AFRL nurse scientist selected as American Academy of Nursing fellow

  • Published
  • By Jeremy Dunn
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs
Dr. Melissa Wilson, a nurse scientist and civilian executive officer to the vice director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing (711HPW), has been selected as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Induction into the academy is a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career. Their accomplishments are honored by their colleagues both within and outside the profession. Fellows are selected based on their contributions and impact on advancing the public’s health. 
“I am grateful to everyone who contributed to my growth as a nurse to reach this career accomplishment,” Wilson said. “It humbles me to be named a fellow within such an elite group of accomplished leaders.”
The academy is an honorific society that recognizes nursing's most accomplished leaders in policy, research, practice, administration and academia. Academy fellows, from nearly 40 countries hold a wide variety of influential roles in health care. Induction into the fellowship represents more than recognition of one's accomplishments within the nursing profession. Fellows contribute their collective expertise to the academy, engaging with health leaders nationally and globally to improve health and achieve health equity by impacting policy through nursing leadership, innovation and science. 
Prior to her current role, she focused on health and wellness research in 711HPW's Airman Systems Directorate, notably guiding a team in securing a patent for an application that helps load patients in aircraft for en route care. As a military nurse scientist, her goal is to ensure top-notch medical care for those who become sick or injured as a result of service. Before joining AFRL, Wilson was a faculty member and director of nursing education at a university for seven years and a bedside nurse for 25 years. She credits her time working in education, leadership and critical care for leading her toward human performance.
Through a competitive, rigorous application process, the academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed a record number of applications, representing a 30% increase from the previous year, to select the 2022 fellows. Wilson was one of 250 individuals selected for induction. The 2022 Fellows represent 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 17 countries. 
The 2022 inductees will be recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the academy’s annual Health Policy Conference, taking place Oct. 27-29, 2022, in Washington at the Marriott Marquis. The induction ceremony will take place Oct. 29. Once the newest fellows are inducted, the academy will be comprised of more than 3,000 leaders who are experts in policy, research, administration, practice and academia that champion health and wellness, locally and globally.
About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit:
About 711HPW
The 711th Human Performance Wing (711HPW) is a unique combination the Airman Systems Directorate (RH) and the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM). The synergies of combining the ideas, resources and technologies of these units position the 711HPW as a world leader in the study and advancement of human performance.
About the American Academy of Nursing
The American Academy of Nursing serves the public by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of nursing knowledge. Academy fellows are inducted into the organization for their extraordinary contributions to improve health locally and globally. With more than 2,900 fellows, the academy represents nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, administration, practice and academia.