UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been nationally recognized by Sigma for her support of the organization, its mission, vision and goals.
Sigma honored Harper with the Melanie C. Dreher Outstanding Dean Award for Excellence in Chapter Support, an international award that recognizes deans or chief administrative officers whose contributions to Sigma and its missions have gone beyond normal expectations. She will receive the award at Sigma’s 45th Biennial Convention in Washington D.C. in November.
“Recipients of Sigma’s International Awards for Nursing Excellence are recognized by their peers for their superior achievement and dedication to the advancement of global health. I offer my sincere congratulations to these honorees and thank them for their contribution to our profession, as well as Sigma,” said Sigma President Beth Baldwin Tigges, PhD, RN, PNP, BC.
Harper joined Sigma in 1974, and throughout her tenure as Dean of the UAB School of Nursing, she has supported the Nu Chapter through allocation of School resources and supporting new opportunities for members. Because of her commitment and belief in Sigma, the Nu Chapter has seen increased attendance at induction ceremonies, more opportunities for professional development and new collaborations thanks to her support.
“As a member of the Nu Chapter board, I see the immense support given to our chapter by Dean Harper — but many members are likely unaware of exactly how much she should be credited for our chapter’s successes,” said Nu Chapter Treasurer and former UAB SON Assistant Professor D’Ann Somerall, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC. “Never seeking recognition, Dean Harper is persistent in working behind the scenes to open doors for the Chapter and present new opportunities for our members.”
She paved the way for UAB SON to support the Nu Chapter’s service project at the Wylam Day Health Care Center in Birmingham by supporting and recognizing two faculty members who regularly practice at the Center as volunteers. This not only allow the Nu Chapter and Wylam to provide important care to the Center’s clients, but also to precept baccalaureate and nurse practitioner students, supporting Sigma’s mission of advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership and service.
This volunteer clinic is a first among all Sigma chapters and has been recognized for its innovation locally and globally.
Harper also promotes scholarship and collaboration by funding doctoral and honors students’ travel expenses to Sigma conferences and supporting faculty and students to attend Sigma’s annual congresses and other global activities. These experiences lead to new partnerships, ideas and professional development. This award also recognized Nu Chapter’s 60 years of leadership and innovation.
“Sigma’s mission of advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence are missions that all nurses hold in high regard,” Harper said. “The Nu Chapter at UAB School of Nursing exemplifies this mission through its dedication to promoting the health of the community, leading scholarship and supporting nursing education at all levels. I am so honored to receive this award, which honors Dean Melanie Dreher’s significant contributions to Sigma and the world of education in her roles as dean and researcher.”
“The MCD Outstanding Dean Award for Excellence in Chapter Support signifies my lifetime nursing commitment to developing global leaders and scholars in academics and service,” Harper continued. “Sharing support and resources with Sigma members develops leaders who advance professional excellence in nursing and health care and affords me great personal satisfaction.”