May 13, 2020
The dean of Ursuline College’s Breen School of Nursing has been selected to receive one of the highest awards from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
Patricia A. Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, will receive the Elaine Ellibee Award, designated for a current or recent president of a state board of nursing who has demonstrated leadership as a state board president and leadership in making significant contributions to the NCSBN. She was selected from a pool of nominees from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and international boards.
Dr. Sharpnack was appointed to the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) by Gov. John Kasich in 2014 and is now serving a second appointed term. She was elected president by fellow OBN members for three terms, the last ending in December 2019. She is now the Board Supervisory Member and Chair of the Nursing Education Advisory Committee. Her current term on the OBN ends in December 2021.
“What a prestigious award for a truly deserving Board member, past president, and nursing leader,” said current OBN President Lauralee Krabill, MBA, RN, in announcing the award on May 12.
Betsy J. Houchen, JD, MS, RN, executive director of the OBN, wrote in a letter of support for the nomination, "The Governor recognized her leadership in the fight against the opioid epidemic; the State Action Coalition called on her leadership skills to collaborate with others to implement the recommendations of the (Institute of Medicine) Future of Nursing Report; and she developed seamless nursing education, dual enrollment programs, and nurse competency models in this state and other state boards of nursing.”
Dr. Sharpnack was appointed by Gov. Kasich to participate on the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team and collaborate with the governor’s office, state agencies, and other regulatory boards to fight the opioid epidemic. During her tenure as OBN president, she also created a pathway for military personnel and service members to become licensed practical nurses, and advocated for regulatory approaches that are responsive to changes in nursing practice and education.
“Patricia Sharpnack has an exceptional and outstanding track record of stellar leadership as a board president in advancing public protection, regulatory excellence, and making significant contributions to NCSBN and its members,” said Houchen. “Her leadership inspires others locally, statewide and nationally. She embodies the contributions of Elaine Ellibee, who strongly believed in the importance of public protection, superior patient care and continuing education for nursing leaders.”
The late Ellibee was the first president of the NCSBN, serving from 1978-1979.
“I am extremely touched, humbled and thrilled to have been selected for this award. It is truly an honor,” said Dr. Sharpnack. “I have greatly appreciated my work with the OBN and NCSBN and am blessed to have had the opportunity to learn so much from both organizations.”
Dr. Sharpnack explained that the mission of the OBN, and all state boards of nursing, is to protect the public through effective regulation. “This means that those serving on boards of nursing must place public welfare at the forefront while helping to guide the board with new educational models, a just culture for discipline, clear methods for renewals and implementation of rules, guidelines for practice and, more generally, guidelines for what the public considers important for nurses to be accountable for.”
Because the NCSBN’s annual meeting in August will be a virtual meeting, Dr. Sharpnack will receive the award instead at the organization’s midyear meeting in Seattle in March 2021.
Dr. Sharpnack was inducted as a 2019 fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors for nursing internationally, in recognition of her extraordinary commitment to the promotion of public health. The Academy comprises some 2,600 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research chosen from some 4 million registered nurses in the United States.