Melissa Craft, Ph.D., APRN-CNS, AOCN, a faculty member in Nursing Academic Programs in the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma, recently was selected to join the American Academy of Nursing 2020 Class of Fellows. The newest class of 230 distinguished nurse leaders represents 39 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territory of Guam, as well as 13 countries. (story continued below)

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Craft, the only 2020 recipient from Oklahoma, was selected through a competitive application process that evaluates a nurse leader’s contributions to advance the public’s health.
“Induction into the academy is significant recognition of Dr. Craft and her many contributions to OU’s Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing and the nursing profession at large,” said OU College of Nursing Dean Julie Hoff, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N.
Craft has nearly 40 years of experience as a nurse and clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in cancer nursing. During her career, she has provided care navigation, genetic counseling and genetic testing to over 15,000 patients and families. Craft has also mentored nurses, students and faculty in professional development on the art and science of caring for cancer patients.
Her lifelong work has focused on enhancing care for oncology patients and optimizing professional opportunities for nurses. In her current administrative role as interim senior associate dean, she continues to teach and maintain a program of research focused on using expressive writing/storytelling to assimilate thoughts and feelings about particularly intense or traumatic events, such as cancer and cognitive challenges after chemotherapy.
Active in interprofessional education and practice, Craft has received numerous awards and recognition for her professional and community service.
The 2020 inductees will be recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the American Academy of Nursing’s annual Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference, to be held virtually in late October.
In announcing the recipients, Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, said, “I am honored to welcome this exceptional class to the American Academy of Nursing. Their work, across many fields of expertise, exemplifies the power of nursing knowledge in creating meaningful change. As a policy organization, we strive to improve health and achieve health equity through nursing leadership, innovation and science. Growing the academy’s fellowship bolsters our collective strength and further enables us to meet our policy priorities. Now, more than ever, our collaboration is critical, and I am excited to congratulate this dynamic class of Fellows during the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.”
The American Academy of Nursing serves the public by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Academy Fellows are inducted into the organization for their extraordinary contributions to improve health locally and globally. With more than 2,700 Fellows, the academy represents nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, administration, practice and academia.