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Nursing dean appointed dean emeritus

Lois Salmeron
Dr. Lois Salmeron

Oklahoma City University announced today that it will honor Dr. Lois Salmeron with appointment as dean emeritus of the Kramer School of Nursing, effective July 1. She has served since 2014 as dean of the school after joining the faculty in 2005. As dean emeritus and professor of nursing, Salmeron will continue to serve as a member of the faculty and will represent both the university and the Kramer School of Nursing.

“More than any person I’ve met, Dr. Salmeron embodies the Kramer Way – the core values of caring, kindness, and respect,” said OCU President Martha Burger. “Her impact on our nursing program is immense, and equally strong is the impact she’s had in nursing education in our community and state. Her leadership has increased access to quality nursing programs across Oklahoma.”

Salmeron was part of the OCU faculty group that designed and developed the university’s original doctoral nursing programs. The PhD in nursing was the first doctoral program on the OCU campus. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at OCU was the first of its kind in Oklahoma.

Salmeron was instrumental in pioneering a partnership between OCU and Duncan Regional Hospital. With this partnership, OCU implemented an additional location to offer traditional BSN courses in a rural community. More recently, she has supported the development of Community Based Public Health education tracks in the MSN and DNP programs.

During her 58-year nursing career, Salmeron has received numerous awards and honors, including being inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame – one of only two nurses to receive this high honor. The Hall of Fame recognized her achievement of creating the first distance education nursing program in Oklahoma, which was instrumental in supplying registered nurses to the state’s rural population. Additionally, she was named Nurse of the Year by the Oklahoma State Nurses Association as well as the Nurses' Association of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (NAACOG). She received the Distinguished Professional Service Award from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). Salmeron was also named a National League of Nursing Fellow of the Academy of Nursing Education.

“Dr. Salmeron’s career encompasses a stellar sequence of nursing positions, boards, committees, workgroups, and partnerships, which have created enormous opportunities for her to make an extraordinary and lasting impact on nursing education, nursing practice, community service, public health, and philanthropy,” said Dr. Patrick McGough, executive director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. “She epitomizes service, leadership, professionalism, and kindness in all spheres of her influence, from family and friends, to state and national advocacy efforts. Due to her leadership, we will have an advanced and stronger workforce, well-equipped to serve the community and improve overall state and national health rankings.”

Salmeron is a charter member of NAACOG and a lifetime member of AWHONN. Additionally, she holds memberships in the American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She has also served as an officer in these organizations at the state and national levels.