Nancy DeBasio, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of Research College of Nursing, today announced her plans to retire from the college in December 2016. She has served in a leadership capacity at the college since 1988.
“I have had the honor and privilege of working with an incredibly talented faculty and staff,” DeBasio said. “Our students are engaged in a learning community that enables all of us to become better citizens and better nurses. I am blessed to have had this opportunity, now culminating in my retirement.”
During her 28-year tenure, Research College of Nursing has grown from a student enrollment of 82 to its current enrollment of over 400 undergraduate and graduate students.
When DeBasio began her tenure, the college offered a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with Rockhurst University, then Rockhurst College. Today, Research College of Nursing offers a BSN in both a traditional and accelerated program, as well as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), along with six graduate tracks including Registered Nurse to MSN and five post-master's certificate programs.
Over the course of her 45-year tenure in nursing education, DeBasio’s transformational leadership has made a profound impact on nursing education and practice, both locally and nationally.
Throughout her career, DeBasio has earned many honors for her leadership in the nursing profession. Of those most notable, she was selected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2012, an honor less than one percent of nurses achieve. In 2013, DeBasio was selected as Distinguished Alumna of Wagner College and in 2014, she was selected for honorary membership into the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
She has held leadership roles in the Greater Kansas City Collegiate Nurse Educators; Missouri Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Jesuit Conference of Nursing Programs. She is currently on the board of directors for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care; VNA; and The Research Foundation
"The partnership between Research College of Nursing and Rockhurst University, begun in 1979, has been solidified and strengthened by Nancy's leadership," said the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J., president of Rockhurst University. "She has always been about developing competent and compassionate nurses imbued with unwavering ethics."
A search committee has been established that will begin seeking candidates to fill this leadership role.