Dean Emerita Cynthia Freund, MSN ’73, and Associate Dean Emerita Audrey Booth, MSN ’57, were awarded the highest honor of the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) when they were inducted into the NCNA Hall of Fame on Thursday October 9, 2014. Nurses chosen for the Hall of Fame are recognized for their extensive history of nursing leadership and achievements in North Carolina.
Dr. Freund, PhD, MSN ’73, FNP, FAAN, led the SON as Dean from 1990-1999. Under her leadership, the undergraduate curriculum was redesigned, extramural funding for the School increased, and distance education was implemented. Dr. Freund also oversaw the creation of the research center and a clinical education resource center. She was part of the team who created and expanded the nurse practitioner program and formed a statewide consortium of nurse practitioner training programs. She was among the early nurse practitioners in the state of North Carolina and has enthusiastically advocated for nurse practitioners throughout her career. She was appointed by Jim Hunt in 1996 as the first nurse to serve on the NC Institute of Medicine, and through her service she helped shape policy with the General Assembly and expanded the influence of nursing. “Cindy’s extraordinary contributions to nursing education, administration, research, and practice over a 38 year career cement her place in any Hall of Fame,” colleagues wrote in the nominating materials. “She led the way for other nurses who want to practice fully, write thoughtfully, speak authoritatively, teach vigorously, and research thoroughly.”
Audrey Booth, RN, MSN ’57, was the first student to receive an MSN degree from the SON. After practicing at Memorial Hospital for several years, Ms. Booth returned to the SON, where she served as Associate Dean for 12 years. During her tenure, she also served as the director of statewide activities for AHEC, the coordinator of clinical facilities, and as the first director of development for The School of Nursing Foundation, Inc. In recognition of her service to the School, she was named the first Alumna of the Year by the SON Alumni Association. A scholarship was also established in her name by Walter Royal Davis, a former member of the UNC Board of Governors. “One of her most outstanding accomplishments was the creation of the first Nurse Practitioner program in the state,” said colleagues who nominated Ms. Booth. “Audrey Booth worked with AHEC staff, the Deans of the UNC School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and School of Public Health, as well as physicians and legislators to establish the new role and training programs for Registered Nurses.”
NCNA President and clinical assistant professor Megan Williams, RN, MSN, FNP, welcomed all inductees into the Hall of Fame during an awards luncheon at the NCNA annual meeting in Raleigh, NC. “North Carolina’s nursing history is rich with accomplished leaders,” she said. “Here at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, we are proud to have a strong connection to so many of these great individuals. I am honored to be part of celebrating the success of nursing leaders of the past, present and future.”