Two Baylor Professors Named to List of 100 Inspiring Nurses

  • Shelley Conroy
    Shelley Conroy courtesy photo
  • Claudia Beal
    Claudia Beal courtesy photo.
Feb. 7, 2014

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Feb. 7, 2014) - Two Baylor professors in the Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas - Dean Shelley Conroy, Ed.D., and Assistant Professor Claudia Beal, Ph.D. - are on the list of 100 inspiring nurses to watch in 2014 on Online LPN to RN, a website that provides information on nursing education and careers.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 526,800 new nursing jobs will need to be filled between 2012 and 2022," reads the website. "Many new nurses will need to be educated to fulfill that need, and as nurses continue to grow in number and importance to the medical field, the need for skilled nurse educators also goes up."

The site acknowledges that competition for practicing nurses and nurse educations is intimidating and that it's important to young nurses and students to have nursing role models. The list is not a ranking of nurses, but is "meant to honor 100 dedicated nurse educators who have succeeded in carving out a place for themselves in the changing nurse landscape."

Conroy began at Baylor when she became dean in January 2012, having already been established as a veteran administrator and educator in the field of nursing. As the list's editor notes, "From leading study abroad trips to working on research endeavors, her experience is hard to match in nursing higher education."

"I was very surprised when I read the email because I did not know I was being considered and reviewed for this recognition," Conroy said. "It was quite an honor, when there are so many deserving nurse leaders out there who lead and inspire across the nation."

Beal was also "surprised but pleased" to hear of her recognition, she said. Her research, translation science and ethics courses in the nursing school's graduate program are designed to teach students to incorporate scientific research into their practice in order to provide their patients with up-to-date treatment.

"I love teaching these bright and dedicated future advanced practice nurses," Beal said. "With the many changes that our health care system is undergoing, and the advent of the Affordable Care Act, advanced practice nurses will be at the forefront of providing quality patient care."

Conroy said that nursing "is a profession that requires a strong academic preparation with grounding in the sciences and liberal arts . . . such as the one you receive at Baylor University.

"In terms of the unique call to serve others inherent in nursing, nothing is more rewarding than being able to provide comfort, education, advocacy and support to those who are hurting, sick or in need of someone to walk alongside them," she said. "Nurse scientists and academicians serve a valuable role of advancing the science of the discipline and improving the health of society through the discovery and application of new knowledge."

by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


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.

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