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Two faculty members receive nursing’s highest honor

Drs. Bissinger and Pope inducted into American Academy of Nursing

CHARLESTON, SC (October 16, 2012) – The American Academy of Nursing inducted Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing faculty members, Robin L. Bissinger, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC and Charlene A. Pope, PhD, RN, MPH, CNM, to membership during the Academy’s 39th Annual Meeting and Conference held on Oct. 13, in Washington, D.C. Induction as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) is one of the most prestigious honors in the nursing field. Those nominated for induction into the AAN Fellowship are recognized leaders who have made significant contributions to nursing and health care. Today, there are 10 faculty members and five emeritus faculty of the MUSC College of Nursing who are members of the Academy.

Drs. Bissinger and Pope inducted into American Academy of NursingBissinger, a neonatal clinician, is the associate dean for academics and an associate professor in the College of Nursing. Her clinical and research interests involve the study of respiratory distress and pain among infants. She is also very involved in process improvement in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Bissinger is active in the South Carolina Neonatal Medical Consortium and has worked to help South Carolina initiate and publish process improvement efforts in hospitals on the management of hypotension in newborns, as well as develop a resuscitation strategy in very low-birth-weight infants during the “golden hour,” an infant’s first hour of life. She is board certified by the National Certification Corporation as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, a member of Sigma Theta Tau, and past president of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Bissinger has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Leadership in Neonatal Nursing Award and the South Carolina League of Nursing Excellence Award.

Pope is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and associate nurse executive for research at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Her areas of interests include provider-patient communication, preventive medicine, and international maternal and child health midwifery. In addition, Pope’s research follows racial/ethnic variations and disparities in health services by using sociolinguistics to study disparities in provider-patient communication. She has received the American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, a dissertation award from the Division of Linguistics of the National Science Foundation, and a NIH National Center for Minority Health Disparities Scholar Award for racial/ethnic disparities research. Pope is principal investigator for the Carolinas Conversations Collection, an NLM/NIH funded web-based archive of interviews with people over 65 years of age from diverse ethnic and linguistic groups talking about health and illness. She also participates as principal investigator and co-investigator in VA Health Service Research & Development (HSR&D) funded studies at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center.

This year, the AAN installed 176 nursing researchers, educators, practitioners and executives from across the country. Following induction, new Fellows have the privilege of using the FAAN credential (Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing). They have been recognized for their extraordinary nursing careers and are among the nation's most highly-educated citizens; more than 80 percent hold doctoral degrees, and the rest have completed masters programs. Sixty-four percent of the fellowship work in academic settings, 30 percent work in service and practice settings, and about 3 percent work in state and federal government agencies.

 About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the south. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care.  MUSC is home to over 3,000 students and residents, as well as nearly 10,000 employees, including 1,300 faculty members. The MUSC College of Nursing educates over 350 students in baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs.