Two School of Nursing faculty members are honored

February 3, 2017 By Jennifer Garrett
Barbara King, left, and Barbara Bowers, right both have been honored for by the Midwest Nursing Research Society.

Barbara King, left, and Barbara Bowers, of the UW–Madison School of Nursing, have both been honored by the Midwest Nursing Research Society. Alexander Andre

Two University of Wisconsin­‒Madison School of Nursing faculty members have earned awards from the Midwest Nursing Research Society.

Dr. Barbara J. Bowers, the associate dean for research and sponsored programs, received the MNRS Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her scholarship and leadership in nursing research, particularly in the area of long-term care. Dr. Barbara J. King received the John A. Hartford Foundation Award for her work to optimize nursing care of hospitalized older adults.

Both Bowers and King focus their research on gerontological nursing, one of the School of Nursing’s key research areas.

Over the course of her distinguished career, Dr. Bowers has completed 56 funded projects and produced 100 peer-reviewed papers and 19 book chapters. Her work is extensively cited, and it has influenced state, national, and international policy. She has mentored more than 30 graduate students at UW‒Madison, all of whom are working in research or faculty positions. She is also the director of the Center for Aging Research and Education, which provides education and support to nurses, health-care staff and unpaid caregivers in an effort to improve the lives of older adults.

“Dr. Bowers is an outstanding example of the person the Lifetime Achievement Award was designed to recognize,” says Dr. Marilyn Rantz, chair of the MNRS awards committee. “She is an important member of the Midwest Nursing Research Society and we are proud of her leadership in nursing research.

“The same is true for Dr. King, who was a geriatric nurse practitioner before becoming a researcher, teacher and mentor. Her scholarship has already driven improvements in both quality of care and quality of life for older adults.”

Dr. King says the award validates her efforts to both identify systemic barriers that prevent nurses from delivering the best care to older patients and also to develop realistic solutions that enable healthcare systems to remove or overcome those barriers.

“My research is deeply rooted in clinical practice and my findings are directly translatable into clinical practice,” King says. “I see it as groundbreaking work, and this award confirms my belief that it is important work. It truly is an honor.”

The 1,300-member Midwest Nursing Research Society promotes, disseminates and uses nursing research to transform the way nursing is practiced. The organization also supports emerging nurse scientists in a 13 Midwest states through conferences, grants, awards and more. Both Bowers and King will attend the annual MNRS Research Conference in Minneapolis in April to formally receive their awards.