News Releases

University of Maryland School of Nursing's Wiegand Selected to HPNA Board of Directors

March 7, 2016

Board serves as voice for hospice and palliative nurses.

Debra Wiegand headshotBaltimore, Md. – Debra Wiegand, PhD, RN, CCRN, CHPN, FAHA, FPCN, FAAN, associate professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been elected to the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) Board of Directors.  She will serve a three-year term. 

HPNA, a national non-profit organization of nursing professionals representing the specialty of palliative nursing, has more than 11,000 members.  The Board manages the business and affairs of HPNA while serving as the voice for hospice and palliative nurses. Board members are actively involved in strategic planning, assessing, evaluating and carrying out the fiduciary responsibilities of the Association.

“It is an honor to be elected to HPNA’s board. With a mission to advance expert care of serious illnesses, it is the only nursing organization of its kind. I am looking forward to joining the leaders of the Association,” Wiegand said. “Together we will develop initiatives to help nurses as they provide care to patients and their families in need of palliative and hospice care.” 

Wiegand’s research focuses on improving end-of-life care for families of dying patients in the acute care setting. She has conducted studies featuring families of patients with both acute and chronic life-limiting illnesses and injuries that have died after life-sustaining therapies have been withdrawn. The long-term goal of Wiegand’s research is to understand how nurses and other providers can best help and support vulnerable, grieving, and bereaved families. Currently, Wiegand is principal investigator of a bereavement outcomes study determining how families adapt physically and psychologically after participating in the end-of-life decision-making process.

“We are very proud of Dr. Wiegand for her selection as a member of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association’s Board of Directors. Dr. Wiegand’s commitment to cutting-edge research within the field of palliative nursing makes her a great fit,” said UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN.  “I am confident that she will contribute significantly to the organization’s goal of promoting excellence in palliative nursing care through leadership development, education and research.”

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked sixth nationally. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.