Anne Belcher, MN, PhD, (BSN ’67), ANEF, FAAN is passionate about nursing education – not only to prepare the next generation of nurses, but also to enhance the skills of today’s leading nurse faculty.

By creating the Anne Belcher Interprofessional Faculty Scholars Fund, she is generously providing opportunities for faculty in the UNC School of Nursing to shape the world of interprofessional education (IPE) and create the scholarly work others will look to as evidence for the power of IPE in the future.

“I have always thought it makes good sense for the professions to learn together so they will know how to work together,” says Belcher. “It’s rewarding to me that students at UNC will get high quality and diverse experiences working with well-prepared faculty in this way.”

The fund will allow two nurse faculty members – known as Anne Belcher Interprofessional Faculty Scholars – each year to participate in coursework, develop a scholarly product in IPE and disseminate this work through presentations and publications.

To have such scholarship happening at UNC’s nursing school dovetails with the School’s leadership in IPE. Professor Carol Durham, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, is a longtime leader in IPE and patient simulation, and UNC’s Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice is led by a nurse – Assistant Professor Meg Zomorodi, PhD, RN, CNI, is also the University’s assistant provost for Interprofessional Education and Practice.

“This School and University have made such a great commitment to IPE, and it’s further evidence that focusing on excellence in nursing education, and education in other health professions, is about providing safe, quality care for patients in care settings,” says Belcher.

Belcher graduated from the School in 1967, among a group that remains close today. An internationally known nurse educator, she has had a long and distinguished career at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Nursing, where she was director of the Office for Teaching Excellence. Though retired, she teaches in Johns Hopkins’ School of Education Master of Education in the Health Professions, where her students are not only nurses but also physicians, dentists, pharmacists and other health professionals who want to be better teachers.

Passion for education is contagious, Belcher says, and students deserve teachers who are passionate about nursing and about interprofessional education.

“When we show our passions, our students pick up on them, and this encourages them to develop their own passions,” she says. “Seeing that cycle in my work with nursing students and other health professionals has been a real gift to me.”

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