Texas A&M College of Nursing dean receives distinguished achievement award

College of Nursing dean receives Distinguished Achievement Award in Administration from the Association of Former Students

April 4, 2016

The Association of Former Students has named Dr. Sharon Wilkerson, dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing, the 2016 recipient of the University-Level Distinguished Achievement Award (DAA) in Administration. This is the first time that an employee of the health science center has received The Association University-Level (DAA) in Administration.

The University-Level DAA are among the highest honors bestowed by The Assocation, and recognize outstanding faculty, administrators and staff for their commitment, performance and positive impact on Texas A&M students, Texas citizens and the world around them.

As the Texas A&M College of Nursing’s founding dean, Wilkerson oversaw the development and implementation of the nursing program and the establishment of the college in 2008. She helped to build the college from the ground up, and under her leadership, the College of Nursing has seen tremendous growth. From an inaugural class of 44 baccalaureate (BSN) students on a single campus, the college has grown to include 276 students enrolled in the BSN and master’s degree programs (in 2015) on three campuses. The college’s high standard of academic excellence is evident through the national accreditation of both the undergraduate and graduate programs by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and through the consistently high first-time pass rates of graduates taking the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, which is 10 percentage points higher than both the Texas and national averages for the past five years.

In addition, in recognition of the impact that she has made in the lives of Texas A&M nursing students, Wilkerson was recently named a 2016 Fish Camp Namesake.

Throughout her 51 year career, Wilkerson has contributed significantly to the growth of the nursing profession through advocacy, service and education. She currently serves as president of the Texas Organization of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Education for deans and directors of nursing programs, leading the group to advance nursing education. She is an active member of the National League for Nursing and was inducted into the Academy of Nursing in 2013.

“Dr. Wilkerson has provided outstanding leadership for the college, and has truly integrated the Aggie Core Values and the Nursing Code of Ethics throughout the teaching, research and service activities of our faculty, students and staff,” said Shirley Davidson, associate dean of finance and administration. “She has been the catalyst for meaningful, positive growth in our college, the university and in the nursing profession. This is an honor well-deserved.”

The 2016 Distinguished Achievement Awards will be formally presented on Monday, April 25, at 1:30 p.m., in Rudder Theatre on the Texas A&M University campus. Additional awards will be presented to 23 Texas A&M faculty and staff in a variety of categories including teaching, research and student relations. Each honoree will receive a plaque, an engraved watch and a cash gift, all provided by The Association of Former Students.

— Diane L. Oswald

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