YANKTON — A Mount Marty College faculty member was recently recognized by the Iowa Nurses Association (INA) for her excellence in nursing practice and education. Dr. Diane Smith, MMC assistant professor of nursing, won the 2016 INA Northwest Region’s Nurse of the Year Award at the Iowa Nurses Association Annual Meeting in Ankeny, Iowa, on Oct. 14.
The Nurse of the Year Award recognizes an individual nurse who has made significant contributions to the professional advancement of nurses and improvement of the general welfare of communities and who has demonstrated leadership in the nursing profession. Smith, a recent addition to the MMC faculty and longtime nurse at Akron Mercy Medical Clinic in Akron, Iowa, received the recognition for her contributions to the expansion of nursing science as well as her commitment to her patients.
“I’m honored to receive this award and grateful to the INA for recognizing my work,” Smith says. “Nursing is such a rich and complex field, particularly in today’s world, and I look forward to continuing to serve my community, as well as my fellow nurses, through practice, research and education.”
Smith has practiced as a registered nurse in Orange City, Hawarden and Akron, Iowa. While working at Akron Mercy Medical Clinic, where she still works on call today, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing followed by a master’s in nursing education from Briar Cliff University. For six years, she served as an assistant professor at Northwestern College in Orange City, where her teaching focused on informatics, mental health and community health.
In May 2015, Smith earned her Ph.D. in nursing from South Dakota State University.
“My graduate and post-doctoral research focus has been the history of Catholic religious in nursing, exposing greater understanding of professional identity and expansion of nursing science while giving insight into the past, present and future of nursing,” Smith says.
This fall, Smith joined MMC, where she serves as assistant professor of nursing with a focus in contemporary health with a Benedictine education and mission to prepare students for a contemporary world of work, service to human community and personal growth.