Fairfield University School of Nursing dean awarded one of the highest honors in her profession


Image: Jean Novotny and Grayce SillsJeanne M. Novotny, Ph.D., dean of Fairfield University's School of Nursing, was named a 2002 Fellow by the American Academy of Nursing. One of the highest honors in the profession, the FAAN designation recognizes outstanding contributions to nursing beyond those typically associated with a given position: "Activities that reflect a broad perspective of nursing's commitment to society."

Dr. Novotny, who has only been with Fairfield University for one year, was the only nurse in Connecticut to receive the designation this year.

"Dr. Novotny is a wonderful scholar and educator," said Academic Vice President Orin Grossman. "This most prestigious award is confirmation of our extreme good fortune in being able to bring her to Fairfield to lead the Nursing School."

In support of Novotny's selection, Joyce Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., the Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing at Case Western University, noted Novotny's creative and sustained leadership role in nursing education. Novotny has developed and implemented global education initiatives in Chile, Mexico, Italy and Zimbabwe. In Chile, for example, Novotny co-taught an Internet nursing course with faculty from the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile. Senior nursing students in the South American nation were able to link up with students from the United States to share experiences and talk about nursing issues, Novotny said.

"We called it a transnational model for nursing education," Novotny said.

In Zimbabwe, a similar Internet-based course allowed advanced practice nurses in the African nation to further their education, despite poor infrastructure that would have made travel to a physical classroom impossible.

Fitzpatrick also praised the American Red Cross program Novotny established that today "serves as a model for home care in the Americas."

Novotny, who has a special interest in Hispanic culture, is author of two landmark publications in nursing education, including a distance education book cited by faculty throughout the world as an important resource.

Both of Novotny's books - Distance Education in Nursing and Schoolcraft Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Nursing - have received Book of the Year awards from the American Journal of Nursing. A third book - 101 Careers in Nursing, is now under contract.

During her career, in which Novotny has made these and other contributions to the nursing profession, she has received external grant support from an impressive roster of funding sources, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Glaxo Wellcome and the Medtronic Corporation.

Through the prism of academic administration, Novotny's energy and initiative have shaped multiple facets of expertise that benefit nursing education, not only at the baccalaureate and master's levels, but also in the realm of continuing education for staff and advanced practice nurses. That her efforts have influenced nursing faculty both in the United States and more globally was noted by another of Novotny's champions, Grayce Sills, Ph.D., professor emeritus of nursing, The Ohio State University, who said, "She has exemplified a profound commitment to the belief in the importance of pedagogy to the foundations of excellence in the practice of nursing."

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 10, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 12