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Nursing Professor To Enter International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame

Sara Day, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor Sara Day, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing, will be inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame this year in recognition of the global impact of her nursing research.

Dr. Day will join 31 other world-renowned nurse researchers being inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing during the organization’s 33rd International Nursing Research Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, in July. This year’s Hall of Fame honorees come from countries including Australia, Canada, Italy, Nigeria, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“Selection for the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor,” Dr. Day said. “I am so grateful for the support of UTHSC and for the mentors who have guided and inspired me throughout my career.” Dr. Day joined the faculty of the UTHSC College of Nursing in 2016 and is assistant dean in the college’s Center for Community and Global Partnerships.

Sigma’s annual nursing research congress attracts approximately 800 nurse researchers, students, clinicians, and leaders focused on evidence-based research. Founded in 1922, Sigma has more than 135,000 members in more than 100 countries. The organization’s mission is “Developing nurse leaders anywhere to improve healthcare everywhere.”

Dr. Day’s most prominent contributions to nursing have been the development, implementation, and evaluation of pioneering nursing programs and models to improve the care of children with sickle cell disease and cancer. These programs and models have improved the outcomes of underserved children and have been implemented nationally and globally. Dr. Day spearheaded an innovative systematic approach to treating children and impacted clinical outcomes, including a significant decrease in pneumococcal sepsis, the leading cause of death among young children with sickle cell disease.

Dr. Day spent much of her early professional career at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and earned her PhD in nursing science at UTHSC.

Dr. Day has made prominent contributions to nursing programs and models to improve the care of children with sickle cell disease and cancer. She’s pictured here with the Sickle Cell Group at UTHSC.

“I congratulate Dr. Sara Day on the well-deserved honor of being inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame,” said UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Research Steven R. Goodman, PhD. “Since meeting Sara in 2015, I have been incredibly impressed with her dedication to improving the health and well-being of pediatric patients with sickle cell disease. Dr. Day has worked tirelessly on the training of nurses on the assessment skills required to understand symptoms of deterioration in children with sickle cell disease, thereby reducing the disease pathology and preventing mortality. She shares this passion with everyone involved in the patient’s medical care.”

College of Nursing Dean Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-BC, FAANP, said, “Dr. Day’s commitment to international health and the training of the nursing workforce is commendable. She has much to be proud of for the legacy she is creating in improving health in those with devastating conditions. We are proud to have her as our colleague at UTHSC and the College of Nursing.”

Dr. Day’s work in pediatric oncology has provided nurses in low- and middle-income countries the support and education necessary for improved patient outcomes. She developed a comprehensive nursing program that improved nursing quality standards, education, and staffing. Dr. Day is the first author of research describing the development and evaluation of the Baseline Standards for Paediatric Oncology Nurses in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. The standards are currently published in eight languages, and implementation initiatives span 49 sites in 29 countries. The standards have been published in the following medical journals: Lancet Oncology, Cancer Control, Cancer Nursing, Pediatric Blood and Cancer, and Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing.

Dr. Day has 42 publications, 15 of which are first author, in medical and nursing journals, and a 20-year history of grant support. She has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences, presenting in Chile, Guatemala, New Zealand, Singapore, Panama, China, Canada, Czech Republic, and England. In Washington, D.C., she has presented at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the International Society of Pediatric Oncology Leadership and Advocacy Workshop. In 2019, Dr. Day delivered a keynote address at the International Society of Pediatric Oncology in Lyon, France, one of six invited keynote speakers representing world leaders in pediatric oncology and the only keynote representing the United States.