Nursing prof Arlene Keeling to receive Distinguished Nurse Award for 2013

Arlene Keeling 2
Dr. Arlene Keeling
Dan Addison

Arlene Keeling, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Centennial Distinguished Professor of Nursing and director of the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, will receive the Distinguished Nurse Award from U.Va.’s nursing honor society Beta Kappa at a ceremony in the Rotunda on May 24, 2013.

The award, given every other year to a nursing professional, is bestowed based on nominations from Beta Kappa members from the nursing community. Dr. Keeling was nominated by nursing and medical school colleagues including Tina Brashers, Barbara Brodie, Suzanne Burns, Mary Gibson, Beth Quatrara, Audrey Snyder, Dorothy Tullman and David Strider.

In the nomination, Dr. Keeling’s colleagues highlight her work on the board of the American Association for the History of Nursing, lauding her leadership skills, and note that she’s become internationally recognized for her accomplishments in nursing history.

Her nominators also cite Dr. Keeling’s immense contributions to the clinical strengths of U.Va.’s nursing curriculum, pushing for the advancement of the acute and critical care nurse practitioner programs while also directing the Bjoring Center, working as department chair, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, directing the school’s PhD program, and authoring two books over the last two years: Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World (2012) and Nurses on the Frontlines: When Disaster Strikes (2010).

“She carries multiple leadership roles,” says nominator David Strider, a doctor of nursing practice in the division of cardiac surgery at UVA Medical Center, “and has contributed in numerous dimensions to nursing history and clinical practice on the state, regional, national, and international level. Her perseverance, coupled with her creativity, has complemented her amazing leadership at so many levels.”

Dr. Keeling, at U.Va. School of Nursing since 1992, was recently recognized with the Mary Roberts Award, given annually by the American Association for the History of Nursing. In January 2013, The American Journal of Nursing named her book Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World the Book of the Year in the category of public interest and creative works. She is also the author of the Privilege of Prescription: 1893-2000, which chronicles the role of nurse practitioners in dispensing, furnishing and prescribing medication. She teaches nursing history and is the chair of the Department of Acute and Specialty Care. Dr. Keeling has been a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing since 2009.

Beta Kappa, U.Va.’s nursing honor society, is a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. The first and oldest nursing honor society in Virginia, the chapter boasts more than 500 members.