Press Release for Monday, April 17, 2006

UNF Professor Named Leader in Public Health Nursing

Contact: Joanna Norris
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Barbara Kruger, PhD, MPH, RN, assistant professor of community/public health nursing, has just received the 2005 Outstanding Public Health Nursing Leadership Award from the Florida Association of Public Health Nurses, Inc. This award honors a nurse who has either planned, developed and/or executed a unique or experimental program addressing a significant public health problem or has been recognized by the community for professional contribution in the field of public health.

“Barbara has spearheaded our efforts in the community-based nursing program and is incredibly dedicated to the School of Nursing and the College of Health,” said Pam Chally, dean of the College of Health at UNF. “I’m very proud of her recognition.”

Kruger has been instrumental in facilitating the redesign of UNF’s School of Nursing undergraduate clinical practice curriculum to better prepare nurses for roles in the community and encouraging faculty to extend their teaching role in the community. She has also led a group of faculty and students in the development of partnerships with a variety of community agencies and organizations in Northeast Florida, such as the Northeast Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross, Jacksonville Children’s Commission, Pine Forest Neighborhood, Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center, Children’s Medical Services and the health departments of Duval, Clay and Nassau counties. As a result, students receive a breadth of experience with a variety of agencies, as well as in-depth experience with one particular agency partner during their academic program.

The Orange Park resident received her doctorate from the University of Florida and two master’s degrees, one in community health nursing from Boston College and another in public health from the University of South Florida. Kruger was recognized this year as one of the Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida and has received awards of excellence from the University of Florida and the University of South Florida. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Interdisciplinary Honor Society and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

President John A. Delaney announced in July that the School of Nursing is the University’s first flagship program due to its innovative curriculum. The hope is that the four-year degree program eventually will bring prestige to UNF. A total of $1.75 million has been set aside for the nursing program and other flagship programs, to be selected at a future date. The flagship designation will help refine the nursing program, allowing for hiring of additional faculty, spending money on faculty development, awarding scholarships and marketing the program to the nursing community.