Elaine Shaw Sorensen sees her future induction into the prestigious Western Academy of Nurses as more of a expectation than an honor.

"This year will be easy because I'll accept the award, be honored and do little else," said Shaw, who serves as the associate dean of Brigham Young University's College of Nursing. "But next year, I will be expected to help push the margins of health care and nursing."The Western Academy of Nurses was established to recognize and honor nurses who have demonstrated excellence in nursing practice and who have advanced practice in direct care, education or research. Leaders and teachers in nursing are nominated to the academy from approximately 500 members of the Western Institute of Nursing.

Since its establishment in 1989, the academy has inducted only 12 members from 13 Western states. Shaw will be the academy's 13th member.

Although Shaw has served on the board of directors for the Western Institute of Nursing for several years, her most recent work has dealt with children's stress and coping responses. Her work is recorded in a book called "Children's Stress and Coping: A Family Perspective." (See accompanying story.)

"There are approximately 500 nurses who do excellent research within the Western Institute of Nursing, but to have Elaine as part of that elite group is just very, very significant," said Donna Fosbinder, director of public relations for the College of Nursing.

"With Elaine as a member of this organization this will significantly increase the contribution to the credibility, visibility and reputation of scholarly work at the BYU College of Nursing," she said.

Shaw said she was surprised by the nomination to the academy.

"To be even nominated for induction to the academy is a profound honor, and I was totally surprised," she said.

Shaw's colleagues are far from surprised.

"She's really deserving of the award," said Lynn Callister, assistant professor in College of Nursing. "I wasn't surprised because she was very qualified."