Kathleen Parker, director of the Nurse Residency and Training programs at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Health Care System, has been selected to receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
The College of Nursing's Distinguished Alumni award was established by the Alumni Board of Directors to recognize graduates who demonstrate "outstanding leadership related to the field of nursing or health care" and who have made "significant clinical, academic, research or other contributions to nursing or health care on a local, state, national or international level."
Kathleen Parker, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from OU in 1986, followed by a master of science degree in nursing in 1996. She was the first graduate of the OU College of Nursing's PhD program in 2011.
In her 25 years with the Veterans Administration, Dr. Parker has held various program management roles. Currently, she has oversight of the VA Nursing Academy Program, the Post Baccalaureate Nurse Residency, Nurse Practitioner Graduate Trainees, Nurse Practitioner Residency, and the RN Transition to Practice. In 2019, she created a business case for a Nurse Practitioner Residency Program to attract nurse practitioners to the VA. Along with other stakeholders, Dr. Parker was successful in attracting federal funding to establish the state's first and only Nurse Practitioners Residency Program at that time.
Dr. Parker is the president elect for the Association of Black Nursing Faculty Inc.; past chairperson, member and consult for the Evidence-based Practice Field Advisory Group (ONS VHA EBP); and she volunteers for the Food Bank for the Heartland, Oklahoma City Public Schools and the VHA wheelchair games.