Academy of Nursing Education Fellows

The National League for Nursing (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education fosters excellence in nursing education by recognizing and capitalizing on the wisdom of outstanding individuals in and outside the profession who have contributed to nursing education in sustained and significant ways. Individuals inducted as Academy Fellows have provided evidence of their enduring and substantial contributions to nursing education in one of the following areas: teaching/learning innovations, faculty development, research in nursing education, leadership in nursing education, public policy related to nursing education or collaborative partnerships (education/practice/community).  The Duke University School of Nursing faculty who have been honored by being inducted into the NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education are as follows:


Jennie De Gagne, PhD, DNP, RN-BC, CNE, ANEF, FAAN


Jennie De Gagne, PhD, DNP, RN-BC, CNE, ANEF, FAAN is a Professor in the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON). Her program of scholarship seeks to advance the science of teaching and learning through the effective use of instructional technologies to create a student-centered environment that facilitates deeper and more constructive learning. Cybercivility is on the cutting edge of this very important topic, inciting her to develop and lead novel projects addressing cyberincivility among health professionals and students. She has been highly productive in disseminating her scholarly work through more than 150 publications and 100 presentations on technology use in the classroom, faculty development in online education, and cybercivility, as well as workforce training through distance/online instruction. 

De Gagne holds numerous membership and leadership roles in professional organizations, including the International Council of Nursing, American Nurses Association, and Global Korean Nursing Foundation. She is the founder and executive advisor of the North Carolina Korean Nurses Association and serves the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing as a global ambassador and an abstract reviewer.

De Gagne is board certified in Nursing Professional Development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and earned certification as a nurse educator from the National League for Nursing. She is a member of the National League for Nursing (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education and the American Academy of Nursing. She has been the recipient of scholarships and awards throughout her professional and academic career, being interviewed nationally and internationally for print and digital media.

Phone: (919) 684-9341
Office: 2057 Pearson Building

Valerie M Howard, EdD, MSN, RN, ANEF, CNE, FAAN


Valerie Howard, EdD, MSN, RN, joined Duke in 2018. Dr. Howard has over 21 years of experience in higher education, with the past eleven years dedicated to researching, developing, implementing and evaluating innovative teaching methods and leadership and team building experiences across the curriculum. Dr. Howard served as Dean at Robert Morris University’s (RMU) School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS) in Pittsburgh, PA, where she was also the University Professor of Nursing. Her accomplishments as Dean included improved certification exam pass rates, increased enrollment, execution of contracts with healthcare organizations to support clinical education of nurses, successful accreditation efforts for nursing and health sciences programs, improved marketing efforts and the development of innovative and collaborative majors Prior to position as Dean, she served RMU in various leadership roles including Director of Development and Assistant Dean for External Affairs, Academic Department Head and Academic Integrity Council Chair. While serving in these roles, she helped to raise over $8,000,000 in both research and non-research funding working in tandem with the RMU Advancement Team, Office of the President, Office of Research and Grants and SNHS administrative team to support programmatic and simulation initiatives, improve the campus experience and construct a new building for the SNHS, Scaife Hall. Dr. Howard created the Society for Simulation in Healthcare accredited RMU Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center and served as its founding director. She was president of the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) from 2011 to 2013 and received the INACSL Excellence Award in Research in 2010. Dr. Howard worked with a team to develop the inaugural Elsevier Simulation Learning System, a curricular support system to assist with implementation of simulation experiences that is now being used at over 400 schools of nursing. She also developed the STRIVE Model ©Howard 2010 to guide educators in designing and planning simulation programs at their respective institutions. She created the RMU Leadership in Simulation Instruction and Management Certificate Program to prepare faculty to implement simulation in their curricula. In alignment with the IOM Recommendations, Dr. Howard implemented, evaluated and sustained the Dedicated Education Unit Model for educating nurses in the Pittsburgh region, and she is currently working with the PA Action Coalition to provide board training in support of the national Nurses on Boards initiatives. Dr. Howard earned her EdD in Higher Education Administration and MSN (Nursing Education) from the University of Pittsburgh and her BSN from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Phone: (919) 613-7162
Office: 2019 Pearson Building

Marilyn H. Oermann, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Thelma M. Ingles Professor of Nursing

Marilyn H. Oermann, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, is the Thelma M. Ingles Professor of Nursing, lead faculty for the Nursing Education major and director of evaluation and educational research at Duke University School of Nursing. Dr. Oermann’s scholarship focuses on nursing education, with an emphasis on both teaching and evaluation in nursing. With funding from the National League for Nursing (NLN) and Laerdal Medical, she is completing a multisite study on maintaining competence in CPR among nursing students. She recently completed a feasibility study on the use of simulation for high stakes testing.

