Yavapai College Nursing Professor Dr. Selina Bliss has joined an elite group of scholars: The National League of Nursing’s Fellows of the Academy of Nursing Education. The Academy recognizes nurse educators who have distinguished themselves with innovation, research and leadership.

Bliss’ induction in the Academy this fall is a testament to her passion for educating nurses who are the pillars of their profession and for advancing nursing education in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

“It’s quite the honor,” Bliss said of the prestigious award coming at the height of her 35-year nursing career. “I am fabulously thrilled.

YC Nursing Program Director, Dr. Marylou Mercado, expressed happiness and pride in the distinction bestowed on Bliss. “The honor of Fellow in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education signifies and acknowledges Dr. Bliss’ sustained commitment and contributions to excellence in nursing education comprehensively and in preparing YC nursing graduates to be safe, qualified practitioners.”

A 28-year YC Nursing faculty member, Bliss is one of only 302 NLN Academy Fellows and one of 17 honored with the 2019 Academy class at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Admission is highly competitive and involves a rigorous application process – one Bliss contemplated for five years before committing the necessary time and attention. “It took a lot of inward reflection – a lot of reviewing and quantifying my body of work and the results,” she said.

At the urging of colleagues and mentors, Bliss tackled the Academy application while serving a second term as president of the Arizona Nurses Association, teaching leadership and management to second-year YC nursing students, practicing her profession at Yavapai Regional Medical Center and assisting at wildfire-fighting camps over the summer.

Bliss was among the first in Arizona to earn a CNE -- Certified Nurse Educator. That was in 2008. She has spent the intervening years working with professional and government organizations across the Southwest to establish qualifications, programs and testing to certify many more nurse educators. “Faculty development has been my first love,” she said. “A strong and effective faculty yields a strong and effective workforce.”

Bliss also long has advocated for practicing registered nurses to obtain advanced degrees and specialties. It’s vital to always be moving the nursing profession and individual careers forward, she said. “At the end of the day, it’s those we serve. It’s all about better patient outcomes.”

To date at Yavapai College, Bliss estimates she has helped educate more than 1,000 registered nurses. She takes great pride in the quality and reputation of YC’s graduates and in her efforts on behalf of everyone who has earned an RN. “To go out and serve and advocate for the role of the nurse, that’s my legacy,” she said.