Nursing and Honors professor receives prestigious award

Doreen Wagner
Doreen Wagner

Doreen Wagner recognized by Association for Perioperative Registered Nurses

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 15, 2018) — Doreen Wagner, a professor in the WellStar School of Nursing and Honors College, has been honored with the Excellence in Perioperative Nursing Award from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).

Wagner was chosen for the award because “her work has had a global impact on the health care field in practice, education and research,” according to AORN. She has been in the health care field for 34 years as a perioperative staff nurse, surgical services educator, patient safety system coordinator, legal nurse consultant and nursing faculty member.

“I am truly honored to receive the Excellence in Perioperative Nursing Award from AORN,” Wagner said. “This award is considered comparable to a lifetime achievement award in the perioperative nursing arena, so being recognized by your peers in this way means a great deal to any perioperative nurse.”

This is the third time Wagner has been recognized by AORN, the world's largest professional association for perioperative nurses. Wagner also received AORN’s 2005 National Award for Outstanding Perioperative Nursing Research and the 2009 National Award for Outstanding Perioperative Nursing Education.

Wagner has been a nursing professor in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services for 11 years. She teaches undergraduate and graduate research courses as well as two elective courses that are considered high-demand – Foundations for Perioperative Practice and Psychoneuroimmunology: Mind-Body Pathways. In recognition of her commitment to community engagement, Wagner won Kennesaw State’s Outstanding Professional Service Award in 2017.

Wagner’s research seeks to understand the mind-body impact from stress, fear and anxiety in varied populations, which includes measuring biomarkers in her psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research laboratory. Wagner’s research is conducted with partners from the Department of Psychological Science, psychology professor Sharon Pearcey and neuroscience assistant professor Ebony Glover.

Wagner has worked with the Honors College since 2010 in various capacities, including as an Honors Council member and departmental liaison. She and Pearcey teach the popular Honors seminar Health, Humor and Stress.

– Paul Floeckher


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit