Three set to receive U-M School of Nursing alumni awards

The University of Michigan School of Nursing today announced the recipients of the 2022 alumni awards. They are Kristen Choi, Ph.D., MS, RN; Doris Grinspun, Ph.D., MSN, BSN, RN and Dana Tschannen, Ph.D., RN. The awards are selected by the U-M School of Nursing Alumni Awards Committee and will be officially presented during the School of Nursing’s 2022 reunion festivities on Friday, Sept. 23.

Profile photo of Dr. Kristen Choi. Early Career Achievement AwardDr. Kristen Choi

Choi, who is an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, will receive the inaugural Early Career Achievement Award. This award recognizes a U-M School of Nursing graduate who has gained recognition for making advances and improvements for the nursing profession within the first ten years after graduation.

Choi was nominated for this award by Dean Patricia D. Hurn, Ph.D., RN, FAAN.

“Dr. Choi exhibits remarkable qualities as an emerging leader in the field of nursing,” commented Hurn. “She has excelled early in her professional career and has demonstrated outstanding leadership and a rapidly developing career trajectory in nursing. She demonstrates drive, passion and commitment to her profession in advancing healthcare.”

Choi credits the University of Michigan for making a difference in both her education and career path.

“The School of Nursing really taught me to love and have a passion for science,” said Choi. “I really think a lot about how we can teach nursing students and nurses to have that vision for how they could be involved with science and how important it is to our discipline and future.”

Profile photo of Dr. Doris Grinspun. Career Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Doris Grinspun

Grinspun, the Chief Executive Officer of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), is the recipient of the Career Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes a U-M School of Nursing graduate who has made sustained and exceptional contributions to nursing during their career either as a clinician, educator, leader or administrator.

Grinspun was nominated by Professor Anne Sales, Ph.D., RN from the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri.

“Doris has been an incredible leader at the provincial level in Canada’s largest province of Ontario,” said Sales. “Her reach has been fully global through the innovative and critical programs she has launched.”

In reflecting on the honor, Grinspun remembers her journey to the University of Michigan and beginnings as a nurse.

“I was a newcomer from Israel and my husband was doing his Ph.D. at Michigan in economics,” said Grinspun. “Meanwhile, I was home with two kids studying like madness to pass the NCLEX exam so we could survive financially. I passed the exam and got into the University of Michigan medical center and worked in the rehab unit for six years. The head nurse at the time, a role model second to none, called me and said, ‘I want you to be head nurse.’ She saw the potential in me and made me assistant head nurse.”

Grinspun, who has spent more than 30 years as a leader in health care, hopes to encourage others like her to consider a career in nursing.

“Newcomers to North America like me can see that nursing is a feast of opportunities," said Grinspun." If you are values-driven and courageous – and have the right environment and opportunities – the possibilities are endless.”

“Dr. Grinspun has impacted healthcare in a number of ways with many initiatives in Canada and around the world,” said Hurn. “She has made sustained contributions to nursing in service, leadership and advocacy and is a tenacious leader who works to ensure that the image of nursing as a profession is well regarded.”

Profile photo of Dr. Dana Tschannen. Excellence in Clinical Practice AwardDr Dana Tschannen

Tschannen, who is associate dean for undergraduate studies and clinical professor at the U-M School of Nursing, is being honored with the inaugural Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. This award recognizes a U-M School of Nursing graduate who promotes evidence-based practice that effectively aligns theory and research with clinical applications.

“I’m truly honored to receive this award,” said Tschannen. “So many University of Michigan Nursing alumni are making such tremendous, impactful contributions in healthcare, so to be acknowledged with this award means a lot.”

Tschannen was also nominated by Hurn for the award.

“Dr. Tschannen is leading the charge to incorporate diverse voices in nursing education and expand our shared understanding of what it means to clinically educate nursing students,” commented Hurn. “Her practice leadership is improving the contexts in which nurses provide care which can, in turn, improve outcomes for their patients.”