Emory Healthcare chief nurse executive awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) has named Emory Healthcare Chief Nurse Executive Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, FAAN, the 2023 recipient of the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In a press release, AONL announced that Pappas, a Georgia-native, would be awarded the prestigious honor, which recognizes leaders within the nursing community for their important work.

“This honor is incredibly special because it comes from the profession I love,” Pappas said. “It reminds me of all the great people I have learned from, and it gives me a reminder to say thank you to many. This isn’t about me - it is about all the people along my journey. Things like this are always confirmation that God is good.”

Pappas has a four-decade-long career in nursing, having started in various nursing roles in Macon. From there, Pappas dedicated 25 years to nurse leadership positions in Denver, Colorado. In 2016, she joined Emory Healthcare as the chief nurse executive. Now she is responsible for the nursing practices across the Atlanta-based health care system’s 11 hospitals and 250 outpatient clinic locations. According to Emory, Pappas has roughly 8,000 nurses under her leadership.

“Pappas served on the National Academy of Science, Engineering, & Medicine Committee on Systems Approaches to Improve Patient Care by Supporting Clinician Well-being, which issued a report being used to measure burnout and improve work conditions for nurses and others in health care on a national scale,” AONL noted. “Pappas previously served as a member of the AONL Board of Directors and currently represents AONL on the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Magnet Recognition. She recently chaired the AONL Workforce Subcommittee on Leadership.”

“Pappas is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and past chair of its Expert Panel on Building Health System Excellence. She has received numerous honors including the AONE Research and American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Exemplary Academic Practice Partnership awards.”

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