Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Loretta Elder honored for lifelong dedication to nursing

Monday was a big day for Webster County resident Loretta Elder. In the morning she was elected to the Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA) Board of Directors, and in the afternoon she was named the recipient of the 2015 Acorn Award sponsored by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE).

Elder is a Professor in Madisonville Community and Technical College’s Integrated Nursing Program.  She has been elected to the position of Clinical Practice Staff Nurse of the Professional and Nursing Practice and Advocacy Cabinet on the KNA Board for a two-year terms beginning October 2, 2015.  She holds a Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSN) degree from the University of Southern Indiana, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Murray State University, and completed for Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree from MCC.  She is credentialed as a Certified Nurse Educator in addition to her Registered Nurse Licensure.

The Acorn Award, first given in 1992, is presented to outstanding faculty members at Kentucky’s public or independent colleges and universities and includes a $5,000 honorarium.   The award was presented during a luncheon program of the Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship on Monday.

In her acceptance speech, Elder thanked the Council on Postsecondary Education for the honor of receiving the award.  She shared, “I believe, as educators, we are servants to others and are constant role models for all those around us.”  Elder named MCC President Dr. Judith Rhoads, former MCC Nursing Division Chair Dr. Linda Thomas, and MCC nursing faculty member and former Surgery Director at Baptist Health Madisonville Barb Schnapf as great mentors in her life.  Their kindness and caring inspired her to want to give and care for others as well as to embrace change.

Elder is a member of the National League for Nurses, the American Nurses Association, the Kentucky Nurses Association, the National Organization for Associate Degree Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau International.  She has served as President for District 11 of the Kentucky Nurses Association and as the State Elected KNA Professional Practice and Advocacy Cabinet member.

In the award nomination packet that was submitted in late June, Elder shared that she chose teaching as a profession after serving many years in the role of staff nurse, nurse manager, and nursing education coordinator.  Nursing is a career full of teaching moments.  As a nurse, her goal was to help other succeed.  Teaching fulfilled her ultimate passion of helping students begin successful careers.

Elder was nominated for the award by MCC President Dr. Judith L. Rhoads.

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