Sue Hagedorn, PhD ’95, RN, PNP, WHNP, FAANP
Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni AwardCollege of Nursing Marketing | College of Nursing Oct 31, 2014
Sue Hagedorn, PhD ’95, RN, PNP, WHNP, FAANP, has made a career of challenging the norm. In her nursing bachelor’s program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hagedorn successfully led a campaign to ban the traditional blue striped dress as nursing uniforms. After earning her master’s in maternal-child nursing in 1982 and becoming a nurse practitioner, she helped found and direct the Teen Health Center at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, the first school-based health center in Massachusetts. While finishing her doctorate at the University of Colorado School of Nursing, she directed the Partnership in Prevention, a long-term mentoring program for at-risk adolescents and, while on faculty, established other faculty practices for at-risk or underserved populations. Her doctoral thesis was titled “No more fears: activist nursing inquiry.”
Her interest in health care and social justice didn’t end with treating patients, establishing systems of care and mentoring students. Hagedorn has committed her time and resources to ensure this legacy lives on. Sue funded the Center for Domestic Violence at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs, as well as the Seedworks Nursing Professorship for Social Justice at the University of Massachusetts.
After retiring from faculty as associate professor in 2006, she pursued her interest in film and media studies, earning a graduate certificate in documentary studies in 2008 and a master’s in media studies in 2010 from The New School in New York City. This second career has allowed Hagedorn to take advocacy to a whole new level. As she puts it, there’s a critical need for “media-savvy nurses and nurse-savvy media.”
Her company, Seedworks Films, has produced more than 20 films on nursing and social justice, including a history of the CU College of Nursing called “Legacy of Innovation: A History of the University of Colorado College of Nursing. Her recent nursing films include a biography of Loretta Ford, a 10 video innovative curriculum for the Nurse Family Partnership, forensic nursing, rural nursing, and the importance of certified nurse anesthetists. Her documentaries about advanced practice nursing in Colorado and Florida helped nursing organizations lobby for broader legislation in those states.
Hagedorn has been inducted into the National Academies of Practice and has earned the Thomas Jefferson Award and the University Medal from the University of Colorado. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners since 2005, and in October, will be inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
For her leadership in nursing education and practice, philanthropy, advocacy and social justice, the CU College of Nursing Alumni Association awarded her with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an alum who has made significant contributions to nursing on a local, national or international level or who has made significant contributions to the college, either financially or in time and effort.