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Released June 15, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Dr. Katherine E. Nugent, who has accepted the position of associate dean and director of the School of Nursing, will also serve as a professor of nursing in the College of Health at The University of Southern Mississippi.

"I'm so excited about this," said Dr. Peter Fos, the new dean of the College of Health. "She has a great deal of experience, and with the challenges of a dual-campus situation, her experience in administration and scholarship is needed."

Nugent received her bachelor's and master's of science in nursing from Texas Woman's University and her doctorate from Texas A & M University. In her professional practice, she was a staff nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital from 1970-1971; a registered nurse of campus health at Allen Military Academy from 1971-1972; the assistant head nurse of pediatrics at Memorial Northwest Hospital in Houston from 1972-1975; and was in charge of parent-child staff development at Memorial Hospital from 1975-1977. She also worked as a pediatric clinical nurse specialist through the University of Texas at Galveston practice plan. She currently serves as interim dean of nursing at the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing, where she was also a professor of nursing science.

Nugent has held academic positions at College of the Mainland, University of Texas Medical Branch, Clemson University and Medical College of Georgia. She served as assistant department head in the College of Nursing at Clemson University and served as associate dean for undergraduate programs, associate dean for academic programs, vice dean of the School of Nursing and interim dean of the School of Nursing at Medical College of Georgia.

Nugent has published extensively in the areas of nursing education and diversity issues. She has been the primary investigator for a HRSA grant titled "Increasing Diversity in a Baccalaureate Nursing Program."

"I want to raise the level of research on both campuses, and Dr. Nugent is committed to that, too," Fos said of Nugent, who is currently a fellow of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Academic Leadership Program.

"We are excited to have Dr. Nugent at Southern Miss," said university President Shelby Thames. "She is well respected among her colleagues and I think she will take our nursing program to new heights."

Nugent, who will begin her responsibilities Aug. 1 at Southern Miss, said she is eager about the opportunity to join the faculty in the School of Nursing and in the College of Health. "It is an exciting time for nursing and an excellent time to positively impact the teaching, research and health care mission of the profession of nursing," she said.


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June 21, 2004 1:04 PM