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The National Academies of Practice in Nursing honors two members of nursing faculty

Yolanda Nelson and Tracy Perron
Yolanda Nelson and Tracy Perron

Tracy Perron and Yolanda Nelson, two faculty members in The College of New Jersey’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, were recently named Distinguished Fellows of the National Academies of Practice in Nursing.

NAP, a non-profit organization founded in 1981, is an alliance of healthcare professionals from multiple fields who collaborate to transform health and well-being and advise governmental bodies on our healthcare system.

“I feel honored to be recognized for the work that we currently do here at TCNJ,” Nelson said. “NAP is an organization that really values mentorship and diversity, and those are two things I am very passionate about in my work.”

Perron points to NAP’s emphasis on collaborative work as a particular point of pride in earning this honor.

“The organization is committed to recognizing people from all of the healthcare disciplines including nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and nutrition,” she said. “Working with other professionals and partners, especially within our community, is really important and rewarding for me.”

The demands of being on the front lines of public health, particularly since COVID-19, have put tremendous strain on those in the nursing profession, and according to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses, the nursing shortage in the U.S. is only going to get worse.

But Perron and Nelson both emphasize to their students the importance of individualized care for their patients, regardless of circumstances.

“I tell them to imagine themselves laying in that hospital bed,” Nelson said. “How would you want to be treated? That should guide you in your approach to care.”

“We are the strongest advocates for our patients, and typically, we are with them for an extended period of time compared to others in the healthcare professions,” Perron said.

Nelson and Perron accepted their awards on March 16 at the NAP induction ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida.

— Luke Sacks