Katherine Nugent

 Emerging Leaders

Last month, students received baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees from the College of Nursing.  As I watched our students walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, I noticed their excitement and confidence as they transitioned to a new phase in their life. Students were confident because they have the knowledge, competencies, professional values, and role development needed to be successful in their chosen practice of nursing.  Excited because they are assuming roles as entry-level nurses, nurse practitioners, nursing faculty, or nurse administrators.  I wonder if they realized that in addition to their chosen professional role, they would also be emerging leaders.

The healthcare delivery system is constantly and continuously changing. Along with it, the field of nursing also evolves in such a way that it enables questioning of existing practices, the development of new knowledge and the improvement of delivery of health care services.  The opportunity for leadership will exist and Southern Miss students are capable of providing leadership in change.  Three of our current DNP students, Arlen Cooper, Sharon Catledge, and Courtney Bennett are examples of emerging leaders.  Arlen is a Jonas Scholar and has participated in national health policy activities, Sharon is serving as the President of the Mississippi State Board of Nursing, and Courtney is featured on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing link as an emerging leader (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/students/gnsa/gnsa-bulletin/2014/may).

Katherine Nugent
Dr. Nugent, who has served as the director of the School of Nursing and associate dean of the College of Health since 2004, was named dean in July 2012, when the School of Nursing was returned to its status as a College of Nursing. Dr. Nugent came to the University of Southern Mississippi from the Medical College of Nursing , now called Georgia Health Sciences University, where she was the executive associate Dean. Dr. Nugent has extensive experience in nursing education and in administration of nursing programs, having served in a variety of leadership positions at the University of Texas at Galveston, Clemson University and Georgia Health Sciences University. She has been active in state, regional, and national nursing organizations and will serve as the president of the Collegiate Nursing Education Council of the Southern Regional Education Board beginning in November 2012.

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