Madison, Wisconsin —April 12, 2018—Dr. Barbara J. Bowers, associate dean for research and sponsored programs and Charlotte Jane and Ralph J. Rodefer chair, is being recognized by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society of Nursing (Sigma) for her vast contributions to nursing science. Dr. Bowers is one of 20 individuals from around the world inducted this year into Sigma’s Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. She will be formally inducted at the Sigma International Nursing Research Congress in Melbourne, Australia, this July.
A preeminent scientist in geriatrics, Dr. Bowers is known nationally and internationally for her seminal contributions to the science and practice of nursing in the care of older adults, especially those living in long-term care or residential settings.
“Dr. Bowers has made a significant impact on the science of nursing, the study of gerontology, and the UW–Madison School of Nursing,” says Dr. Linda D. Scott, dean. “Her vast body of work reflects her lifelong commitment to improving the lives of older adults and their caregivers, and she has inspired countless others to focus their careers not only on addressing the needs of the aging but also on changing the way society perceives older adults and the people who support them.”
With a research career that spans more than three decades, Dr. Bowers has completed more than 55 funded projects supported by both federal sources and foundations. These include the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Hartford Foundation, and Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. Her total grant funding exceeds $20 million. A prolific writer, Dr. Bowers has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed databased papers, which have been extensively cited, as well as 19 book chapters. Her work has been published in multidisciplinary journals, including Nursing Research, Nursing Outlook, The Gerontologist, and Journal of Nursing Scholarship. She also founded and directs the Center for Aging Research and Education, which is housed within the School of Nursing and helps put aging research into action in communities throughout Wisconsin and beyond.
Dr. Bowers consults frequently with government agencies around the world and researchers across a myriad of disciplines. She is renowned for her influence on gerontological science, healthcare policy, and research methodology. A leader on campus as well, she is the current director of education and community partnerships for the UW–Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
“I am truly humbled by this recognition,” Dr. Bowers says. “My interest in older adults and their caregivers has been driven by a recognition of the challenges they face and a belief that we can sustain quality of life regardless of age or disability. My research has focused on finding ways to support older people and the people who care for them. This work is fundamental to what we, as nurses, do. I have always believed in the power of nursing science to advance care and improve the quality of life.”
Created in 2010, the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame recognizes nurse researchers who have achieved significant and sustained national or international recognition and whose research has improved the profession and the people it serves. The award presentation is sponsored by Wiley. Sigma’s annual congress attracts nearly 1,000 nurse researchers, students, clinicians, and leaders, who learn from evidence-based research presentations. The theme for the 29th International Nursing Research Congress is Innovative Global Nursing Practice and Education Through Research and Evidence-Based Practice.
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