Baylor faculty chosen for nursing fellowship

June 21, 2012

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Media contact: Frank Raczkiewicz , (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (June 21, 2012)- When Linda Plank, Ph.D., interim associate dean for academic affairs at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing at Baylor, found out that she would be taking part in a competitive national nursing leadership fellowship this summer, she was naturally excited. The fact that it will be held in Colorado Springs, Colo. only sweetened the deal.

Plank is looking forward to spending five this summer with around 60 other fellows and is eager to learn what the program has to offer. As a part of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Leadership for Academic Nursing Program, she will be taking part in an assessment and evaluation of her leadership skills, and will be presented with opportunities for strategic networking and case study development, consultation to achieve long-term goals and identifying of key partnerships.

"This fellowship is designed to develop and enhance leadership skills in new and emerging executive administrators in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs and better prepare participants to accept academic leadership positions, including the role of dean or director of the nursing academic unit," said Shelley Conroy, Ph.D., dean of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing. "Dr. Plank was selected from a national pool of applicants who were recommended by their respective deans. We look forward to the contributions her fellowship will enable her to make to our school and the achievement of our goals and aspirations."

Plank cited specific things that she hoped to gain from the program, including being able to determine faculty needs, making connections and learning about how to navigate as a leader in the school.

"It's a fellowship for mid-level deans," she said. "It's not for those who already deans, but those who are in training for it or aspiring to it. We're going to cover what's going on in academia and health care. There will also be several webinars throughout the year. I will also be making contacts throughout the nation as we work to figure out problems in the health care world and how to tackle them."

The name Baylor and the connection to it runs deep for Plank, who stayed close throughout her whole career.

"I have been teaching here for three years. I graduated from the Baylor nursing program in 1977, walked right across the street to the Baylor Healthcare System, stayed there for 33 years and then I walked right back across the street," she said.

She said that she is currently looking forward to see what the future holds.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor Louise Herrington School of Nursing was established in 1909 as a diploma program within Baylor Hospital in Dallas, which is now Baylor University Medical Center, and in 1950 became one of the six degree-granting schools of Baylor University. The first Bachelor of Science in nursing degrees were awarded in 1954, establishing the school as one of the oldest baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States. In 1999, the School was renamed the Louise Herrington School of Nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, a 1992 Baylor Alumna Honoris Causa, made a $13 million endowment gift to the school. The School of Nursing offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree and a master of science in nursing degrees in advanced neonatal nursing, nursing administration and management, and family nurse practitioner programs, which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The School also offers a nurse midwifery doctorate in nursing practice.

by Mallory Hisler, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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