As associate dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Ackerman-Barger leads the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing’s efforts to create a diverse and welcoming setting in which to learn, work and collaborate. She also designs initiatives to make the school’s learning environments, workforce, programs, services and partnerships more diverse and inclusive.
She is among 19 leading nurse educators inducted during the 2021 NLN Education Summit this year. Members of the 15th class of fellows teach in a range of programs across the spectrum of higher education. They are affiliated with top-ranked teaching hospitals, academic institutions and other organizations committed to advancing the quality of health care in the U.S. and globally.
"I applaud all of the new academy fellows. These are individuals who have made substantive contributions throughout their careers and represent the extraordinary leadership, fortitude, creativity and compassion it took to maneuver through the toughest of circumstances brought on by the pandemic,” said Patricia S. Yoder-Wise, NLN chair.
In a competitive application process, a review panel evaluates applicants’ contributions to innovative teaching and learning strategies; nursing education research; faculty development activities; academic leadership; promotion of public policy initiatives that advance nursing education; and collaborative educational, practice or community partnerships.
“It is indeed an honor to join the NLN Academy of Nurse Educators,” Ackerman-Barger said. “I have always viewed nursing education as both an art and a science. It is a primary source of joy in my life. As much as I love teaching, I love learning from students and being part of their journeys to becoming health care professionals, educators, leaders and researchers.”
Ackerman-Barger’s academic interests relate to health equity and social justice. Over her career, she has combined her expertise in nursing and education to advance inclusive learning environments, education equity and workforce diversity.
She is a national consultant and speaker on strategies to help underserved and underrepresented groups in health professions thrive academically. She recently presented "Together We Advance an Inclusive Nursing Profession - A Model for Mitigating and Responding to Racism, Discrimination, and Microaggressions" to more than 600 members of the American Academy of Nursing.
She also serves as director of Faculty Development for Education and Teaching and co-director for the UC Davis Health Interprofessional Teaching Scholars Program.
"Dr. Ackerman-Barger’s expertise and perspectives on advancing a climate that fosters inclusion excellence are valuable to our School of Nursing faculty, staff and students,” said Dean Stephen Cavanagh. “As we implement our new strategic plan, her leadership and contributions will be vital to ensure we promote diversity and inclusion in research, teaching, public service and training across the school and in neighboring communities.”
Ackerman-Barger joins Amy Nichols, the School of Nursing’s interim associate dean of academic affairs and a professor, who was inducted last year.
The Academy of Nursing Education fosters excellence in nursing education by recognizing the wisdom of outstanding nurse educators. Fellows serve as mentors and resources for new educators and those in clinical practice who hope to someday enter the ranks of nurse faculty.