award was presented to Dr. Brenda Zierler, Professor and Interprofessional Education Scholar in the School of Nursing at the University of Washington Health Sciences Center. This award was established in 2014 to honor AACN’s previous Chief Executive Officer, who led the association for 28 years. Award recipients are chosen on the basis of their leadership and scholarly contributions to interprofessional education.
Dr. Zierler has made a substantial impact on interprofessional education. She currently holds faculty appointments in Nursing, the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and in Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education. Dedicated to the improvement of quality and safety, particularly in the area of cardiovascular disease, she has focused on improving collaborative practice in accountable care organizations so that healthcare teams can co-produce health services with patients and families to meet their goals.
As the co-director of the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Practice and Research, and the co-lead of the University of Washington’s Institute for Translational Health Science, Dr. Zierler is leading teams at the intersection of practice, research, and teaching. She has been instrumental in the development of the University of Washington School of Nursing’s PhD program curriculum, which ensures that graduates have competencies in interprofessional education and research.