UA Little Rock’s Riley, Snead honored in ‘40 Nurse Leaders Under 40’

The Arkansas Center for Nursing has included two of University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s nursing instructors in its 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40.

Elizabeth Riley and Leigh Ann Snead will be honored at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 30, at 1:30 p.m. at the Benton Event Center.

Riley, 31, teaches Healthcare Economics, Nursing Informatics, and Research and Evidence-based Practice in Nursing. Before joining UA Little Rock in 2016, she worked as a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She’s been a registered nurse since 2010.

“I feel that my real-world practice helps make me more relatable to our nursing students in understanding the daily goings-on in the patient care setting,” she said. “I also feel better connected to practice and policies as healthcare is continuously evolving.”

Riley earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a Master of Science in nursing, both from UAMS, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from American Sentinel University. She continues practicing on a PRN basis.

“Leigh is an outstanding nurse educator, both in the classroom and simulation settings,” said Sloan Davidson, chair of UA Little Rock’s nursing department. “She specializes in pediatrics and is excellent at designing creative ways to help the students see how pathophysiology drives what the nurse will see and then do for patients.”

Snead has taught at UA Little Rock since fall 2015 and currently teaches Pediatrics and Adult Medical Surgical II (classroom and simulation) and is the interim simulation director.

She graduated from Baptist Health Schools with a RN diploma in 1999. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Arkansas Tech University in 2012, a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in 2015, and she is currently completing a Doctor of Nursing Practice at UCA.

Snead has worked in the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program; UAMS Labor and Delivery; and the Arkansas Women’s Center OB/GYN clinic.

“My experience has further stimulated my curiosity and creativity in the ways I teach complex concepts to students, especially in regards to pathophysiology,” Snead said. “Simulation allows me the avenue to provide hands-on teaching strategies and practice to help students develop clinical reasoning skills.”

Snead has also taught at Southeast Arkansas College and Baptist Health Schools.

“Riley, as we call her, is an excellent online educator in our RN-BSN program,” Davidson said. “She is diligent as a researcher, putting data to work for evidence-based practice in the clinical setting, but also in the education setting. We are blessed to have both of these young educators as faculty members.”

The Arkansas Center for Nursing works to promote a culture of health for Arkansans by advancing nursing education, practice, leadership, and workforce development. This year’s 40 honorees were selected based on their commitment to excellence, service, outreach, leadership qualities, and their contributions to the advancement of the nursing profession. The complete list of 40 honorees is available on the Arkansas Center for Nursing website.

Riley and Snead also will be featured in the Arkansas Times’ May issue.

UA Little Rock nursing professors Leigh Snead, center, and Elizabeth Riley, right, have been recognized by the Arkansas Center for Nursing  for excellence in nursung education. Snead also directs the nursing department’s simulation lab. Photo by Benjamin Krain

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