Dr. Jean Kelley

Jean Kelley has a long personal history with The University of Alabama School of Nursing, first as a student in 1954, then as a member of the faculty.  Her curriculum vita details a varied, rich and still evolving career.  Teaching in both undergraduate and graduate programs, she began a tradition of outstanding teaching, dedicating attention to the success of her students.  She served as Assistant and then Associate Dean for the Graduate Program, demonstrating strong leadership and directing the growth of nursing at a local, state, regional, and national level.  She expanded the vision of nursing at UAB and was instrumental in expanding the MSN program, carrying it to the outlying communities.  She literally drove a mobile van throughout Alabama, to deliver graduate nursing education, reaching nurses who would have not been able to access graduate education otherwise.  She also developed the first professional doctoral program in nursing in the entire southeast at UAB.  Dr. Kelley educated nurses to aspire to the highest levels of achievement.  She has served as mentor for numerous students that have gone on to serve in national and international leadership positions.  In 1998 Dr. Kelley was inducted into the initial class of the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame recognizing her outstanding contribution to, and exemplary service for, health care in the state of Alabama.  Additionally, Dr. Kelley takes pleasure in being a member of the Neuman Systems Model Trustees Group.  She has served as the President of The University of Alabama School of Nursing Alumni Association.  Her leadership, knowledge, and personal example inspire students, alumni, practicing nurses, faculty, and colleagues nationwide as she continues to teach selected courses and sessions, present papers, and provide consultation.  Even in retirement, Dr. Kelley continues to play an active role in nursing education.  She has been called a visionary, and rightly so.  The outcomes of her commitment and vision are reflected in the hundreds of nurses who are faculty members, deans of nursing schools and nurse scientists, not only in Alabama, but throughout the United States.  Dr. Kelley’s contributions to nursing and the development of the nursing workforce have greatly benefited not only her adopted state of Alabama, but the nation as well.