Frontier Nursing University (FNU) announced that university President Dr. Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, will transition into a new role as the university’s appointed Distinguished Chair of Midwifery and Nursing. Dr. Stone’s transition into this role will tentatively occur at the end of 2023, pending the identification of her successor. Dr. Stone has served as the president of FNU since 2001. Whether as a practitioner, instructor, university president, presenter, or organizational leader, Dr. Stone’s professional career has been consistently directed toward supporting advanced practice nurses and nurse-midwives through advocacy, education, and innovation. As a nurse-midwife herself, she has had a special focus on advancing the midwifery profession.
“FNU has been profoundly fortunate to have had the expert leadership and progressive vision of Dr. Stone during her long tenure,” said FNU Board Chairperson Michael Carter. “Her wise counsel and steady leadership of FNU has resulted in our many outstanding achievements and positions us well for the future. The Board of Directors is very pleased to have her continued service to the university as she assumes the Distinguished Chair of Midwifery and Nursing.”
Dr. Stone succeeds past Distinguished Chair of Midwifery Dr. Eunice (Kitty) Ernst, who passed away in December 2021. Appointed by the FNU Board of Directors, the purpose of this Chair is to promote midwifery both nationally and internationally. FNU is conducting a national search to identify Dr. Stone’s successor as the university President. The search is being led by Dr. Kerri Schuiling, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM, FAAN, in collaboration with a recruiting firm.
“Since assuming the presidency in 2001, Susan Stone has worked tirelessly to achieve the vision of Frontier Nursing University as the premier online educational institution for advanced practice nursing,” said Dr. Schuiling, who is a member of the FNU Board of Directors. “Dr. Stone is a dedicated advocate for access; access to education for nurses who want to become advanced practice nurses and nurse-midwives and access to quality healthcare for all. Over her tenure these last two decades, she has been nationally recognized for exponentially increasing the number of nurse-midwives and other advanced practice professionals practicing in areas of highest need. FNU is fortunate that Dr. Stone has created a firm foundation upon which her successor can continue to build upon her legacy.”
Dr. Stone was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine Class of 2018 and is past president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) from 2019-2020. She is a Fellow at both ACNM and the American Academy of Nursing. She was the recipient of ACNM’s Kitty Ernst Award in 1999, which recognizes “innovative, creative endeavors in midwifery practice and women’s health care.” Other honors include the 2011 American Public Health Association’s prestigious Felicia Stewart Advocacy Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to advocacy on behalf of reproductive health and rights.
“Susan Stone has left a legacy of growth and transformation at Frontier,” said FNU Dean of Nursing Dr. Joan Slager, CNM, DNP, FACNM, FAAN. “She has demonstrated vision and leadership that have resulted in the exponential expansion of our programs while remaining staunchly true to our mission. I’m very pleased she will continue to serve FNU as the Distinguished Chair of Midwifery and Nursing, where her primary focus will be to facilitate endeavors that support the education of midwives and the practice of midwifery.”
Throughout FNU’s growth and innovation, Dr. Stone has kept the university focused on its mission of educating advanced practice nurses and midwives to serve in rural and underserved areas. Her leadership at FNU has resulted in the tremendous growth of the university, from 200 students in 2001 to an enrollment of 2,500 today. Today, more than 8,700 FNU graduates practice in every state in the U.S. as well as several foreign countries.
Those wishing to pay tribute to Dr. Stone’s commitment to FNU and nursing are encouraged to donate in her honor to the Stone Family Scholarship or the Susan Stone Chair at frontier.edu/give.