James Madison University

Nursing Faculty Member To Be Recognized

Assistant Professor, Dr. Erica Lewis, selected for the Virginia Nurses Association 40 Under 40 Award

PHOTO: Erica Lewis

Dr. Lewis will be recognized at the 2015 Virginia Nurses Association Gala this November at the Hilton Short Pump in Glen Allen, VA for being one of the top 40 under the age of 40 nurses in the Commonwealth. The award criteria required nominees to have demonstrable achievements in the areas of professional practice, leadership, and impact that positively promotes and advances the nursing profession beyond the practice setting.

Faculty member and colleague of Dr. Lewis, Merle E. Mast, PhD, RN, ANP, submitted the required narrative that highlighted her commitment and contributions to the nursing profession. Dr. Mast wrote:
Dr. Lewis demonstrates exceptional leadership through innovation and teaching. Her ability to integrate teaching, scholarship, and service to impact nursing is especially noteworthy. Dr. Lewis brings her expertise in health care ethics to all areas of her work. For example, she reviewed the James Madison University (JMU) BSN curriculum and imbedded ethics in a systematic and progressive way that helps students ethically reason and prevents moral distress. In her research, Dr. Lewis assessed the root causes of moral distress for nursing students and recently presented findings at a national conference. She shows leadership beyond JMU through her ongoing and recent service on committees, including the Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital ethics committee and the Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) ethics and human rights committee, where she assisted with writing recommendations and co-authored a professional publication on lateral violence. Dr. Lewis serves as an ethics associate for the Madison Collaborative. In this significant role she lectures and consults with faculty across the entire JMU campus on the topics of ethical reasoning and student moral distress. Her leadership in these areas strongly promotes ethical development in students across all professions and promotes the nursing profession at JMU and across the state.

Dr. Lewis uses her expertise in healthcare quality to promote interprofessional practice and learning at JMU and beyond. She led a faculty team to obtain 4VA funding to design, offer, and evaluate an interprofessional course with nursing, pre-professional health, and engineering students in an online environment called MakerSpace. Student groups collaboratively developed interventions for persons with metabolic syndrome, using technologies such a 3D printers. She will present course outcomes this fall at a national conference. When the course is offered again in spring 2016, it will include faculty and students from other Virginia Universities. Dr. Lewis is scheduled to co-facilitate several educational lectures on the benefits of interprofessional education this fall.

In conclusion, Dr. Lewis brings energy, commitment, and stellar leadership to teaching, scholarship, and professional service that positively promote the nursing profession and high quality interprofessional care. She is most deserving of this reward!