A UK nursing academic has been made a fellow of a prestigious US medical society, thought to be the first time a member of the profession has been given such a role.
Professor Tom Quinn, a leading expert on cardiology care, has been elected as a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the first nurse to become a fellow in the history of the organisation.
“This is as much for the staff nurses I worked with in the 1980s as it is for me now”
Professor Quinn is associate dean for research and director of the Centre for Health and Social Care Research, which is run jointly by Kingston University and St George’s University, London.
Fellowship is one of the most distinguished titles the college, which promotes advancement in cardiology, offers its members and is seen as the ultimate recognition of professional achievement.
Professor Quinn said he was very proud to have become a fellow of the ACC and especially to be the first nurse.
“I see it as an achievement and recognition for all cardiac nurses – this is as much for the staff nurses I worked with in the 1980s as it is for me now as a professor of nursing,” he said.
“Fellowship of the college as a professor of nursing is a remarkable achievement”
Professor Quinn has published widely on cardiac care and was recently involved in launching the European Society of Cardiology’s first set of standards for the management of heart attack patients.
He highlighted that patients with myocardial infarction were treated by a range of people, from the paramedics, through to emergency department doctors and nurses, and cardiologists and cardiac nurses, radiographers and specialist technical staff.
“The working group from the ESC’s Acute Cardiovascular Care Association, which developed the new standards, are from a variety of backgrounds, covering the whole of the cardiac patient’s journey,” he said.
Professor Quinn said he hoped both his appointment as an ACC fellow and his research work in collaboration with colleagues from other professions would be a positive influence for future nurses.
“Throughout my career I have benefited from great leadership and mentors,” he said. “I see part of my role as a mentor to the next generation of cardiac nurses, paramedics and other colleagues and I am hopeful that by raising the profile of nurses in cardiac research, it encourages more nurses to aspire to these levels and know that the door is open to them.”
Professor Stephen Brecker, cardiology chief at St George’s, added: “Fellowship of the college as a professor of nursing is a remarkable achievement and one for which Tom can be rightly proud.”
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