Nell J. Watts Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Award
May Wykle, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA
Dean and Professor of Nursing
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University
Alpha Mu Chapter #34
Dr. Wykle is the former dean and emerita professor of nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. She is a recent past president of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Dr. Wykle is presently serving on the advisory board for the Johnson & Johnson national “Campaign for Nursing’s Future,” which is helping address the current nursing shortage with several initiatives aimed at recruiting new nurses and retaining current nurses. She has been a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University since 1969. Since 1988, she has served as director of the University Center on Aging and Health. Dr. Wykle has completed research projects in areas such as self-care, geriatric mental health, family caregiving, minority caregivers, and caring for patients with dementia. She has initiated educational programs in Europe, Africa, and Asia and has served as visiting professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Houston, and the University of Zimbabwe in Africa. She was appointed the first Pope Eminent Scholar at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Family Caregiving at Georgia Southwestern State University.
Dr. Wykle graduated from the Martins Ferry Hospital School of Nursing in 1956. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, a Master of Science in Nursing degree in psychiatric nursing, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She is recognized nationally as an expert in the field of aging adults. Dr. Wykle is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America, and is a charter member of the National Black Nurses Association’s Center for Excellence. She was a recipient of a Geriatric Mental Health Academic Award from the National Institute of Mental Health and was the director of a Robert Wood Johnson Teaching Nursing Home Project. In 1986, she participated in a study commissioned by Congress of the nation’s nursing homes and was named to the White House Conference on Aging in 1993. She has reviewed grants for the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging research review committees, and the Geriatric/Gerontology Advisory Committee for the Veterans Administration.
Dr. Wykle has received numerous honors and awards including Case’s 1989 John S. Diekhoff Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, a Merit Award from the Cleveland Council of Black Nurses, and the 2000 Gerontological Nursing Research Award from the Gerontological Society of America. She also received the Ethelrine Shaw-Nickerson Award from the Ohio Nurses Association, and she was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black Nurses Association. Dr. Wykle and Dr. Sarah Gueldner recently completed the book Aging Well: Gerontological Education for Nurses and Other Health Professionals.