Nursing Leader Named Fellow in American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

MD Anderson News Release 07/02/12

Joyce E. Dains, Dr.P.H., R.N., J.D., director of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) Program, was inducted recently into the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) as a fellow.

Dains also is associate professor in the Department of Nursing and manager of Professional Education for Prevention and Early Detection (PEPED) at MD Anderson. In addition, she has a clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner in the Cancer Prevention Center.

Dains was one of 43 fellows inducted into the fellowship program of the national organization of APNs. Recognized for their significant contributions to clinical practice, research, education or policy, there are approximately 350 fellows in the AANP.

Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are registered nurses who have advanced knowledge, skills and scope of practice. At MD Anderson, there are two categories of APNs: nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. The institution employs approximately 350 advanced practice nurses.

Dains joins her colleagues, Anecita Fadol, Ph.D., R.N. and Terri Armstrong, Ph.D., R.N., as MD Anderson's three AANP fellows. Fadol is assistant professor in the Department of Nursing and an advanced practice nurse in the Department of Cardiology, and Armstrong is associate professor in the Department of Neuro-Oncology.

"I am delighted to be selected as a fellow in this outstanding national organization of advanced practice nurses, a field that I have been devoted to and proud of for many years. It is an honor that I share with all the extraordinary APNs and nurses at MD Anderson," said Dains. "As we prepare for changes under the expected reforms in health care, advanced practice nurses will become even more vital to patients, and our nursing specialty needs to hear a wide range of voices and perspectives. I look forward to contributing on behalf of our APNs, nurses and patients."

Dains joined MD Anderson in 2002 to lead its PEPED program, which educates a wide range of health professionals about cancer prevention and early detection. She continues those responsibilities today, and in 2007 also began directing the APN Program. In 2010, Dains joined the faculty of MD Anderson's Department of Nursing when it launched.

Dains has a diverse background, holding administrative and teaching positions at The New England Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, The Ohio State University School of Nursing, The University of Texas School of Nursing, Texas Woman's University and Baylor College of Medicine. She has worked as a staff nurse and advanced practice nurse in a variety of settings including urgent care, alcohol detoxification, family medicine, geriatrics and cancer prevention.

Dains earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Boston College after she was awarded a diploma in nursing from the New England Baptist Hospital School of Nursing.  She continued her education at Case Western Reserve University, where she earned her master's degree in nursing. She later was awarded her doctorate in public health from The University of Texas at Houston School of Public Health.

Six years after she earned her doctorate, Dains graduated from the University of Houston Law Center. She practiced law with a Houston firm but returned to nursing, where she has remained since completing a post-graduate Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Texas Woman's University.

Dains' research interests are in cancer screening education, guidelines and practice in rural or medically underserved communities in Texas and the impact that access to APNs can have on those populations.

"Looking back on my education and career path, I am grateful for my many opportunities," said Dains. "I am especially pleased to be working at MD Anderson where nursing excellence and education is encouraged, recognized and valued."

As fellows in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Dains, Fadol and Armstrong join other nursing faculty who also hold prestigious national fellowships. Barbara Summers, Ph.D., R.N., vice president and chief nursing officer, and Geri

LoBiondo-Wood, Ph.D., R.N., director of nursing research and evidence-based practice at MD Anderson, are fellows in the American Academy of Nursing. 07/02/12