Anne Kelly Wins National Award for Excellence in Leadership

Donnie VeaseyJanuary 03, 2013


Anne Kelly, RN, a healthcare student in the Regis University Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions (RHCHP) and a regional director with Acadia Healthcare in Florida, was selected for the 2012 Award for Excellence in Leadership - Generalist by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
A resident of Lady Lake, Fla., who is pursuing Regis University’s RN-BSN via online, Kelly shared that winning the award is important to her because it was awarded to her by her peers and that it highlights the collaboration of nurses on a shared project. 

“It has been a tremendous honor as it also represents the patients and colleagues who have taught me so much about what it takes to care and serve others,” Kelly said. 

“We are delighted with this national recognition for Anne Kelly,” said Janet Houser, academic dean of RHCHP. “Our programs are focused on the transition from learner to leaders, and so the demonstration of leadership skill among our faculty and students is an expectation. The award is well deserved and we are immensely proud of our faculty and students.”

Kelly expects to graduate in March 2013. She has a Statistics class to complete. After graduating from St. Mary’s Academy in Alexandria, Va., Kelly attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hills to study philosophy and also earned an associate degree in Nursing from Wake Technical Community College.

She chose to attend Regis University for the Jesuit philosophy and education, highlighting the convenience of the online program.

“Getting to know students and professors through an online medium (is intriguing),” Kelly said. “I like how I feel a part of the University, though I have never physically been there.”

As a regional director for Acadia Healthcare she shares resources, develops policies and procedures, and participates in survey preparations and analysis of survey responses. She works directly with the administrative teams – including nursing leadership – in their work ensuring the patients are provided safe care of the highest quality. She leads by supporting and motivating not just the patients she serves, but also her fellow nurses. 

Kelly’s interest in the health care field stems from a long-time interest in hospitals and a desire to serve others.

“I have always loved hospitals and find that being a nurse is one of the best places to serve,” she explained. “Health care provides many different opportunities- from direct care, planning, and performing research that can impact individuals and groups in significant ways.”

Kelly served as co-chair of the APNA task force that wrote the staffing position paper approved by the board of directors in September 2011. By investing so much of her time in co-chairing this task force, she took part in helping fellow leaders in nursing to face the challenge of maintaining optimal safe staffing levels in a time where finances are tight and the workforce is small. She takes a very team-focused view of her role in the process. 

Kathleen R Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP, FAAN speaks of the “rich knowledge” that Kelly brought to the task force and how, thanks to her background in addition to her leadership abilities, “she demonstrated a remarkable ability to speak to both administrative issues as well as the staff nurse’s concerns.” Regarding her leadership abilities specifically, Delaney remembers that “her unique leadership talents were on display in how she organized the group, assured inclusion of each member‘s ideas and then brought this complex project in on time.” 

When she’s not working, Kelly is immersed in reading, art and cycling.