Inaugural Professor Catherin E. Murphy Legacy Leadership Award Is Presented

Stephanie Cowan, Saint Francis Park director and preceptor/mentor for MSN-Executive Leadership students, was named the first recipient of the Professor Catherin E. Murphy Legacy Leadership Award. Cowan received the award for her outstanding contributions to the Executive Leadership MSN Program at the Loewenberg College of Nursing (LCON).

She was recognized specifically for her exemplary leadership as defined by the American Organization for Nursing Leaders (AONL) Nurse Executive Leadership Competencies:

  • Addresses ideas, beliefs or viewpoints that should be given serious consideration
  • Maintains curiosity and an eagerness to explore new knowledge and ideas
  • Promotes nursing leadership as both a science and an art
  • Mentors current and future nurse leaders (AONE NEC, 2015, p. 8).

Over the last year, Cowan mentored graduate students in their final semester and addressed the student body on the topic of “professionalism.” Students were able to see how she demonstrated the hospital values of service, excellence, integrity, teamwork, accountability, dignity and stewardship.

“She is an extraordinary role model, committing whatever time it takes to get the job done.  The students she mentored worked with nurses from each shift and from throughout Saint Francis,” said Dr. Teresa Richardson, director and faculty of the Executive Leadership MSN Program. “They were able to contribute to the teamwork of Saint Francis nurses because Ms. Cowen taught them how nursing leaders create a shared vision to improve patient outcomes with bedside nurses. Stephanie has high standards and brings out the best in each nurse – she brought out the best in our students during their very stressful final semester in graduate school.”

Students saw first-hand how an exceptional nurse leader creates a team, teaches each member to work collaboratively, is credible, follows through on promises, forges relationships and cares for others while ensuring organizational goals are met, Richardson said.

The Professor Catherin E. Murphy Legacy Leadership Award was established in June 2019 to honor nurse executives who precept for LCON. Richardson plans to give the award annually.

“It is especially meaningful that Stephanie and Catherin E Murphy worked together for many years in leadership and Catherin held Stephanie in high regard,” Richardson said. “We applaud and are grateful for Stephanie Cowan. She has given much to future generations of nurses and leaders in the healthcare profession, mentoring students to reach their full potential.”