In being elected by the Academy, Dr. Rita Olans and Dr. Katherine Simmonds were cited for their career accomplishments and significant contributions to health and healthcare.

Recognizing their important contributions to advance the public’s health and significant career accomplishments, the American Academy of Nursing recently announced the selection of two MGH Institute of Health Professions faculty, Dr. Rita Olans and Dr. Kathy Simmonds, to be among the distinguished nurse leaders to be inducted into the 2022 Class of Fellows. Olans and Simmonds, along with 248 other inductees will be recognized at the Academy’s annual Health Policy Conference, taking place on October 27-29, 2022 in Washington, DC. 

“It gives me great pride to announce the largest class of Fellows since the organization began nearly 50 years ago,” said Kenneth R. White, PhD, RN, AGACNP, ACHPN, FACHE, FAAN, President of the American Academy of Nursing and Dean of IHP’s School of Nursing. “It’s a privilege to welcome these dynamic and courageous nurse leaders who will support our collective vision of healthy lives for all people. Induction into the Academy is a powerful moment in a nurse’s career. When we gather this fall, to award the Fellowship credential, I look forward to celebrating each Fellow’s incredible accomplishments that have improved the well-being of communities across the globe.”

A nurse for more than 30-years, Dr. Olans is an Associate Professor at the MGH Institute and is a practicing pediatric nurse practitioner hospitalist. She earned her Doctorate in Nurse Practice at the Institute in 2013. Her work sits at the intersection of science and clinical practice, with a focus on antimicrobial stewardship. She is nationally recognized for her work in combating the rise of multidrug resistant microbes.

“Being recognized for this work is truly humbling,” said Olans. “I am honored to join such a distinguished cohort of nurse leaders.” 

Dr. Simmonds is a women’s health nurse practitioner who became an MGH Institute faculty member in 2000.  She earned her Master’s in Nursing from the Institute, has published numerous articles on reproductive rights, and most recently spoke with multiple news outlets about the impact the overturn of Roe v. Wade will have on patients. 

“I never thought I would be inducted as an American Academy of Nursing Fellow,” said Simmonds. “It signifies reaching a level of accomplishment and recognition in my career as a nurse, an educator, and a reproductive and climate justice advocate.”  

“Dr. Olans and Dr. Simmonds are incredibly accomplished nursing practitioners, not only in the field of general health but also in their specialty areas, so it’s no surprise to see them reach this milestone,” said Dean White. “In working with them both at the Institute, I’ve been able to see firsthand the impact both have had. The IHP is very fortunate to have them with us.” 

Through a competitive and rigorous application process, the Academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed a record number of applications – a 30% increase from last year – ultimately selecting 250 Fellows. Induction into the Academy is a significant milestone in which past and current accomplishments are honored by their colleagues within and outside the profession. 

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“I never thought I would be inducted as an American Academy of Nursing Fellow,” said Simmonds.