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KU School of Nursing dean receives Legacy Award at March of Dimes Nurse of the Year event

Nov. 12, 2014

By Toni Cardarella

Dean Karen Miller at Nurse of the Year awards Karen Miller, Ph.D., RN, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Kansas Medical Center and dean of the KU School of Nursing, was recognized with the Legacy Award at the 2014 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year event Friday night in Kansas City, Mo.

Twenty nurses from Kansas and the Kansas City area were awarded in 19 categories, including advanced practice, emergency, surgical and palliative care, at the Nov. 7 black tie event at the InterContinental Hotel. Among the award winners was Janet Pierce, Ph.D., APRN, the Christine A. Hartley Centennial Professor of Nursing at the KU School of Nursing, who was recognized in the School of Nursing Educator category.

The Legacy Award was announced at the end of the Nov. 7 program, and came as a surprise to Miller, who spoke earlier in the evening as honorary chair of the event.

Before revealing the name of the winner, Chris Ruder, vice president of Patient Care Services at the University of Kansas Hospital, and event chair Tammy Peterman, RN, MS, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of KU Hospital, listed a few traits, characteristics and achievements of the 2014 Legacy Award recipient.

The winner, they said, is passionate for the state of nursing, an innovative thinker, a mentor, and supporter and advisor to many leaders and aspiring leaders.concluded a list of hints. "She has spent time in practice, administration, education and research -- and has been a leader in each."

"She's also built a great team, one that has had a significant impact on nursing throughout the community and the country," Peterman said.

Peterman and Karen Cox, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer of Children's Mercy Hospital and past chair of the Nurse of the Year event, gave the audience more specific hints about the 2014 recipient. "As a pioneer, she has been a champion and leader in the area of distance learning from baccalaureate to doctoral programs. The program is ranked in the Top 25 in online learning for graduate programs,"

Also, they acknowledged the winner's role in bringing NDNQI to the KU School of Nursing and growing it into the largest database of nursing quality indicators in the world, and her support of academic innovation with KU School of Nursing's partnership with community colleges across Kansas to help bridge Associate Degree in Nursing programs to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

"And, she was so valued and appreciated by the health professions departments, they selected her to be their permanent dean," Peterman joked.

Peterman and Cox presented the award, which is chosen by a March of Dimes Nurse of the Year committee of hospital executives and chief nursing officers.

Miller announced in late August to step down from her senior vice chancellor and dean roles at the end of this academic year. .

KU School of Nursing clinical associate professor Karen Tarnow, Ph.D., RN, was a finalist in this year's March of Dimes Nurse of the Year educator category.Two other KU School of Nursing faculty members received nominations in that category: clinical assistant professor Laura Klenke-Borgmann, MSN, RN; and assistant professor Jill Peltzer, Ph.D., APRN.

Three KU Hospital nurses won 2014 Nurse of the Year awards: Franny McShane, who won the Rising Star Award; Gloria Wiggins, oncology; and Carol Mulvenon, Hospice/Home Health/Palliative Care.

Here's a list of all winners from the 2014 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year awards event.

Last modified: Sep 19, 2018