Professional News

UK Dean, Alum Named Nurses of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2011) − Jane M. Kirschling, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, and Beth Partin, advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and alumna of the College of Nursing, were co-recipients of the 2010 Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA) Nurse of the Year Award.

Kirschling has been a long standing member of the American Nurses Association  and a member of her state nurses association while living in Maine, New York, Oregon and now Kentucky. She has also served on the Board of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) as a director and as secretary, and she was recently elected president-elect of the AACN for 2012. Kirschling has represented the AACN as the ANA Congress of Nursing Practice and as a member of the AACN/Department of Veterans' Affairs Liaison Committee. Her national accomplishments include the completion of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program in 2003 and she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2009.  

Dean at the UK College of Nursing since 2006, Kirschling implemented the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in 2009, which is one of the first in the nation and the world. She has fostered the growth of the DNP Program at UK and she has worked with other college administrators and faculty to achieve accreditation of the DNP programs through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education process, thus achieving one of the first accredited post masters DNP programs nationally.

"She consistently fosters the growth of others and speaks for the discipline on matters that are visionary often giving voice to those who otherwise would not be heard," said Patricia Howard, professor and associate dean for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and DNP programs at the UK College of Nursing. "She is an individual of integrity who has elevated the status of the discipline of nursing in Kentucky."

Partin is in clinical practice as an APRN at Westlake Primary Care in Columbia, Ky. She is widely published on a number of articles related to advanced practice, policy and legislation in a variety of nursing publications and Web resources. She has served several terms on the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) and chaired or participated in a host of KBN committees and has been a leader on the KBN.

Additionally, during Partin's many years as the legislative liaison for the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives, she has  led nursing through some of our most groundbreaking advanced practice issues, such as prescriptive authority for APRNs and she leads the way on the charge to remove the requirement for collaborative agreements for APRNs for non-scheduled drugs. Partin has worked to not only to create a strong presence for nursing, particularly advanced practice, but also to promote an educated nursing community who is informed about the legislative and policy issues that affect our practice and who understand how to make their voice heard collectively and as individuals. 

Partin is considered by her peers to be the most effective strategist for nursing legislation in Kentucky for advanced practice and registered nursing in general, and has bridged a relationship among various nursing organizations that has allowed nursing to speak with one voice in the policy making arena in Kentucky. 

The Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA) is the only full-service professional organization for the state's entire nurse population. In addition to its role to promote the essential role of the registered nurse in health care delivery, the Association serves as an advocate for quality patient care in all settings.