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Founder of Newberry College Nursing Program to be Honored by American Academy of Nursing

October 10, 2022


WASHINGTON — Dr. Betsy M. McDowell, professor emerita of nursing at Newberry College, will be inducted this month as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.


The academy is one of the most influential and prestigious institutions in the field. The academy brings together the most accomplished leaders in nursing to advance health care. Those leaders, called fellows, earn their place in the organization through their extraordinary contributions in health policy, research, administration, practice and academia.


“I’m extremely honored to have my contributions to nursing education, pediatric nursing and theory-based practice recognized on a global scale in this way,” said McDowell. “I’m humbled by the recognition and pleased to serve as a role model for other nurses.”


McDowell helped establish the College’s nursing program, which began classes in 2009. She served as the department’s founding chair until her retirement in 2018. Her career has included 48 years of teaching in prelicensure programs in South Carolina, including a decades-long stint at Lander University. Her knowledge base, anxiety control, test-taking skills framework, or KATTS, focuses on the three components of high achievement on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Since its introduction in 2008, McDowell’s framework has been adopted by at least 12 prelicensure programs across the United States. In 2015, she was inducted as a fellow into the National League for Nursing’s prestigious Academy of Nursing Education.


She said her career’s most prized accomplishments include helping children and their families through critical illness or traumatic experiences, such as hurricanes and domestic violence; successfully merging theory-based education with clinical practice and sharing her knowledge; preparing qualified, compassionate nursing professionals; and bringing Newberry College’s nursing program into fruition.


McDowell now serves as president of the Neuman Systems Model Trustees Group, which maintains the integrity and relevance of the model for nursing instruction. She also chairs the Pediatric Nursing Excellence Task Force for the Society of Pediatric Nurses, drawing on her experience as a pediatric critical care nurse.


She will be one of 250 distinguished leaders — and one of five from South Carolina — to be inducted as fellows on Oct. 29, as part of the academy’s annual health policy conference in Washington.

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