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Assembly on Nursing Early Career Achievement Award

Meet the 2022 Winner: Lynn M. Baniak, PhD, RN



Lynn M. Baniak is the Associate Chief Nurse for Research at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. She earned a bachelor’s degree and PhD in Nursing from Binghamton University, in which during her doctoral studies, she investigated the role of the calf muscle pump in the hemodynamics of breathing during sleep. Dr. Baniak then completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh in Chronic and Critical Illness Technology and in Sleep Medicine. Dr. Baniak’s program of research focuses on the physiologic effects of sleep disorders, specifically sleep apnea and insomnia, and their impact on quality of life, functional status, and disease management in patients with chronic disease to inform patient-centered pulmonary interventions. Her current focus is investigating the nature of sleep disturbance in Long COVID and establishing a COVID Recovery Clinic research registry and repository at the VAPHS.

Dr. Baniak’s contributions to nursing and dedication to advancing the field of sleep and pulmonary medicine are exemplified in her combined record of scientific manuscripts/presentations, program development, and service to the ATS Assembly on Nursing. She co-leads the Sleep and Circadian Science Research Hub at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing. Dr. Baniak has also developed an evidence-based practice clinical program, an orientation/onboarding program for advanced practice nurses, and was the recipient of a Veterans Health Administration Innovators Network grant to address inequity in telehealth access and usage by Veterans in the community. In 2022, she was appointed to the Veterans Affairs Office of Nursing Services, Nursing Research Field Advisory Committee. Dr. Baniak has been an active member of the ATS and the Assembly on Nursing since 2015, serving on the Nominating and Planning Committees, as well as the Early Career Professional workgroup which she has chaired since 2019. In September 2018, she was featured in ATS News for a “Who’s Who in ATS” profile.


The award will be given to a Nursing Assembly member who has made outstanding contributions relevant to nursing in the area(s) of research, clinical care, teaching, and/or service. Additionally, this person shows commitment and support of the Nursing Assembly and ATS. The award recognizes individuals who have made valuable contributions focused on patient and family responses related to pulmonary conditions, critical illness, or sleep disorders early in his or her career. The awardee will be presented with a framed certificate at the annual Nursing Assembly meeting during the ATS International Conference. We encourage applications from nominees with diverse backgrounds (e.g. by gender, race/ethnicity, country, area of focus and primary occupation).


  • Registered Nurse
  • Must be no more than Assistant Professor level, and either less than 10 years after earning a doctoral degree, or less than 10 years since initially becoming a full member of ATS, whichever is earliest.
  • Member of the Nursing Assembly (preference is given to a primary member)
  • Shows commitment and support of the Nursing Assembly, and to the ATS, including description of participation in ATS Nursing assembly or ATS activities
  • Letter of nomination from a member of the Nursing Assembly documenting how the applicant meets the scoring criteria, on a scale from 1 to 5
    • teaching/mentoring contributions – evaluated by feedback on teaching and mentoring from current or past mentees. Those with examples of successful mentoring and teaching (e.g., student-led abstracts, papers, or other products) will be scored higher (5/5) than those with without these described products (1/5).
    • participation in assembly or ATS activities – evaluated by described participation in past ATS or Nursing assembly activities. Those with leadership roles, multiple activities or substantial impact to ATS through service roles will be scored higher (5/5) than those with few service activities and no leadership roles (1/5).
    • Scientific/scholarly and clinical contributions – evaluated by impact of scientific work, such as number of publications and/or grants, quality of research and/or uptake of findings and/or impact to clinical practice. Those with substantial number of publications, external funding, and/or robust evidence of the impact of their scholarship on patients and the health care community will be scored higher (5/5) than those with fewer publications, no external grant funding or limited clinical impact of their work. Notably, scholarship or clinical contributions with a specific scientific focus on creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable healthcare system is preferred.
  • Additional letters of support from peers, mentors, and colleagues may be submitted with the nomination but are not required.
  • A CV from the candidate, not to exceed 4 pages, that addresses research, clinical care, teaching, and/or service.
  • A copy of at least one publication, consisting of either a published abstract, dissertation abstract, or short summary of the capstone project if no published manuscript is available.


Nominate Here


View Previous Award Recipients

2021 - Breanna Hetland, PhD, RN
2020 - Jennifer Seaman, PhD, RN
2019 - Deena Kelly Costa, PhD, RN
2018 - Jill Lynn Guttormson, PhD
2017-  Rebecca Disler, PhD, MSc, BSc, BN, RN
2016 - Nina Elise Bracken, ACNPC, MSN
2015 - Jiyeon Choi, PhD, RN