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University Relations

May 9, 2008 Communique

UCCS selects dean to lead Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Nancy L. Smith, currently associate dean, Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UCCS, will be promoted to dean of the college effective August 1.

Margaret “Peg” Bacon, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced the appointment May 5 following a national search process.

“Dr. Nancy Smith has a long professional nursing career, one that is firmly rooted both in practice and in the teaching of the next generation of health care professionals,” Bacon said. “I am pleased that she will lead this distinguished program to meet the challenges faced by our region.”

Since August 2007, Smith has served as associate dean and had responsibility for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing programs and general operation management of the college. Previously, during an almost 40 year career, she served as the chief academic officer for the Denver School of Nursing, as program director for the Colorado Board of Nursing, as an associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and as an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver and California State University, Long Beach. For 12 years, she served as a nurse practitioner and adult program supervisor for the People’s Clinic, a Boulder-based clinic for medically indigent people.

She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from California State University, Long Beach, a master’s degree in health care administration and a doctoral degree in public administration from CU Denver She is widely published on topics including nursing education, stress management, geriatric nursing, and spousal abuse. In 2007, she served on Gov. Bill Ritter’s Taskforce on Nurse Workforce and Patient Care. Her honors include nomination for the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Professional Nursing Practice (2006), the Graduate Nurse Educator Award from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (2001), the national nurse practitioner educator of the year award presented by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty, and Hawaii Lt. Governor Maizie Hirono’s award for “outstanding contributions to students and to the health of the people of Hawaii” (2001).

“I am appreciative of the opportunity to work with a dedicated group of faculty and staff and a student body that is talented and full of potential,” Smith said. “The challenges facing nursing and health sciences education in both the health care and political environments are numerous. They present enormous opportunity for change and innovation.”

Smith will succeed Carole Schoffstall who has served as dean since 1990 and who began at Beth-El in 1974. She will retire Aug. 31.

Founded in Colorado Springs in 1904, the Beth-El College of Nursing was purchased by the City of Colorado Springs in 1943 and received regional accreditation in 1983. In 1997, the college merged with UCCS. Today, the college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificates and life-long learning programs, to serve the nursing and health care needs of the region. The college’s nursing programs are fully accredited by the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education. The college enrolls about 870 students annually in its graduate and undergraduate programs.

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