National nursing association honors UT Arlington professor

News Release — 10 January 2011


Media contact: Bridget Lewis, (817) 272-3317,

ARLINGTON - A national organization of operating room nurses has recognized Joy Don Baker, a UT Arlington clinical associate professor of nursing, for Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Academic Nursing Education.

Joy Don Baker

Joy Don Baker

The Association of Operating Room Nurses, or AORN, is a national association of 40,000 members committed to improving patient safety in the surgical setting. Baker is director of distance education for The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and is being honored for her use of technology in nursing education.

Baker is to receive the award during the organization's March conference in Philadelphia. 

Elizabeth Poster, dean of UT Arlington’s College of Nursing, praised Baker’s efforts to improve clinical nursing education with advanced simulation software.

“As new technology continually becomes available for teaching, she has applied her knowledge to assist our faculty in implementing best teaching practices,” Poster said. “Our students value their online connections to the faculty and one another as well as our full range of state-of-the science learning media.”

Baker has been instrumental in using “Second Life,” a 3D virtual world for teaching. The software allows students to engage in technology in a captivating way, and it provides nursing students with an opportunity for simulation. Baker also has authored chapters and journal articles on perioperative practice and continues to contribute both through personal and professional avenues.  

“I have been a perioperative nurse since 1979. I have also been attending the AORN Congress since 1979,” Baker said. “To be honored by AORN is wonderful recognition by my peers. I am somewhat in awe and feel tremendously honored.”

Baker is representative of the innovative faculty at The University of Texas College of Nursing. The college is one of the largest in the nation, with more than 5,000 students enrolled in its pre-licensure and graduate programs. It is designated as one of nine “High Performing” nursing programs in Texas based on RN initial licensure exam and graduation rates of more than 90 percent. For more information, visit

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate research institution of nearly 33,000 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.


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