Mary Lou Sole, coordinator of UCF’s Clinical Nurse Specialist master’s and doctoral tracks, recently earned the Researcher of the Year Award from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

The award for work that has significantly contributed to advancing the nursing profession was presented in San Antonio at the association’s annual conference.

“Dr. Sole has made exceptional contributions to the body of knowledge of nursing science. Her work has improved the outcomes of numerous patients and she continues to mentor future CNS researchers,” said Carol Manchester, president of the association.

Sole’s primary research is on improving outcomes with critical illness, with a focus on airway management and infection. Her secondary research interest is in the application of technology in clinical and educational settings. She has published more than 65 articles in peer-reviewed journals, mostly covering critical care and nursing education.

Sole has worked at UCF since 1991 and was named a Pegasus Professor, UCF’s top faculty honor, in 2008. She is a fellow in both the American Academy of Nursing and the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Her textbook, Introduction to Critical Care Nursing (5th edition) by Sole, Deborah Goldenberg Klein and Marthe J. Moseley, was named Book of the Year in 2010 by the American Journal of Nursing.

She was the lead investigator on a National Institutes of Health nursing research grant related to airway management in critically ill patients, and in 2006 her expertise and commitment earned a gubernatorial nomination to the Florida Biomedical Research Advisory Council, on which she continues to serve.

The Orlando Health Distinguished Professor at UCF’s College of Nursing, Sole received a BSN from Ohio University, a master’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She is certified as a critical care clinical nurse specialist.