Preserving Our Past, Capitalizing on the Present, Embracing the Future

Biographies of Continuing Education Presenters at ANCA 2022

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COL (Ret.) Diane Corcoran, RN, PhD

COL Corcoran has 50 years of nursing experience and currently is the President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. She has been researching and lecturing Internationally on Near-Death experiences and Nursing for over 40 years. She has been working with Veteran health care organizations and teaching them about NDE’s for 30 years. She has published in several journals on NDE’s.

COL (Ret.) Rhonda Earls, RN, BSN, MSN, DNP

COL Earls has 39 years of clinical leadership, advance practice nurse and healthcare operations management experience.  Department of the Army Select Commander for a hospital and health care system covering beneficiaries across a six state region with a team of 1,300 healthcare personnel. Successfully commanded this clinical team who achieved the number one rated hospital in the Army out of 36 for quality care, productivity and customer service. Completed a fellowship with Department of Health and Human Services and is academically involved in clinical practice research to improve healthcare outcomes.

Diane Carlson Evans, RN

Diane Evans, a former captain in the Army Nurse Corps who served in the combat zone of Vietnam, is the founder of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation; leading the effort as president and CEO for thirty years. Ms. Evans was the first woman in American history to spearhead a campaign to place a national monument in the nation’s capital that recognized the contributions of America’s military women, as well as civilian women’s patriotic service. Since the dedication on Veterans Day, 1993 of a larger than life bronze sculpture portraying three uniformed women and a wounded soldier designed by Glenna Goodacre, Evans has remained an active advocate in the veteran’s community focusing on healing the wounds of war. She served under six Secretaries of Veterans Affairs on the Readjustment Counseling Services advisory board promoting services for veterans with PTSD. On Memorial Day, 2020, her memoir, Healing Wounds, A Vietnam War Combat Nurse’s 10-year Fight to Win Women a Place of Honor in Washington, DC, was released.

Capt (USN Ret) Patricia Kelley, PhD, RN 

Dr. Patricia Watts Kelley is Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, University of New Mexico College of Nursing. She has held several research and leadership positions within the federal government including Health Sciences Officer, DVA Office of Research & Development. Prior to her Navy retirement she was Deputy Director of Nursing and Allied Health Research, Navy Medicine R&D Center, and specialty consultant to the Navy Surgeon General for Nursing Research. She was the first Navy Executive Director of TSNRP. Her research interests are in the areas of clinical knowledge development and continuity of care of wounded service members, military and Veteran caregiver burden, health promotion, and self-care management in persons living with complex chronic conditions..

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LTC (Ret.) Deborah Kenny, PhD, RN, FAAN

Deb Kenny received her BSN from the University of Northern Colorado; a Master’s in Education from Boston University; Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University; and her PhD in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is an Associate Professor at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She was honored with the college’s first Endowed Professorship in honor of Dr. Carole Schoffstall. Dr. Kenny is retired from the US Army Nurse Corps and held various positions while in the military, including as a Nursing Scientist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and as the Executive Director of the TriService Nursing Research Program. She received numerous awards from the military including the Legion of Merit and is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit. Dr. Kenny was awarded an Outstanding Alumni Award from the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2008) and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2010. In 2017, Dr. Kenny was selected as an Ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research. She also received a Nightingale Luminary award for the Pikes Peak Region for outstanding advocacy in nursing. Her research interests include women veterans in the areas of homelessness and healthcare. She has numerous publications in various topics in nursing and women veterans. She is currently on the military/veterans and bioethics expert panels for the American Academy of Nursing, the United Veteran’s Coalition of Colorado Legislative Committee, is a lead planner for the 1st US/UK Collaborative Research Committee, and sits on the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund Board of Directors.

Diane Seibert, PhD, APRN, FAANP, FAAN

Dr. Diane Seibert is Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD. She is a certified Nurse Practitioner, maintaining an active clinical practice at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Seibert has published and presented widely in the areas of women’s health and genetics and is involved in several national task forces and committees working toward improving the genetics competency of the nursing workforce across all practice settings. Dr. Seibert is a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and is co-editor of “Unraveling the Genome” a monthly column in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

BG (Ret.) Bettye Simmons, FNP

Brigadier General Simmons received her BSN from Incarnate Word College and MSN from the University of Texas. She is a graduate of the Command and Staff College and the US Army War College.  In 30 years of service, her varied assignments included clinical, mid-level and senior leadership positions. She became the 20th Chief of the Army Nurse Corps. In Simmons’ first position following her Army retirement, she founded and led the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute at Hampton University in Norfolk, VA. In her next endeavor she served as director of an agency that sheltered victims of child abuse and neglect, the Safe Haven in Hampton Roads, VA. At the same time, Simmons participated as a member of the Virginia Board of Veterans Services. Still later she trod a divergent path and sought additional graduate education. Simmons matriculated at Old Dominion University and earned a family nurse practitioner credential. Armed with new advanced practice knowledge and skills, she accepted a position in the Family Health Clinic at Fort Eustis, Virginia. There she took great pleasure in providing primary care to soldiers, their families, and retired military personnel.

COL (Ret.) Linda Yoder, PhD, MBA RN, AOCN, FAAN

Linda H. Yoder is a Professor of Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. Dr. Yoder received a BSN with highest honors from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; an MSN from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; an MBA from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of several military educational programs, including the Army War College, where she eYoderarned a Master of Strategic Studies.   Dr. Yoder served in the Army Nurse Corps for 28 years, retiring at the rank of Colonel. She held numerous positions ranging from staff nurse to Deputy Commander for Nursing. She received the Surgeon General’s specialty designator as a medical-surgical nurse. She also is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit and has received numerous military awards including the Legion of Merit. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and is a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Alumna, 2011 Cohort. She currently serves on the military/veterans expert panel for the American Academy of Nursing and is a planner for the 1st US/UK Collaborative Research Conference. She is a member of several professional nursing organizations to include the Army Nurse Corps Association, the Academy of Medical Surgical Nursing, the Oncology Nursing Society, The Association of Nurse Leaders, the American Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International. Her research interests include women veterans in the areas of homelessness and healthcare. She has numerous publications concerning various topics in nursing and about veterans.

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