Professional News

College of Nursing Dean Honored by Alma Mater, Pays It Forward With Scholarship

Photo of Dean Heath with scholarship recipient
Janie Heath, dean of the UK College of Nursing, established a scholarship at her alma mater for nursing students

NORMAN, OK (November 6, 2018) – College of Nursing Dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, was recognized as an inaugural Distinguished Alumni at the University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Nursing.

The OU College of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumni award was established by the college and the Alumni Board of Directors to recognize graduates who demonstrate “outstanding leadership related to the field of nursing or health care” and who have made “significant clinical, academic, research, or other contributions to nursing or health care on a local, state, national, or international level.”

Dean Heath also awarded OU College of Nursing Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) student Tamara Ogle with the first Kay Perry and Janie Heath Comanche County Scholarship. The scholarship honors Heath's late friend and fellow Comanche County Memorial Hospital nurse, Kay Perry an OU LPN to BSN alumni.

"Kay had the perfect disposition for emergency and critical care nursing; she was always calm and cool," said Heath. "Nothing fazed her as she was skilled, patient and eager to teach. She set the bar high every day to serve Oklahomans as well as meet the demanding nursing responsibilities of providing holistic and comprehensive care to vulnerable populations

The scholarship supports students from Comanche County, OK who are on "non-traditional paths", such as LPN or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to earning their BSN.

Dean Heath was appointed dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing for the UK College of Nursing on August 1, 2014. She was formerly an endowed professor of nursing and the chief academic officer at the University of Virginia and Georgia Health Sciences University (formerly the Medical College of Georgia and now Georgia Regents University). She has provided academic leadership for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Critical-Care Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs at Georgetown University in Washington and at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Heath started her nursing career in 1976 with an ADN Degree from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma where she later earned her ADN to BSN.  In 1991, she earned her Master of Science Degree, with a clinical nurse specialist focus, from the OU and her post-master’s with an acute-adult nurse practitioner focus from the University of South Carolina.

She completed her PhD in Nursing from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in 2004. She has more than 43 years of acute and critical care nursing experience in various positions from staff to administration to advanced practice and academia. She has been awarded more than $12 million for academic and/or research initiatives, generated more than 150 publications and abstracts, served on numerous regional and national task forces for tobacco control and advanced practice nursing initiatives. Her primary research program of study involves workforce development using the Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation Curriculum to effectively intervene with tobacco-dependent populations in acute and primary care settings. In addition, Dr. Heath served as a member of the board of directors for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), honored as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the National Academies of Practice and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners and founded the Nurses for Tobacco Control national coalition for nurse educators.