Franklin Pierce Director of Nursing Programs receives 2008 Leadership Award from New Hampshire Organization of Nurses

December 16, 2008

Nurse Leader Award
Dr. Roberta Vitale-Nolen, from the New Hampshire Organization of Nurse Leaders, presents the 2008 Leadership Award to Judith Evans.

RINDGE, NH - The New Hampshire Organization of Nurses has selected Judith Evans, Director of Nursing Education at Franklin Pierce University, to receive the 2008 Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership. The annual award is given to a leader in the New Hampshire nursing profession who demonstrates outstanding achievement in nursing advocacy, innovation and practice.

Judith Evans, Ed.D., RN, joined Franklin Pierce University in 2007 as founding director of the University's nursing programs. She was instrumental in launching Franklin Pierce's RN-to-BS program to permit registered nurses with an Associate's Degree to earn their Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing within two years.

The program currently enrolls 68 students at the University's Concord, Lebanon and Portsmouth centers. The University recently approved a Master of Science in Nursing program that will begin in Fall 2009.

"I am grateful for this recognition and for the value that the New Hampshire Organization of Nurses places on strengthening and growing the profession," Evans said. "There's a critical shortage - in New Hampshire and across the country - of nurses and registered nurses in particular. It's been shown that the quality of patient care is higher at hospitals and in communities with higher numbers of skilled nurses. I am glad to be working with my colleagues toward this important goal."

Evans was praised by her colleagues for being a true "Leader of Conscience" whose work ethic, inspiration, and passion for nursing make her an asset to Franklin Pierce University and the New Hampshire nursing community.

"Judy is the consummate leader, not only in nursing but as an inspirational mentor in education and advocacy, said Donna Pelletier, MS, Assistant Professor in the University's nursing program. "Her ability to create honest and open communication has allowed her to build partnerships within the Franklin Pierce, state, regional and national nursing education communities. Her social intelligence and critical thinking attributes are to be admired. And she is genuinely a nice person!"

Dr. Jane Walter Venzke, Dean of Franklin Pierce University's College of Graduate and Professional Studies, credited Evans with creating a culture of excellence and enthusiasm in the nursing program and beyond. "Judy has brought a wonderful staff, faculty and students to our college and has been an outstanding leader in our university," Venzke said. "Her humanitarian projects are an inspiration to us all."

While advocating for the nursing profession and developing new programs at Franklin Pierce, Evans has continued her community involvement as an active member in numerous nursing and human service organizations throughout the state and around the world.

She has traveled twice to Tanzania, Africa with a group that helps fund education for impoverished children. In 2007, Evans traveled to Croatia with "Voices from the Heart," a singing group that raises money to clear the county of minefields. She also volunteers regularly at a local soup kitchen through her church.

Over the course of her career, Evans has functioned in many different nursing roles including clinical practice, staff development, hospital administration, and academics. She served as Assistant Director of the New Hampshire Board of Nursing for several years, is an active member of the New Hampshire Organization of Nurse Leaders, and has worked with the New Hampshire Nursing Workforce Center to identify solutions for New Hampshire to address the current nursing shortage.

In addition to receiving the 2008 Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership, Evans received the first annual Mentor Award from the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society in Nursing, Eta Iota Chapter, in 1999, and the New Hampshire Nurse of the Year Award from the New Hampshire Nurses Association in 2005.