Focus on Faculty: Karen Bankston
Karen Bankston, PhD, serves as the Associate Dean for Clinical Practice, Partnership and Community Engagement. As such, she is responsible for developing and maintaining partnerships and collaborations with nursing and other disciplines to provide leading-edge clinical experiences for students and effective and efficient environments that support practice and teaching for College of Nursing faculty and staff.
"Together, with other professionals and community stakeholders we should be able to establish strong partnerships that support and evaluate the effectiveness of evidenced based delivery practices and add to the improvement of care in the region,” says Bankston.
What makes your role different than other faculty positions?
"My role is different in that it requires me to consistently connect the dots between the internal and external environments and their impact on students, faculty and staff experiences. So my ability to assess and assimilate information on behalf of the College of Nursing in various settings is key, as well as being able to be a connector and a skilled negotiator."
What was the driving factor that brought you to the College of Nursing?
"I have a passion for learning and assisting in driving change. I have spent the past 25 years leading large departments and organizations by working with individuals to establish systems that support high functioning care teams who deliver care to individuals during some of the most vulnerable periods of their life. I have learned so much about change, the process of change, the culture of change, people and how they deal with change and believe that our current systems must be transformed from what we know as health care into a system that really will help individuals be healthy. And I have always believed that nursing as a profession was the profession with the most well-rounded educational foundation to take a leadership role in that transformation. Dr. (Greer Glazer, PhD, dean of the College of Nursing) has set a vision and a tone for the College of Nursing that is very much aligned with the future of care delivery as I see it, and I want to be a part of that transformation."
What are the benefits of working at an academic health center?
"Academic health centers are in a good position to develop the exemplar behaviors that are going to be required to provide care across the continuum to an ever-increasing global community. Specifically, each of the disciplines brings something unique and valuable to the system of care delivery which when connected should equate to new models of care that can meet the needs of the changing population. AHCs support the use of translating science into practice, making the outcome of our work on the leading edge."
How has nursing changed since your early beginnings?
"Oh, yes. When I first entered into the field, nurses were still getting out of their seats and letting the physicians sit down, and our notes amounted to, 'Patient slept well.' Now, we are truly a part of the professional team, providing valuabl
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