PEPPER PIKE — Patricia Sharpnack, dean of the Breen School of Nursing at Ursuline College, was named a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in the field of nursing, along with alumnae Kelly Hancock and Beth Faiman. This is a highly sought after honor worldwide, Dr. Sharpnack said.
The academy named 231 nurses as fellows this year, and four are from northeast Ohio. Of those four, three have ties to Ursuline College. Dr. Sharpnack has served as the chairwoman of the Breen School of Nursing since 2014 and earned her undergraduate degree from Ursuline. Dr. Hancock is the executive chief nursing officer at the Cleveland Clinic Health System, and Dr. Faiman is a nurse practitioner in the Cleveland Clinic’s department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders.
The fellows will be inducted for life in the fall and will participate in activities with the academy.
“My goal is advancing health policy, practice and science through organizational excellence and effective nursing leadership,” Dr. Sharpnack said.
Due to her experience as a leader, regulator and educator, Dr. Sharpnack is interested in joining the Building Health Care System Excellence and Quality Health Care panel. Through work on this panel, Dr. Sharpnack said that she could improve regulation, influence policy to improve patient outcomes and expand the healthcare workforce.
“My goal is to broaden my reach, to leverage more stakeholders to improve patient outcomes,” she said. “I want to see the quality of healthcare improve nationally and internationally.”
Two established fellows must sponsor a candidate to be inducted into the academy. The candidate must create a portfolio for the members of the academy to review.
Dr. Sharpnack has a long list of experience and involvement outside of Ursuline College. She sits on the advisory board for the American Hospital Association and is a trainer for Team STEPPS, which stands for Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety. This offers teamwork tools and strategies to improve how healthcare workers communicate.
She is also the president of the Ohio Board of Nursing, which has led her to be a member of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In addition, Dr. Sharpnack was inducted into the Academy of Nurse Educators in 2014. In May, she co-chaired a program in Cleveland called Quality and Safety Education for Nurses.
Dr. Sharpnack said that she is working to influence practice through innovative bedside models. She gave an example of dedicated education units that give students in the second degree accelerated program at Ursuline a chance to take part in an apprenticeship model, where they work directly with nurses on their shifts. Ursuline also offers perioperative experiences for students, where they learn about pre- and post-surgery procedures.
“I’m hoping to continue to form partnerships with nursing leaders and receive support from our regulatory councils to provide opportunities for nurses and healthcare workers to develop teamwork competencies,” she added.
The new fellows represent 38 states, the District of Columbia and 17 countries.