Marie Nolan, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, professor and executive vice dean for the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. The award celebrates Nolan’s major contributions to research, theory and education in nursing and interdisciplinary palliative care.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized with this award in palliative and end-of-life care,” says Nolan. “It has been a great privilege as a nurse to care for patients and their families at the end life. As a researcher, I’ve learned from patients and families about how we can best serve them at such important times in their lives.”
Nolan has contributed significant research to understanding patient and family decision making in the face of critical illness. Her research has revealed that instead of the autonomous decision-making model prevalent in clinical practice and health care policy, most critically ill patients preferred share decision making about treatments and care at the end of life with their family and physician. It was also discovered that those preferences remained the same over time, even as functional health declined. Her research has been conducted with members of an interprofessional research team including Mark Hughes and Peter Terry (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine); Richard Thompson, Gayane Yenokyan and Joseph Gallo (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health); Daniel Sulmasy (Georgetown University Center for Bioethics and School of Medicine); Alan Astrow (Cornell University Medical College); and Joan Kub and Martha Abshire (JHSON).
Within her most recent work, Nolan has continued to study the decision-making process through end of life and remained a tremendous advocate for advancing palliative care.
At JHSON, Nolan has served as director of the PhD program, chair of the department of acute and chronic care, associate dean for academic affairs, and the school’s executive vice dean and a professor with joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics. She was director of the first nursing doctoral program in China to graduate nurses with a PhD through JHSON’s collaboration with the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, funded by the China Medical Board.
Nolan’s career is decorated with honors and awards including serving as past-president of the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing, earning the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Excellence Award from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, being named a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and being inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.
“Dr. Nolan embodies the kind of nurse who breaks down barriers between patients and providers and so skillfully demonstrates what it means to represent the patient at the end of life,” says JHSON Dean Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN. “Congratulations to her on this fantastic career achievement.”