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Stefaniak Selected for Fellowship

Contact: Jill Holder

Photo of Karen Stefaniak, R.N., Ph.D.
Karen Stefaniak, R.N., Ph.D.

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Each year, the RWJ Executive Nurse Program selects a cohort of approximately 20 qualified nurses in senior executive positions to participate in the three-year fellowships. Fellows are allowed to remain in their current positions, but some program activities will require participation in a variety of activities from four to six weeks per year.

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June 9, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Karen Stefaniak, R.N., Ph.D., associate hospital director and chief nursing officer, University of Kentucky Hospital, has been selected as a Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Program for nurses in senior executive roles in health service.

“Karen is most deserving of this fellowship,” said Joseph Claypool, director of UK Hospital. “When we selected Karen as our chief nursing officer a couple of years ago, she immediately brought a new level of energy and professionalism to our nursing services. I am confident that the RWJ folks immediately recognized Karen’s attributes and determined that she is the caliber of person that they would want to award their fellowship. We are all very proud of her.”

The fellowships offer participating nurses the experiences, insights, competencies and skills necessary to advance in executive leadership positions in health care.

Each year, the RWJ Executive Nurse Program selects a cohort of approximately 20 qualified nurses in senior executive positions to participate in the three-year fellowships. Fellows are allowed to remain in their current positions, but some program activities will require participation in a variety of activities from four to six weeks per year.

"I am truly honored and looking forward to learning from and networking with nurse leaders from all over the county,” Stefaniak said.

“One of my mentors often said that no one is ever a finished product, and I believe that life-long learning is a gift. The RWJ Fellowship will facilitate my learning and development, and in this way, benefit patients and nursing at UK Hospital.”

Before coming to UK, Stefaniak held positions in several areas of nursing including hospital, academia, home care, community education, staff nursing and management. Stefaniak began her career at UK Hospital in 1985 as the director of obstetrics.

Stefaniak earned her nursing diploma from Lakeview Memorial Hospital in Danville, Ill., in 1965. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 1967 and a Master of Science in Nursing at UK College of Nursing in 1982. In 1998, she received a doctorate from UK College of Nursing.

Stefaniak has been published in prestigious journals such as the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care and the American Journal of Nursing Board Review.
Stefaniak has earned several distinguished awards while at UK, including the M.J. Dickson Quality Nursing Care Award, bestowed annually to a nurse who is committed to professional nursing, and the Diana Weaver Leadership/Management Award for her dynamic leadership skills.

Stefaniak and her classmates will attend conferences across the country on the future of nurses in leadership positions and will work in Lexington on a hospital project that will study the viability of academic nursing contributions to the clinical enterprise.


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