Points of Pride

Patricia Thompson, EdD, RN, FAAN, recently was awarded the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award by the School of Nursing Chapter of the UAB National Alumni Society. A long volunteer history with the honor society of nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), including serving as president from 1991 to 2001, led to her current role as CEO of the organization. She was impressed with STTI from the beginning.

“I really believe in STTI’s mission,” Thompson says, “and I immediately saw that it was an organization that identifies goals and implements them. I never had a thought of being a CEO, but things just came together at the right time. I was at a point in my career when I was looking for change—wanting to do something different.”

Thompson entered the nursing school at UAB in 1970 as a master’s student. Two mentors quickly made a big impact on her: the late Elwynn “Chick” Hale, EdD, RN, FAAN. “Dr. Hale was a pediatrics faculty member, and she worked closely with me throughout my program. She gave me a great deal of support in the area of pediatrics. Dr. Kelley worked with me on my teaching and faculty roles.”

Thompson’s time at UAB foreshadowed her career with STTI, because it was during her nursing studies here that she was inducted into the honor society. “That was the beginning of my membership and my career, which is how I ended up where I am today with the organization,” she says.