Joan E. Edwards, Ph.D., RNC, CNS, FAAN

Associate Professor - Houston Center

Joan Edwards, PhD, was appointed Director of the Center for Global Nursing (CGN) in Fall, 2008.  Formal approval for the Center from the Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Board of Regents was granted in June 2012. Edwards is responsible for oversight and coordination of global nursing activities involving alumni, nursing faculty, nursing students from all three campuses of Texas Woman’s University. In addition to Edwards’ involvement with CGN, her teaching responsibilities include undergraduate course manager for Women’s Health and Family Roles and also clinical faculty for the Sr2 Integration course.  She has also taught or been co-faculty for graduate level nursing courses such as NURS 6903.60 Foundations of Global Health and NURS Education Abroad Electives.

Edwards has a diploma in nursing from Copley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing (now part of Aurora University) in Aurora, Illinois, a BSN from the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle; an MN from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, and her PhD – Nursing, emphasis in Community and Global Health from UT - Tyler. Prior to accepting a fulltime faculty position at TWU in 2002, Edwards was employed as a perinatal clinical nurse specialist with Director oversight of perinatal, neonatal, pediatrics and women’s services at Kingwood Medical Center in NE Houston, Texas. She is certified in high-risk perinatal nursing (ANCC). Edwards has been professionally affiliated with the specialty nursing organization, AWHONN (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses), for most of her nursing career, serving as national President of this approximately 23,000 member nursing organization in 2006.  In 2019, she received the Distinguished Professional Service Award (DPS), the highest honor awarded by AWHONN for lifetime achievement.

Throughout her professional career, Edwards has had many opportunities to practice globally. She spent four years in the country of Indonesia as a medical missionary with her family, teaching in a nursing program in the jungles of Kalimantan (Borneo). She returned to Indonesia in 2011-2012 under the auspices of a Fulbright scholarship. In collaboration with the Indonesian government, she conducted a pilot study of 7 diploma and baccalaureate nursing programs comparing nursing curricula currently utilized in Indonesia with WHO Standard III (nursing curriculum) of the 2009 World Health Organization Global Standards for Initial Nursing and Midwifery Education. This project was one of the catalysts to passage of Indonesia’s first Nurse Practice Act in Fall 2014.

Edwards was inducted as a FAAN into the American Academy of Nurses (AAN) in Fall 2015.

Additional Global Experiences and Collaborations

  • Leader of two People-to-People Citizen Ambassadorship Women’s Health and Midwifery delegations to China – 2008 and 2009
  • Multiple presentations at global conferences
  • Faculty and student Study Abroad trips to The Netherlands, Zambia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Peru.
  • Research Advisory Panel (eight member collaboration) to assess and prioritize nursing research foci for the country of Kenya – 2019-2020

Research and Professional Interests

  • Undergraduate nursing education
  • Curriculum development
  • Capacity building
  • Scholarship mentorship of nursing faculty around the world
  • Maternal mortality and morbidity
  • Perinatal nursing
  • HIV in women and various other women’s health topics

Page last updated 5:19 PM, November 3, 2021