Director & Professor, University of North Carolina Wilmington School of Nursing
Director, Center for Ethics and Human Rights, American Nurses Association
Laurie Badzek is a nurse attorney who is a Director and tenured Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, School of Nursing. Prior to accepting this position she served the state of West Virginia in the WVU School of Nursing and in a variety of nursing positions in the DHHS and WVU Hospitals for 30 years. She was appointed to the West Virginia State Guardianship Commission in 1989 and to the Catastrophic Illness Commission in 1999. The Commissions were instrumental in the development and passage of legislation on advance directives, guardianship, and other issues related to end-of-life care. Her role as primary recorder and drafter was essential to enactment of initial bills by the WV legislature.
She earned her B.S.N. and her J.D. from WVU Schools of Nursing and Law. While at the College of Law, she was a member of the Moot Court Board and inducted into the both the Order of the Barristers and the Order of the Coif. She is also a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society for research and scholarship. She received her M.S. in Nursing and her L.L.M. in Health Care Law from DePaul University in Chicago.
For nearly 18 years, she has been the Director of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Center for Ethics and Human Rights. She is considered a national and international leader and spokesperson on ethics and health care policy. She guided the revision of both the 2001 and the new 2015 Code of Ethics for Nurses.
As an active researcher her investigations have spanned a number of ethical and legal health care issues including patient and family decision making, genomics, and professional healthcare ethics Her recent contributions to genomics and nursing practice have been integral to the development of the nursing profession -- from defining essential genomic competencies for all registered nurses to serving as the principal investigator in the largest national study of nurses' knowledge and integration of genomics into nursing practice. Her research has been published in and cited in many journals including American Nurse Today, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Journal of Nursing Law, Nephrology Nursing Journal, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of Palliative Care, and Health Communication.
In 1993, she was the winner of the Clark Fila Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nursing. In 1998, she received the American Nephrology Nurses Association Research Award for work related to end-of-life decisions and dialysis patients. In 2001, she received the Nephrology Nursing Journal Writing Award for her research article entitled, "Inappropriate use of dialysis for some elderly patients: Nephrology nurse perceptions and concerns". More recently, in 2006, she was inducted as a Fellow in the National Academies of Practice (FNAP). In 2007, she became an American Association of Colleges of Nursing Leadership Fellow; and in 2011 she was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). She was honored as the West Virginia University Convocation speaker in December 2011 and in 2014, she was "coined" by the DoD Defense Health Board for her contributions to the work of the Medical Ethics Subcommittee.