CSE alumna Mary Ellen Roberts , DNP, RN, APNC, AANP , Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of the DNP program at Seton Hall University College of Nursing, was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing for her dedicated service in the field. Dr. Roberts expressed that she was honored and deeply moved, and acknowledged that the application and selection process is rigorous. “This certainly was a professional highlight, one I never would have expected. Holding membership in the Academy gives you a status in the minds of other nurses. It is a humbling experience to work with nursing leaders that I have always held in high esteem. It is surreal to think that I am part of this group.”
Dr. Roberts’ exemplary leadership led to development and promotion of the nurse practitioner (NP) role in diverse settings, increased visibility of NPs in all areas of practice, improved access to health care for urban populations, and expanded nursing contributions to health policy agendas. As President of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Dr. Roberts focused on expanding the NP scope of practice. She led pioneer efforts to increase visibility of NPs in primary and specialty care by utilizing the media to enlighten interdisciplinary health care providers and the general public. Her many publications and her campaign to improve NP visibility and scope of practice placed her as a spokeswoman and led to appointments to health policy groups. Her efforts led to inclusion of provider neutral language in legislation that is of benefit to the entire nursing profession. Dr. Roberts’ numerous presentations to interdisciplinary groups on important topics in primary and specialty care indicate her widespread influence, as do her many publications in professional journals. She set the standard for subsequent presidents of AANP to continue efforts to improve NP scope of practice in many states. Dr. Roberts’ legacy as a leader in NP professional organizations includes shaping the DNP, and her seminal AANP white paper in favor of the DNP degree continues to serve as the voice of more than 50,000 practicing NPs.
Dr. Roberts received her BSN at the College of Saint Elizabeth, her MSN and MA from Seton Hall University and her DNP from the University of Iowa. She maintains a practice in East Orange, New Jersey in addition to her academic appointment.
In Dr. Roberts’ application she highlighted her contributions to the nurse practitioner (NP) role, including the development, promotion and improved visibility for NPs in all specialties, her efforts to expand health care for all populations, and her impact on health policy agendas. Her impact on national and international nursing is evidenced by her many professional presentations, publications, leadership in professional organizations, honors and awards, and service on task forces and expert panels.