Rush University College of Nursing Professor Named Outstanding Illinois Nurse Leader

Kathleen Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP, FAAN, is honored for her commitment and dedication to the needs of the people of Illinois
Kathleen Delaney

Kathleen Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP, FAAN, has been named the 2021 Joan L. Shaver Outstanding Nursing Leader. Delaney, a professor at Rush University’s College of Nursing, is the sole recipient of this competitive award, which is given annually to honor commitment and dedication to the needs of the people of Illinois.

Delaney will receive the award at the Power of Nursing Leadership Conference on Nov. 5 at the Hilton in Chicago.

“I know Dr. Delaney as a hard-working, passionate, and committed leader,” Christine Kennedy, PhD, RN, FAAN, the John L. and Helen Kellogg Dean at the College of Nursing. “Her work has not only had an impact on the citizens of Illinois but has also influenced the care of children and their families when they need it the most during crisis. Her career demonstrates precisely the qualities that the Joan L. Shaver Outstanding Nurse Leader Award is intended to recognize.”

Delaney has been celebrated for her work in improving mental health care for children, which includes membership on the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement group that developed tools for measuring depression and anxiety in children. She is also the editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.

Delaney is the previous program director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at the College of Nursing, which consistently ranks among the top five in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate School rankings, including the No. 1 spot this year. She served in that role for more than 10 years.

“Dr. Delaney has been an incredible educator and leader at the College of Nursing,” says Kathy Swartwout, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, chair of the Department of Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing. “She played a vital role in leading out Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program to its current standing. Our U.S. News ranking helps attract stellar students and faculty to the College of Nursing. She generously shares her expertise through mentoring other faculty and students.”

In addition to her accomplishments in nursing education, Delaney has worked to increase and improve the nursing workforce across Illinois and nationally. She is past chair of the Illinois Center for Nursing, which gathers data to improve the recruitment and training of nurses in the state. She is also the past president of the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses and the past chair of the Psychiatric Mental Health Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nursing. In 2012, Delaney was the Rush project director of the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration Project, which focused on increasing advanced practice nurses to help address the growing shortage of primary care clinicians. She has also worked with policy groups to increase elected officials’ awareness about population health and workforce-related needs.

She is a prolific author, with more than 50 first-authored, peer-reviewed publications. She has co-authored 18 book chapters, delivered 13 keynote addresses and has received millions of dollars in grant funding.

“Since 1998, the Power of Nursing Leadership planning committee has organized an event that celebrates the strength of nursing leadership in Illinois,” Delaney says. “I am so honored to be among the recipients who have embraced the power of nurses to improve the health care landscape for the citizens of Illinois.”