American Academy of Nursing Selects as Fellow Jonas Center’s Brigadier General (Ret.) William Bester

NEW YORK, June 24, 2014 – The American Academy of Nursing (the Academy) has named Brigadier General (Ret.) William Bester, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, Senior Advisor to the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare (Jonas Center), a Fellow of the Academy – one of the most distinguished honors in nursing.

Selected for his preeminent career and academic contributions to the field of nursing, including service as the 21st Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, as Army Assistant Surgeon General for Force Protection, as Commander of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Medicine, and, currently, as a Senior Advisor with the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program. General Bester will be formally inducted at the Academy’s 41st annual meeting this October in Washington, DC.

“Nurses play an integral role in addressing the complex healthcare needs facing our nation’s veterans, and I look forward to leveraging the efforts led by the Jonas Center, the Academy and others as a Fellow so that we can help more veterans readily access the care they deserve,” said General Bester. “It is an honor and a great opportunity to be chosen as a Fellow to help extend the impact of this work.”

General Bester joins an elite class of 168 Fellows being inducted to the Academy’s community of more than 2,200 Fellows from around the world. Barbara and Donald Jonas, co-founders of the Jonas Center, were named Honorary Fellows in 2013 for their extraordinary philanthropic and programmatic contributions to nursing. Every nurse leader associated with the Jonas Center also carries the honor, including: Executive Director Darlene Curley, MS, RN, FAAN (Fellow, class of 2012); and Jonas Center Senior Advisors Claire Fagin, PhD, RN, FAAN (Living Legend, 1998) and Catherine Rick, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FACHE (Fellow, class of 2010).

“The American Academy of Nursing welcomes this stellar cohort of new fellows,” declared Academy president Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN. “As clinicians, researchers, educators, executives, and leaders in all sectors of our society, they are joining the nation’s thought leaders in nursing and health care.”

General Bester recently represented the Academy’s Have You Ever Served in the Military? program in a presentation at the California Healthcare Workforce Initiative and California Men in Nursing conference.

His appointment as a Fellow is the latest honor in General Bester’s storied career, which has included serving as Acting Dean of the Graduate School of Nursing and Vice President for External Affairs, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and tours of duty in Hungary, Germany and Japan. Following retirement from active duty, General Bester was Professor of Clinical Nursing at the University of Texas in Austin, during which time he served as the Director of Nursing for a healthcare team organized by Project Hope to assist victims of the tsunami in Indonesia.

The recipient of the Luther Christman Award, his military honors include the Distinguished Service Medal, three Legion of Merits and four Meritorious Service Medals. General Bester earned his BSN from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota; his MSN from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; and was awarded honorary doctorates by the College of St. Scholastica and Seton Hall University.




About the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare

In 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare (formerly known as the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence), the leading national philanthropic funder dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans’ healthcare. These programs currently support nearly 600 doctoral scholars nationwide, with a goal to support 1,000 Scholars by 2016.