Baylor School of Nursing's faculty wins prestigious midwifery award

June 22, 2012
Mary Brucker, Ph.D.Mary Brucker, Ph.D.

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WACO, Texas (June 21, 2012)- After finding out that she had won the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, Mary Brucker, Ph.D., was "stunned, but composed - until she saw her brother, niece and two of her oldest friends who had been hidden until the presentation - then the tears came," explained Mary Ann Faucher, Ph.D., an associate professor at Baylor's Louis Herrington School of Nursing, and one of Brucker's colleagues.

Brucker, professor, associate dean and interim graduate program director at the nursing school, was presented the award at the American College of Nurse-Midwives'(ACNM) annual meeting. The award, given out by the ACNM, is only given out to one midwife annually, and in many ways is considered a professional lifetime achievement award. Brucker is only the 36th midwife to receive the award.

"I was overwhelmed to join the ranks of only 35 other midwives who preceded me. I am still overwhelmed by it. It is difficult to explain the significance to others outside of the profession of midwifery," Brucker said.

Faucher emphasized the importance of the award, as it honors exceptional midwifes that have made contributions to the field either by distinguished service, developing and advancing the field or both.

"It was a magical night that I know she will remember always," Faucher said.

Earlier this year, Brucker was also chosen to be editor of the Nursing for Women's Health journal, that has a circulation of more the 25,000 nurses in obstetrics, neonatology and women's health.

"I've been a Certified Nurse-Midwife for more than 38 years," Brucker said. "During that time, I have been privileged to provide care to women and families in both public and private sectors in several areas in the country."

She has also participated in various professional activities and advocacy groups, published and presented nationally and internationally on a variety of topics regarding women's care and in 2011, she co-wrote and edited the book Pharmacology for Women's Health that was the chosen as ACNM's book of the year.

Brucker also has a clear vision of what the future of women's health care should be heading towards.

"I believe the goals should focus on increasing accessibility and improving care of women and families," she explained. "Goals as a midwife and nurse should follow how to meet these needs. Midwives care for women throughout their entire lives, including - but not limited to - during the childbearing cycle. We know that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. So we should support those hands and strive to improve the world."


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "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. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


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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