UCA nursing professor earns prestigious award

University of Central Arkansas professor Julie Meaux received the 2022 Outstanding Nurse Educator Award. Meaux, who has been a UCA faculty member for 28 years, is also the undergraduate program coordinator in the School of Nursing. 

Julie Meaux named 2022 Outstanding Nurse Educator

Julie Meaux

“I am very honored and humbled,” Meaux said. “To even be nominated reinforces the fact that I have earned respect from faculty and students. It’s a good feeling. There are a lot of really talented nurse educators in the state of Arkansas.”

Meaux spent 14 years as a neonatal intensive care nurse before going to graduate school. 

She earned a Master of Nursing Science degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1993 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from UAMS in 2001. She is a National League for Nursing (NLN) certified nurse educator and a member of the Nursing Administrative Council. 

In 2015, Meaux was recognized as a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice. Four years ago, she participated as a scholar for an Experienced Nursing Faculty Leadership Academy presented by Sigma, an international community of nurses dedicated to the advancement of learning and service through practice, education and research. Outstanding Nurse Educator Award

The nurse educator award was given during the 16th Annual Nursing Expo hosted by Publishing Concepts, Inc. at the Jack Stephens Event Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on April 2. Publishing Concepts, Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of state board of nursing journals, including the ASBN Update for the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.

“I never necessarily planned a career in academia. I came because I needed a more flexible schedule,” Meaux said. “After a few years, I really fell in love with academia. As a nurse I was affecting the health care of individuals. In academia, I feel like I’m affecting health care in a broader way by producing future health care providers. It is most rewarding to hear from students that we have prepared them well.” 

Meaux has demonstrated a passion for the practice of nursing and nursing education. In the nomination letter to the state board of nursing, UCA professor Pam Ashcraft wrote that Meaux is dedicated to each student who comes through the school of nursing. 

“She is loved and respected by faculty and students alike,” Ashcraft wrote. “Students know that she is an advocate for their learning, and she pours her entire self into everything she teaches. She is the kind of nurse – actually, she is the kind of person – who inspires others to make a plan, take a risk and make a difference! Clearly, Dr. Meaux is an inspiration to all those who know her.” 

“I work with a very talented team,” Meaux said. “That makes the job easier and enjoyable. All of us are focused on the students with ambitions of positively impacting health care for the future.”