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National League for Nursing Announces Third Annual Debra L. Spunt Lecture

National League for Nursing Announces Third Annual Debra L. Spunt Lecture

Texas Tech Nursing Professor Tapped to Deliver Prestigious Talk at NLNs Annual Education Summit in Philadelphia


New York, NY – August 31, 2009 – The National League for Nursing has announced that Sharon Decker, PhD, CCRN, ACNS-BC, ANEF, a professor at the Anita Thigpen Perry School of Nursing of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where she has taught since 1984, will deliver the 2009 Debra L. Spunt Lecture. The lecture is funded by Laerdal Medical Corporation. Dr. Decker, who is director of clinical simulations and holds the university's Covenant Health System Endowed Chair in Simulation and Nursing Education, will talk about the importance of debriefing in a lecture entitled, "Until We Reflect."

Dr. Deckers research and scholarship is related to how simulation can be used as an innovative teaching-learning strategy to facilitate the development of critical thinking skills and promote clinical competency. She has presented her work at conferences and provided consultation to nursing schools through out the United States related to the integration of simulation into the curriculum. She has been the recipient of numerous grants to support her research and has been recognized many times by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center for her excellence in teaching. She served as co-project director for a grant supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that established the West Texas Simulation Alliance.

Dr. Decker also has a wealth of experience related to projects involving multiple teams in varied disciplines. She has collaborated on numerous grant proposals on patient safety, including those at Texas Tech University and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center; participated in two projects through the South Plains Nursing Education Coalition; and in projects funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the CH Foundation; Laerdal Medical, and the National League for Nursing. Dr. Decker's published work includes articles in the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing and the Journal of Nursing Education and contributions to two books: Simulations: Education and Ethics and Integrating Guided Reflection into Simulated Learning Experiences. She earned a bachelors degree from Baylor University in Waco; an MSN from the University of Texas in Arlington; and a doctorate from Texas Womens University in Denton.

The Debra L. Spunt Lecture honors the lifelong contributions to excellence in nursing education, in particular leadership in the design, development, and implementation of simulation in nursing education of one outstanding colleague. In establishing the lectureship in 2007 with funding from Laerdal Medical Corporation, the NLN lauded the late Debra L. Spunt, DNP, MS, RN, FAAN as a "symbol of leadership and a true inspiration."

"Her unflagging commitment and dedication to excellence in nursing education distinguished her as a teachers teacher," said Dr. Beverly Malone, CEO of the NLN, in an announcement to the NLN Board of Governors in 2007.

Nationally and internationally recognized for her knowledge, expertise, and leadership in clinical simulation, especially the use of computerized patient simulators via clinical case scenarios to educate nurses and other health care providers, Dr. Spunt was responsible for the design, administration, and management of the University of Maryland School of Nursings 28 clinical simulation laboratories, considered the preeminent nursing student learning labs in the world. In this role, she collaborated with faculty on the integration of simulation into the nursing curriculum, and in doing so, helped prepare thousands of graduates to enter the field of nursing.

As a thoughtful participant in the plans for her legacy, Dr. Spunt created the Debra L. Spunt Clinical Simulation Practice and Research Endowment at the University of Maryland School of Nursing to support clinical simulation laboratory equipment.

Editors and reporters: For advance interview opportunities, or if you would like to attend the Spunt Lecture, please contact NLN chief communications officer Karen R. Klestzick at 212-812-0376, During the week of the Education Summit (September 21-26), please contact Jane Calem Rosen, communications consultant to the NLN at 201-906-7339 or email


Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 30,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members who represent all types of nursing education programs.

Laerdal Medical, one of the worlds leading providers of Healthcare Solutions, is dedicated to helping save lives with products and services for Simulation, Airway Management, Immobilization, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Patient Care, Self-Directed Learning, and Medical Education. We also offer a complete line of Education and Technical Services, Courseware and Consulting Services. Laerdal is pleased to serve all healthcare providers and educators, from the lay rescuer to the medical professional. For more information, visit