Merrill has been with the School of Nursing for 25 years.
The School of Nursing recently received a generous gift from The CH Foundation to establish The CH Foundation Endowed Professorship in Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Studies.
This gift will be combined with funds previously raised from various School of Nursing donors to create this permanent endowment.
"I am very grateful for the opportunity to accept The CH Foundation Endowed Professorship in Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Studies," Merrill said. "I am indebted to The CH Foundation for their support, and to the School of Nursing faculty and staff."
In this role, Merrill will provide much-needed leadership for the enhancement of advanced practice registered nursing education and practice on the South Plains and the rest of the state.
“Dr. Merrill is an excellent choice for this esteemed endowed chair,” said School of Nursing Dean Michael L. Evans, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN. “She has done an outstanding job in her years leading our school’s nurse practitioner and nurse midwifery programs, and with this support, I am confident she will continue to help our students and faculty flourish in these emergent areas of health care.”
Merrill’s areas of expertise include graduate education for nurse practitioners, role development for advanced practice registered nurses, advisement of graduate students seeking advanced nursing education and nurse practitioner faculty development in academia. She also has clinical experience as a family nurse practitioner in primary care.
A growing body of evidence suggests a strong, high-quality primary care system is directly related to good health outcomes. Advanced practice registered nurses are registered nurses with master or doctoral degrees prepared to deliver high-quality, cost-effective primary and acute health care for adults and children in today’s overloaded health care system.
Currently 81 percent of all School of Nursing graduate students choose nurse practitioner or nurse midwifery tracks. From 1992 to 2011, 602 students graduated from the school’s advanced practice registered nursing programs. The majority of graduates remain in Texas, and a significant number continue to provide health care for Lubbock area residents.