Donna Diers, the Annie W. Goodrich Professor Emerita and Lecturer in the Nursing Management, Policy and Leadership Program at YSN, received the University of Wyoming’s honorary doctor of science degree. She was recognized during the UW commencement ceremonies on May 5 – the honorary doctoral degree is one of the highest awards given by the university.
Every year, UW alumni, trustees and faculty nominate individuals who have made notable contributions to the health, education or general welfare of Wyoming residents. As a prominent leader in nursing practice, education, research and national and international health policy, Diers was nominated.
Diers is a Wyoming native who began her undergraduate studies at the University of Denver before starting her successful career here at YSN. She began as an instructor in 1964 and served as dean for 13 years.
Diers has received some of the most prestigious awards and honors in nursing, including being named a “Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing in 2010. She also wrote “Research in Nursing Practice,” which is the first ever textbook on clinical nursing research methodologies. Over the years, her publications focus on helping nurses use information technology and administrative data to enhance nursing services.
Mary Burman, dean of the Faye W. Whitney School of Nursing, met Diers while she was a graduate student at the University of Michigan and believes Diers “has been a source of inspiration for what folks from Wyoming can accomplish.”
Along with Diers, teacher and civic leader Karl Allen and NBC News’ senior justice correspondent Pete Williams also received honorary doctoral degrees from the Univ. of Wyoming.