Watts recognized for leadership during pandemic

Photo of Penni Watts

By Erica Techo

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Interim Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation Penni Watts, PhD, RN, CHSE-A, FSSH, FAAN (PhD 2015), received national recognition for her efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic at the 2022 International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning annual conference.

Watts was honored with Recognition of Work Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, acknowledging her efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, as she chaired the INACSL Standards Committee leading the team in the revisions and development of two new standards and coordinated community efforts during the challenges of the pandemic. This is the first time the award has been presented.

“I am thankful for this recognition from INACSL, and I also want to make sure the work of my team on the standards committee does not go unnoticed,” Watts said. “While this is an individual award, it is truly a reflection of the teamwork and collaboration that has taken place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been able to accomplish so much because we worked together, and I could not have done this without the hard work and support of my simulation colleagues.”

The School was also well-represented at the conference, which brings together experts on health care simulation from around the globe.

Faculty shared two presentations, titled “Utilization of Simulation in Leadership Rounding for Executive DNP Students” and “Let the Ultrasound Games Begin: Supplementing Clinical Skills with Gamification.” These presentations, from Associate Professor Lori Loan, PhD, RN, FAAN; Instructor Jennifer Ledlow, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CNL (BSN 2014, MSN 2016); Instructor Somali Nguyen, DNP; CRNP; AGACNP-BC (BSN 2010, MSN 2014, DNP 2019); Assistant Professor Tracie White, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, CNOR, CRNFA (MSN 2010, DNP 2017) and Watts, highlighted the importance of simulation as a tool for education and skill advancement.

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