During the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Nursing 90th Anniversary Celebrations in November 2023, the school will announce the newest members of the School of Nursing Hall of Fame.
“These are alumni who have made a significant impact beyond their day-to-day work, individual trailblazers who have made an enduring contribution to the nursing profession that will sustain beyond their lifetime,” says Dean Demetrius J. Porche, DNS, PhD, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN.
Hall of Fame recipients must demonstrate outstanding leadership that has impacted the health or welfare of Louisianans, other United States citizens or international populations through a sustained lifelong contribution to nursing practice, education, administration, service or research.
“When we talk about the Hall of Fame, we think about honoring those with a lifetime body of work. We want them to feel our appreciation, gratitude and celebration of that life’s work,” says Paula Kensler, PhD(c), DNP, MBA, RN, instructor of clinical nursing and Director of the Clinical Nurse Leader and Executive Nurse Leader Programs.
Hall of Fame nomination forms for eligible alumni, faculty and students were due by August 22. This will only be the second class of Hall of Fame inductees; the seven inaugural inductees were named at the School of Nursing’s 85th Anniversary celebration.
Hall of Fame recipients will be selected by at least a five-member panel appointed by the dean that will include School of Nursing Administrative Council members, faculty organization members and at least one community member. Final approval of recipients requires a rigorous review process by all voting members of the School of Nursing Administrative Council.
Inductees will receive Florence Nightingale statues inscribed with their names and will have their portraits displayed on the Hall of Fame wall on the School of Nursing’s fourth floor.
Looking Back at the First Class
The seven inaugural School of Nursing Hall of Fame inductees celebrated in 2018 were:
Marsha Jane Bennett, DNS, APRN, CNE (MN ’87, DNS ’97), now Professor Emerita, was honored as a faculty member at the School of Nursing since 2005 and as director of the Louisiana Centre for Promotion of Optimal Health Outcomes: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence. In 2016, she received the prestigious Copping Excellence in Teaching Award.
Sandra Chaisson Brown, DNS, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE, ANEF, FAAN (MN ’85, DNS ’94) is now dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health at Southern University. She was honored for teaching at Southern University and A&M College School of Nursing since 1995, serving as DNP program director, and serving as an ambassador for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Health Professionals National Health Service Corps, where she worked tirelessly to strengthen the health workforce, improve diversity and connect skilled professionals to communities in need.
Denise M. Danna, DNS, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, FACHE (BSN ’75, MN ’85, DNS ’99), Chief Nursing Officer at University Medical Center New Orleans and an adjunct faculty member and Director of the Academic-Practice Partnership at the School of Nursing, was honored as a CNO and as an associate professor and associate dean at the School of Nursing who led the development of the school’s DNP program. She has also served in leadership positions at Memorial Medical Center and its precursors for more than 30 years.
Barbara Morvant, MN, RN (BSN ’73, MN ’76), now a self-employed policy analyst and advisor, was honored for serving as executive director for the Louisiana State Board of Nursing for 25 years. She is also a former president of the Louisiana Nurses Foundation and served two terms as treasurer on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing board of directors.
Melinda Oberleitner, DNS, RN (DNS ’96), now Dean Emerita of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was honored for her work as an educator, dean, and Early Childhood Policy Leadership Institute Fellow at the Tulane University School of Medicine.
Demetrius J. Porche, DNS, PhD, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN (MN ’89, DNS ’95), Dean of the School of Nursing, was honored for helping the school achieve the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence designation, among other accomplishments. Before his Hall of Fame induction, Dr. Porche was named Nursing School Administrator of the Year by the Louisiana State Nurses Association in 2016 and served on numerous state and national boards, including as president of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, the American Assembly for Men in Nursing, and the Southern Nursing Research Society.
Barbara St. Pierre Schneider, PhD, RN, FAAN (BSN ’82), now the Endowed Chair in Gerontological Nursing Excellence at the University of Texas at Arlington, was honored when she was director of the Applied Biomedical Research Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she researched muscular healing processes. Prior to that, she held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and UNLV.