Mercy College Honors Distinguished Friend at Spring Commencement

(Des Moines) – Mercy College of Health Sciences (Mercy College) announced today that an important friend of the nursing program for the last 15 years will be honored with the Catherine McAuley Distinguished Friend Award for Professional Excellence at the spring commencement on April 29, 2016. 

Dr. Shirley Beaver, dean of the Mercy College School of Nursing will be honored for her many efforts to lead innovation within the nursing programs of the College.  Dr. Beaver led her staff of 24 nurses in the development of a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing major that was launched in fall 2014 and has since experienced significant growth.  The curriculum was developed on a concept-based teaching model. 

In addition, Dr, Beaver has led the School through two-cycles of accreditation reviews with several national accrediting bodies and the Iowa Board of Nursing; each resulting in positive outcomes and words of praise from these professional nursing organizations.

The award will be presented at the spring 2016 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. in Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center.  Following the presentation, Dr. Beaver will attend a public reception, along with the spring graduates, and their families on the campus of Mercy College in the Sullivan Center, starting at 4:30 p.m.  Both events are free and open to the public to attend.

Dr. Beaver completed her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University, Ames.  She holds a Master of Nursing in Nursing Administration and Management from the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland, Oregon; and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

She is also a Nurse Executive, Advanced-Board Certified (NEA-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In addition, she is a member of a number of nursing professional organizations, including past president of the Iowa Association of Colleges of Nursing; a member of the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders, and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Zeta Chi chapter of the honor society of nurses.

She was also named by the Iowa Nurses Association (INA), one of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses for 2015 which recognizes outstanding nurses "that have made a meaningful and lasting contribution to humanity and the nursing profession."

The Catherine McAuley Distinguished Friend Award for Professional Excellence is named for Mother McAuley who established the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM) in Dublin, Ireland in 1831.  The Sisters of Mercy founded Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines in 1893 and the Mercy Nurses Training School in 1899.

The award recognizes friends who have shown a strong commitment to the College or one of its predecessor academic programs.  Dr. Beaver will be the fifth distinguished friend named and the 44th recipient of the award program overall

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