LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans Nursing Faculty Take Top State Honors

October 13, 2023

The Louisiana Nurses Foundation’s 2023 Nightingale Award recipients include two members of the faculty of LSU Health New Orleans’ School of Nursing. Sherry Rivera, DNP, APRN, ANP-C, FNKF, FAANP, Program Director, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration, was named Advanced Practice Registered Nurse of the Year. Kendra Barrier, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, was named Nursing School Administrator of the Year.

Among the 60,000 nurses in Louisiana, the Louisiana Nurses Foundation recognizes nurses across the state annually in a variety of categories. According to the Louisiana Nurses Foundation, these individuals represent the best in the nursing profession.

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Dr. Sherry Rivera
Dr. Sherry Rivera is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing and a Fellow of the National Kidney Foundation and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati Adult Nurse Practitioner Program, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Regis University, and a Nursing Diploma at Geisinger Medical Center’s School of Nursing Diploma program. She is board-certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as an Adult Nurse Practitioner.

Dr. Rivera’s nursing experience includes working in nephrology practice as a Nurse Practitioner, medical-surgical nursing, and telemetry. She has also had experience collaborating with multidisciplinary teams. She served as a member of the End Stage Renal Disease Patient Reported Outcomes Technical Expert Panel.

Dr. Rivera is a member of the National Kidney Foundation, American Nephrology Nurses Association, American Society of Nephrology, Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society. She is a New Orleans City Business Healthcare Hero Honoree (2021) and received the DAISY Faculty Award (2021), the Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Faculty Award from LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing (2019), the Education Writing Award from the Nephrology Nursing Journal (2018) and the Outstanding Doctor of Nursing Practice Award from the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing (2015).
Dr. Kendra Barrier is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing, serving as the Inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and the former Assistant Dean for Student Services at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing. She is also an Associate Faculty in the School of Graduate Studies, a National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Diversity Leadership Institute Fellow, and an AACN Elevating Leaders in Academic Nursing (ELAN) Fellow.
Dr. Kendra Barrier
Through the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, her strategic vision has cultivated a culture of identity and belonging so every student, faculty, staff, and stakeholder can be themselves and thrive, leading the School of Nursing on a trajectory for sustained DEI cultural change. She provides leadership in organizational change, generating approaches to cultural intelligence and actualization of diversity. Dr. Barrier also provides leadership and expertise for managing conflict and having difficult conversations with empathy, professionalism, and confidentiality. Her dedication to inclusive excellence strategies has led to the implementation of inclusive admissions procedures, best practices documents, and policy and procedure revision. She advocated for and implemented all-gender restrooms, a lactation room, and a food pantry for the nursing school. Dr. Barrier has provided outstanding educational programs and projects to reduce health disparities for racial and ethnically underrepresented individuals and communities.

She has received many honors and awards, including the New Orleans District Nurses Association (NODNA) Legacy Award (2023), the NODNA Excellence in Nursing Beyond the Bedside for Academic School of Nursing (2019), Outstanding Alumna (2018), the School of Nursing Alumna of the Year (2016), four Daisy Faculty Awards (2011, 2014, 2015, & 2016), the School of Nursing’s Nursing Caring Award for Faculty (2013), an Academy for the Advancement of Educational Scholarship Educational Enhancement Grant Award, and the Faculty Recognition of an MN Student Award (2009). She was nominated for the Allen Copping Excellence in Teaching Award (2014) and the Faculty Daisy Award (2018).

Dr. Barrier earned her BSN and MSN in Nursing Education from LSU Health New Orleans and received a PhD in Nursing Education and Administration from William Carey University.

“Our nursing school faculty, staff, and students are proud of Dr. Rivera and Dr. Barrier’s state-wide recognition with their respective Nightingale Awards,” says Dr. Demetrius Porche, Dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing. “Dr. Rivera and Dr. Barrier continue to promote nursing excellence within our nursing school and within the nursing profession both locally and nationally.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU Health New Orleans) educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous annual economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or