SUZANNE C. SMELTZER, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN
Suzanne C. Smeltzer is the Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations at Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. She has conducted research related to disability for more than 25 years and has presented multiple educational programs on the topic for healthcare professionals, professional organizations, and populations of individuals with disability She has served as a consultant to nursing faculty and schools of nursing on integration of disability in their curricula.
Smeltzer has received multiple awards for her work related to disability, including the 2016 Nurse.com/Gannett Foundation Lectureship Award for Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability in Nursing Education from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. She was the first author/editor of Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing, published by Lippincott Walters-Kluwer from 1992 to 2014, and continues to write the textbook’s chapter on disability and chronic illness. This remains the only widely used medical-surgical nursing textbook that includes a section specifically on disability as well as disability-related issues throughout the book. The textbook has been translated into multiple languages and is used around the world. She was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in 1992 and the Sigma International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2019 for her work on disability.
Smeltzer has been the driver of the standardized patients with disabilities project at Villanova University’s College of Nursing, which ultimately resulted in the development of the Advancing Care Excellence for Persons with Disabilities (ACE.D) component of the National League for Nursing’s series on advancing care excellence for vulnerable populations. She has had an active role in the development of competencies related to disability for nurses and other healthcare professionals. In addition, she has received research and programmatic funding related to disability and published widely on the issue. Her research has focused on attitudes of nurses toward individuals with disability, inclusion of disability-related content in nursing curricula and textbooks, and health issues of women with disability, including those related to pregnancy.