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  • Home / News / Ursuline College nursing dean, two grads, earn international recognition | Ursuline College - Liberal Arts Education in Ohio

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    Ursuline College nursing dean, two grads, earn international recognition

    June 19, 2019

    Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, dean of the Breen School of Nursing at Ursuline College, will be inducted as a 2019 fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in the nursing profession internationally.

    The Academy announced on June 18, that it has selected 231 “highly distinguished” nurse leaders as its 2019 class of fellows.

    “I am proud to welcome this incredible class of leaders to the American Academy of Nursing," said Academy President Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN. "Their amazing accomplishments have changed health and health care across the country and around the globe. I look forward to celebrating the new fellows at our 2019 policy conference and working with them in the future so that our collective knowledge can impact and influence health policy."

    In addition to leading the nursing school at Ursuline, Sharpnack is president of the Ohio Board of Nursing, the state agency charged with safeguarding the health of the public through regulation of nursing care. She is board-certified as a nurse educator and as an advanced nursing executive and she is a fellow in the Academy of Nurse Educators.

    “Dr. Sharpnack is a leader in promoting competent and compassionate health care that relies on both evidence-based nursing practice and an appreciation of the dignity of all persons,” said Ursuline College President sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, PhD.

    Sharpnack was nominated for the Academy fellowship by Judith A. Halstead, executive director of the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation in Washington, DC, and Rebecca M. Patton, past two-term president of the American Nurses Association and the Atkinson Scholar in Perioperative Nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

    “Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing is considered one of the highest honors in the nursing profession and Dr. Sharpnack is very deserving,” said Patton. “She is recognized internationally for her leadership in shaping regulatory policy and transforming quality and safety organizational cultures. We are fortune to have Dr. Sharpnack as one of Ohio’s leaders. Out of four million nurses, she stands with 2,600 who hold this distinction.”

    Said Sharpnack, “I am delighted yet humbled by this recognition from the AAN. My career goals mirror the goals of the AAN, ‘advancing health policy, practice and science through organizational excellence and effective nursing leadership.’ My significant contribution, driving policy change to improve healthcare outcomes through regulation and influencing practice through innovative bedside models closely aligns with the mission of the Academy to serve the public and the nursing profession by advancing healthcare education, practice, and science. I have formed partnerships with industry leaders and received support from regulatory bodies, quality organizations, healthcare agencies, and nursing education to provide ample opportunities for nurses and students to build teamwork competencies, improve healthcare quality metrics, and integrate innovative practice models that advance healthcare.

    “Consistent with the Academy’s 2017-2020 strategic goals, I will continue to lead change, drive policy and practice to improve healthcare, and influence practice design to improve the health of populations. As a recognized leader, regulator, and educator, I would be honored to serve on the Academy’s Building Health Care System Excellence and Quality Health Care expert panels enabling me to leverage my existing network of stakeholders, identify contemporary issues affecting regulation, provide expert opinion to inform practice, influence policy, set a unified agenda for improving patient outcomes and practice environments across the continuum, expand the healthcare workforce and promote team based care that includes patients and academic-practice partnerships,” Sharpnack said.

    Two Ursuline College graduates with leadership roles at Cleveland Clinic will also be honored: Kelly Hancock, DNP, who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Ursuline and is executive chief nursing officer of Cleveland Clinic Health System; and Beth Faiman, PhD, who earned her bachelor’s degree at in nursing at Ursuline and is a nurse practitioner in the Clinic's Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders.

    New fellows – representing 38 states, the District of Columbia, and 17 countries – will be will be honored at a ceremony during the Academy’s annual policy conference, Transforming Health, Driving Policy, taking place in Washington in October.

    Sharpnack earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Ursuline, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from The University of Akron, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, with a focus on education. She has worked in coronary and medical intensive care, home care and maternal–child nursing.

    In May 2019 she served as co-chair of an international conference on improving patient safety that drew nearly 500 attendees from around the world.

    Her professional interests include: academic-practice partnerships, active learning/teaching strategies, innovative clinical education models, competency development and testing, health care policy, and cultural competence.

    The Academy comprises more than 2,600 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary commitment to the promotion of the public’s health through evidence and innovation. A committee of previously elected fellows reviewed hundreds of applications, selecting new fellows based on “their impressive contributions to increase access, reduce cost, and improve quality through nursing theory, practice, and science,” according to a statement from the Academy.


    About Ursuline College – Founded in 1871, Ursuline College is an accredited liberal arts college rooted in Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social justice. Ursuline educates students for service, leadership and professional excellence through an array of undergraduate, graduate and degree-completion programs in the liberal arts, nursing, and professional studies. At Ursuline, women-focused undergraduate programs and co-educational graduate and degree-completion programs foster lifelong learning. The College offers 11 sports competing at the NCAA Division II level.