Prestigious Nursing Fellowship Inducts Two Augustana Alumnae

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Joanne and David Olson 
Joanne (Thompson) Olson '72 and
David Olson '71 at the American
Academy of Nursing induction

12.04.13 — Two alumnae of Augustana’s nursing program were inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as part of the organization’s 2013 class of fellows.

Dr. Joanne (Thompson) Olson ’72 and Dr. Jill E. Bormann ’76 were among 172 inductees honored during a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“Over the years I never dreamed of becoming a fellow in the academy. It is quite an honor!” said Bormann, who is an associate nurse executive and adjunct professor in San Diego.

She said this award reflects all the support and encouragement she’s received from family, colleagues and nurse mentors throughout her career. They include her sister Kathleen (Bormann) Burns ‘70, also an Augie nurse who coached her when selecting a college; and Augustana nursing classmates, Sarah (Hotze) Plagman ’76 and Brenda (Elmen) Ordal ‘76.

“When I think of Augustana, I think of learning, role models, inspiration, friends and good times, and the place where I learned to ‘begin with people as they are, and the situation as it is!’” Bormann said. “That’s the pearl of wisdom from Dr. Joyce Nelson ('56), my community health nursing instructor.”

Olson, who is a professor of nursing in Alberta, Canada, said she’s honored her American colleagues selected her for this distinction.

“I very much appreciate that this organization is more than an honor; it is a way to collectively use nursing expertise to affect government policy,” she said.

The American Academy of Nursing's approximately 2,200 fellows are nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research, according to the organization. Fellows represent association executives; university presidents, chancellors and deans; state and federal political appointees; hospital chief executives and vice presidents for nursing; nurse consultants; and researchers and entrepreneurs.

An invitation to fellowship is more than recognition of one's accomplishments within the nursing profession. Academy fellows also have a responsibility to contribute their time and energies to the Academy, and to engage with other health care leaders outside the Academy in transforming America's health care system.

Jill Bormann
Jill Bormann '76 teaches a class at the VA
San Diego in this screen shot from PBS.

Bormann serves as the associate nurse executive for nursing research and a clinical nurse specialist in adult psychiatric-mental health nursing at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. She is also an adjunct clinical professor at the University of California’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences and an adjunct associate professor at San Diego State University School of Nursing.

In 2001, Bormann completed a two-year VA post-doctoral nurse fellowship at the VA San Diego to explore the relationship between spirituality and health. She started a program of research on the health outcomes of the Mantram Repetition program, a self-care, spiritually-integrated health education intervention for symptom management (also known as a “pause button” for the mind). The positive impact of her research in the lives of veterans with PTSD was highlighted on local and national television in April and June of 2012.

Bormann received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Augustana, a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from the University of Texas at Austin, and Ph.D. in nursing from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Olson is a professor on the faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Olson has offered national and international leadership in nursing education, spiritual aspects of nursing and health, and the development of faith community nursing in Canada. She co-founded a new national organization, the Canadian Association for Parish Nursing Ministry, to connect faith community nurses across Canada. With a chaplain colleague, she co-developed an interdisciplinary graduate course on spiritual assessment. More than 100 Canadian and international graduate students have increased their understanding of spirituality, spiritual health, and spiritual assessment through this course. They have subsequently conducted research focusing on spiritual aspects of nursing and health care.

Olson holds a Ph.D. in nursing from Wayne State University, an M.S. in public health from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Augustana. She’s also married to an alumnus, Dr. David Olson ’71.

"Augustana is where my nursing career and my secondary education began, so Augustana means ‘home’ to me,” Olson said. “By ‘home’ I mean a place where I was nurtured and encouraged to find how best to express myself in the world. … At Augustana, I learned to make my life’s work my life’s joy as well."