Skip to main content

Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders Presents Excellence Awards to Dr. Marla De Jong and Dr. Gwen Latendresse


The Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders (UONL) presented 2022 Excellence Awards to two University of Utah College of Nursing (CON) faculty leaders. 

Dean of the CON Marla De Jong, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN was presented the Exemplary Nurse Leader Award–Academia. The Exemplary Nurse Leader Award recognizes a nurse leader who significantly influenced professional nursing practice and the professional development of others. This award supports UONL’s mission by honoring an individual’s influence and impact on nursing practice, leadership, and community.

"Dr. De Jong’s work has informed and shaped leadership, research, education, health policy, and military and civilian clinical practice. She conducted funded research, served in leadership positions for several nursing organizations, served as editorial board member for several journals, and published 59 journal articles. She was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2012, one of the highest honors bestowed upon the most accomplished nurse leaders in the nation," says CEO of University of Utah Health Michael Good, MD. "Throughout her professional nursing career that spans more than three decades, Dr. De Jong has demonstrated visionary leadership, professionalism, integrity, a passion for excellence, and enthusiasm for professional nursing. She has repeatedly crafted a compelling vision for areas of responsibility, led and/or managed key initiatives, launched policy, faced diverse challenges, inspired others to act with confidence and integrity, and achieved goals through united efforts."

Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor Gwen Latendresse, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN was presented the Nurse Research Award. The Nurse Research Award is presented to nurse researchers who have focused on advancing the health of Utahans through innovation and/or cultivation of excellence in nursing leadership though education, mentoring, leadership development, or professional development.

"Dr. Latendresse is an outstanding example of a nurse researcher who has advanced the health of Utahns through the conduct of impactful research. She has consistently demonstrated innovation and excellence as she leads interdisciplinary research teams to address the important issue of perinatal mental health," says Dean De Jong. "A visionary and respected leader, she has enthusiastically championed for and raised awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, the most common childbearing complication. She represents nursing by influencing public health policy and improving clinical practice related to maternal mental health. Further, she mentors future nurse scientists, nurse practitioners, and midwives to advance the care of women."