Director of the Rafic Hariri School for Nursing (HSON) at AUB, Dr. Huda Abu-Saad Huijer, was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame on July 23, 2016, in Cape Town, South Africa. The Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing selected Dr. Abu-Saad, along with 18 other nurse researchers from around the world, in recognition of her service and contribution to the nursing profession. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony was followed by a panel discussion ceremony, chaired by STTI President Dr. Cathy Catrambone, where honorees addressed questions on the interface between research and practice.
“This is a wonderful recognition of my accomplishments in the scientific development of the nursing discipline and in contributing to knowledge development in the fields of pain management and palliative care research at the global level,” Dr. Abu-Saad told us. “I feel truly honored.”
The International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame award recognizes nurse researchers whose work has improved the nursing profession and the lives of the people it serves. Throughout her career, Dr. Abu-Saad has done just that. She has made a difference in the lives of nurses and patients on an international level. Her impact has been far-reaching. Dr. Abu-Saad has worked in many countries, including in the USA, the Netherlands, France, and the UK, in addition to consulting in even more countries including India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, and most of the Arab world.
Dr. Abu-Saad started her career as a nurse at AUBMC, before moving to academic and post-graduate research. She had a budding curiosity and passion for the health care field and a desire to help people and so nursing seemed like the natural and perfect fit for her, she said.
She has been a lead investigator on a number of national projects and has published more than 300 articles in national and international refereed and professional journals and two books, one of which is on “evidence-based palliative care across the life span”.
When looking back at her career and travels, the proudest moments for Dr. Abu-Saad have been teaching and research. “The highlight of my career has been the founding of graduate-level programs, Masters and PhD, in many countries as well as mentoring young nurse scientists at the Masters and PhD levels in many countries of the world.”
Dr. Abu-Saad continues to develop the role of nurses, specifically in Lebanon where she sees the profession is rapidly advancing. The current academic program in nursing at AUB offers opportunities for nurses to get their BSN professional degree; their MSN advanced nursing practice degrees, with the possibility of specialization in a number of related fields. However, Dr. Abu-Saad wants to go further, to soon develop a PhD program in Nursing Science at AUB which aims to prepare professionals interested in academic, research, practice and leadership careers in nursing.
“Nurses are invaluable partners to physicians and other health care professionals. The contribution of nurses to providing high quality care in hospitals, community settings, and at homes is truly indispensable,” she said. “I feel truly privileged to represent AUB and the profession of nursing in Lebanon and the region as one of the internationally recognized Hall of Fame honorees. This constitutes the crowning of a life-time of dedicated work for which I am deeply thankful."