Dr. Karen Sousa

AURORA, Colo. (Nov. 24, 2009) – Karen H. Sousa, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and associate dean for Research & Extramural Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Nursing, was recently inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a 2009 Fellow, one of nursing’s highest honors.

“It is a great professional honor to be recognized by your peers,” said Sousa.

Sousa was nominated for this honor by two current Academy Fellows and was selected by the Academy’s 15-member Fellow Selection Committee for her outstanding achievements in the nursing profession. She was formally inducted as a Fellow with 97 other nurse leaders during the Academy’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Induction Banquet held in Atlanta on Nov. 7. 

The UC Denver’s College of Nursing’s Dean, Patricia Moritz, RN, PhD, FAAN, commented that Sousa was recognized for her outstanding contributions in discovering the utility of a unique methodology for analyzing complex nursing phenomena, and for exploring health-related quality of life (HRQOL) through a different lens.

Prior to Sousa’s work, nursing had not thoroughly tested conceptual models that capture HRQOL which has led to a lack of interpretation of the meaning of the relationship patterns and no basis for specifying whether the determinants are mediated by person, disease, and/or interventions. 

“Sousa is a nursing pioneer in the application of Structural Equation Modeling in that she’s revealed an approach that simultaneously analyses complex relationships,” said Moritz. “She has exquisitely validated a conceptual model that captures HRQOL across and over time. Her work thereby provides an avenue for exploring the processes of care and validating the importance of nursing. As an expert in an important and strategic research methodology, Sousa will continue to advance the ability to understand HRQOL, the most germane patient outcome, and thereby provide a means for verifying the impact nurses make on the lives of patients.”

As a scholar, Sousa has been supported through a number of mechanisms including the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

About UC Denver’s College of Nursing
Located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Nursing offers some of the highest ranked programs in the country — from bachelor’s through doctoral degrees and post-graduate certificate programs. The college offers several specialties through its master’s program and the only PhD program in clinical research in Colorado. It also is the birthplace of nurse practitioner education and the caring movement, and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. This year, U.S News & World Report ranked the UC Denver College of Nursing nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist programs among the top ten in the country. For more information, visit the UC Denver Newsroom.

About the American Academy of Nursing
The American Academy of Nursing is constituted to anticipate national and international trends in health care, and address resulting issues of health care knowledge and policy. Not only is the invitation to Fellowship recognition of one’s accomplishments within the nursing profession, but also affords an opportunity to work with other leaders in health care in addressing the issues of the day.  The Academy’s mission is to serve the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. For more information about the American Academy of Nursing, please visit their Web site www.aannet.org.


Contact: Caitlin Jenney, 303.315.6376, [email protected]

Office of University Communications

CU Anschutz
Building 500

13001 East 17th Place

Room CG009

Aurora, CO 80045