Dr. Jean Burns Lazarus

Dr. Jean Lazarus is a lifelong proponent of continuing education and research-driven policy reform in health care and nursing. Her nursing career spans more than 30 years and began as a diploma graduate of the Mobile Infirmary School of Nursing in 1959. She received her B.S.N. in 1961 and her M.S.N. in 1963 from The University of Alabama. Dr. Lazarus also received a degree as educational specialist in 1978 and an Ed.D. in 1982 from Auburn University. She joined Troy State University in 1975 where she served as an associate dean of the ASN program and associate professor of graduate studies for 12 years. Dr. Lazarus served as a member of the Alabama Board of Nursing from 1982 to 1989, serving two terms as president of the board. She was instrumental in assuring that the rules and regulations of the board of nursing complied with the new Alabama Administrative Procedures Act, which became law in 1982. She also worked diligently to rewrite the Nurse Practice Act. In 1990, Dr. Lazarus joined the staff of the board as research and education nurse consultant. She recognized that continuing education was one measure of continued competence and worked with national organizations, including the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, to establish nationally recognized CE providers. Her many years of extensive regulatory research were the foundation for the Alabama Board of Nursing receiving the 2001 Regulatory Achievement Award from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Through Dr. Lazarus’s research on regulatory issues that impact competence, the board of nursing had research data on which to base decisions. She also was responsible for documenting the board of nursing’s history and served as executive producer of the resulting video. The Alabama Chapter of the National League for Nursing recognized Dr. Lazarus in 2002 with a Nightingale Award.