Faculty Member Selected as American Academy of Nursing Fellow

Pearl Merritt, R.N., Ed.D., M.S., regional dean of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Nursing at Abilene, was accepted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Merritt will be inducted at the organization’s 39th Annual Meeting and Conference on Oct. 13 in Washington D.C.

The American Academy of Nursing's approximately 1,800 Fellows are nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research. They include: association executives; university presidents, chancellors and deans; state and federal political appointees; hospital chief executives and vice presidents for nursing; nurse consultants; and researchers and entrepreneurs.

“We are very proud of Dr. Merritt’s accomplishments, and we are fortunate to have her as a regional dean of nursing,” said Michael L. Evans, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, dean of the TTUHSC School of Nursing. “She is a great example of the positive change that nurses can make in health care.”

Merritt, a native of Abilene, came to TTUHSC from Buckner Retirement Services Inc. in Dallas, where she served as president. She has more than 30 years in the health care field – specifically 22 years in long-term care. She was appointed as regional dean for the TTUHSC School of Nursing at Abilene campus in 2010.

She was senior vice president of Sears Methodist Retirement Services in Abilene for almost 20 years. Merritt has contributed to the development of national practice guidelines through regional, state and national committees, presentations and other collaborative projects. She was selected as the winner of the Texas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging Distinguished Service Award in 2008.

Merritt is credited with creating the first Career Ladder for Certified Nursing Assistants in Texas. She led Buckner Retirement Services’ efforts to bring The Green House Model for Long-Term Care to Texas. The Green House Model enhances quality of care through a total rethinking of the architecture, staffing and philosophy of skilled nursing care.

She received her Ed.D. at Texas Tech University in 2003, her master’s in management and human resources from Abilene Christian University in 1993, and her MSN from Abilene Christian University in 1994. She earned her BSN at McMurry University in 1989.

The American Academy of Nursing was founded in 1973 under the support of the American Nurses Association, but today is an independent affiliate. The academy serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The academy and its members create and execute knowledge-driven and policy-related initiatives to drive reform of America's health care system.

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