Dr. Oermann is the author or co-author of 19 books (several of which won national awards), more than 160 articles in peer-reviewed journals and a wide variety of other publications. Her current books include Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education (5th ed., 2017), Writing for Publication in Nursing (3rd ed., 2015), Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing (5th ed., 2018), and Teaching in Nursing and Role of the Educator: The Complete Guide to Best Practice in Teaching, Evaluation and Curriculum Development (2nd ed., 2018). She is the editor of A Systematic Approach to Assessment and Evaluation of Nursing Programs (2017), and she edited six volumes of the Annual Review of Nursing Education. Dr. Oermann is the editor of Nurse Educator and the Journal of Nursing Care Quality. She is past editor of Nurse Author & Editor. She lectures widely on writing for publication and nursing education topics.

Dr. Oermann is a member of the American Academy of Nursing and National League for Nursing (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education. She received the NLN Award for Excellence in Nursing Education Research, the Sigma Theta Tau International Elizabeth Russell Belford Award for Excellence in Education and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Excellence Award.

Phone: (919) 684-1623
Office: 2049 Pearson Building


Associate Professor

Michael Relf, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, AACRN, CNE, FAAN, is the Associate Dean for Global and Community Affairs. From the period 2008-2014, he served as the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director of the Accelerated BSN Program in the School of Nursing at Duke University.

Initially, his clinical practice was in adult critical care where he functioned as a staff nurse, critical care clinical nurse specialist, and nurse manager. It was through these experiences early in the HIV epidemic that his practice shifted to infectious diseases. When pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins University, he completed substantial coursework focused on HIV/AIDS including courses in immunopathology, health policy, women’s studies, political science, and nursing. His research focuses on the psychosocial aspects of HIV using mixed-methods particularly focusing on intimate partner violence, HIV-related stigma, and interventions to promote engagement in HIV-oriented primary medical care and disclosure of serostatus to sexual partners. Additionally, through his research, he has documented the role of the professional and advanced practice nurse in the prevention, care and treatment of persons at risk for or living with HIV.

Through his research, Dr. Relf has examined the relationship between childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence and HIV risk behaviors among men who have sex with men. This work received international press attention (Germany, France, Chile, United Kingdom, Romania, Turkey, Spain) and appeared on the front page of The Boston Globe (Dec. 18, 2002) and in the Toronto Star (Feb. 15, 2003). As a co-investigator on a President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funded project to build nursing capacity in the context of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa, Dr. Relf, in collaboration with colleagues from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe, published the Essential nursing competencies related to HIV and AIDS (see Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS, Care, 22 (Suppl. 1), e5-e40). Subsequently, these competencies have been adapted to the context of HIV/AIDS nursing practice in Canada and Thailand. Dr. Relf’s research has been funded by the American Nurses Foundation; Sigma Theta Tau International; The Special Projects of National Significance, HIV-AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services; the National Institutes of Nursing Research/National Institutes of Health; and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Dr. Relf is an Advanced HIV/AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (AACRN), a certified adult clinical nurse specialist (ACNS-BC), and certified nurse educator (CNE). He was recognized by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care with the Frank Lamendola Achievement Award for Nursing Leadership in HIV Care in 2003 and the Spirit of Nursing Award for mentoring in 2006. He was selected for Fellowship into the American Academy of Nursing in 2008 and was the co-chair of the Emerging and Infectious Diseases Expert Panel from 2008 – 2010. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Duke University School of Nursing, Distinguished Teaching Award presented by the Faculty Governance Association. During his career, he has been a visiting scholar at Queen’s University, Belfast (Northern Ireland) and the University of Zululand (South Africa).

Prior to joining DUSON in 2008, Dr. Relf was the Chair of the Department of Nursing at Georgetown University (2001 – 2008) and the Associate Medical Administrator/Director of Nursing and Clinical Support Services at Whitman-Walker Clinic (1999 – 2001). He earned his BS with a major in nursing from South Dakota University, his MS in nursing administration in healthcare services from Georgetown University, and his PhD in nursing from Johns Hopkins University.

Phone: (919) 684-9219
Office: 3238 Interprofessional Education Building



Valerie K. Sabol, PhD, ACNP-BC, GNP-BC, CCRN, CNE, ANEF, FAANP, is the Chair for the Division of Healthcare in Adult Populations at Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON). Dr. Sabol has more than 25 years of acute and critical care experience and is board certified as an Adult Acute Care and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. She received her BS in Nursing from Penn State University, her MSN degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Before being named Division Chair at Duke, Dr. Sabol served as the Accelerated BSN Program Director and the Director of the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialty in the MSN Program at DUSON. Prior to working at Duke, Dr. Sabol taught at the University of Maryland School of Nursing for 11 years. She currently provides care as a nurse practitioner at Duke University Medical Center with the Endocrinology Inpatient Consultation Service. Her clinical and research interests include translating and implementing evidence-based practices into the care of both obese and older adults in across care settings. She has served on editorial boards for critical care, geriatric and obesity-focused journals, and is the next President-Elect of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA).

Phone: (919) 613-6010
Office: 2059 Pearson Building
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