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2017 Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Teresa Wehrwein, BSN '72

Special Assistant to the Dean and Associate Professor Emerita Dr. Teresa Wehrwein was, until December 2016, Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Affairs for the MSU College of Nursing, a post she held for more than eight years. Overall, she has worked at the College since July 2001. Dr. Wehrwein also holds an adjunct appointment in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is a guest faculty member at Chongqing Medical University in China. She was elected Fellow of the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education in 2016.  

Commenting on receiving the 2017 MSU College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr. Wehrwein said, “It is extremely humbling and a great honor to be recognized by my alma mater. MSU has been an integral part of my life for 50 years and, most directly, over the last 16. My nursing career began and is ending here, with many opportunities in the middle facilitated by MSU.” 

Dr. Wehrwein’s sustained contribution to nursing education is a body of work focused on developing the nursing workforce through establishing collaborative partnerships among academic health systems and governmental partners. Academic practice partnerships she has led have increased the size and preparation of the workforce by providing urgently needed opportunities for individuals entering nursing, returning to practice, transitioning clinical roles and progressing in their careers.  

Dr. Wehrwein has served as project director on grants for scholastic and academic program development in excess of $5 million. She has leveraged resources from private foundations and state grants to strengthen nursing education practice in both hospital and primary care settings. These projects have included career-transition programs for registered nurses, a second-degree BSN program, a statewide model for cultural competence education and DNP education.  

Prior to her appointment with the MSU College of Nursing, Dr. Wehrwein served nine years in the Henry Ford Health System, providing leadership for the professional development operations of its flagship hospital. She also led the nurse educator team, coordinating educational processes across the system including affiliated community hospitals, ambulatory clinics, home care, hospice, and long-term care settings. As part of her assignment with Henry Ford, Dr. Wehrwein served as Assistant Dean for Oakland University, coordinating the implementation of the collaborative agreement between the health system and the university. 

Dr. Wehrwein served as faculty at Madonna University in Livonia for 10 years from 1982-92 in a variety of roles including faculty teaching assignments in pediatrics and nursing administration, and as coordinator of the MSN program during its development and initial accreditation. Prior to that, she worked at Pontiac General Hospital, Grace Hospital School of Nursing, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, where she began her professional career as a staff nurse in pediatrics. 

Dr. Wehrwein holds a BSN from the MSU College of Nursing, and an MSN and PhD from Wayne State University in Detroit.