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Idaho State University

Dr. Nancy Renn honored with prestigious “Distinguished Lifetime Career in Nursing” award

August 22, 2018 - POCATELLO, ID

Nurse Leaders of Idaho will honor ISU College of Nursing Interim Dean Nancy Renn with their most prestigious award in a ceremony on September 13 in Boise. Her career at ISU spans several decades, and as she prepares for retirement this September, her colleagues are quick to share how the impact of her leadership can be seen not just in Pocatello and Meridian, but across the state as well.

The Nurse Leaders of Idaho (NLI) is the Idaho affiliate organization of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and its members include chief nursing officers from acute care hospitals, deans and directors of schools of nursing and nurses who are in other organizational leadership positions in Idaho.  

Each year the organization hosts an annual fall conference and a “Celebrate Nursing Dinner” where recognition awards are given to Idaho nurses who are nominated by their respective institutions. As a highlight of the recognition ceremony, a nurse who has impacted nursing and the healthcare of Idaho citizens over the course of a career is also recognized.  The honor is not limited to one nurse in any single year, but this year only Nancy Renn will be recognized.

Nancy Renn, Interim Dean for the College of Nursing in 2018

“In addition to her long career at ISU and the impact that she has had on a generation of nurses who have graduated from the ISU School of Nursing [now College of Nursing], her impact as a nurse leader and her last few years as the interim dean have reached beyond ISU.  Her efforts have impacted relationships between all of the schools in Idaho, and she has facilitated academic progression in nursing by focused work on articulation agreements, creative tuition payment methods, online education, nursing research and cooperative programs between universities. More than once she has met the need for school leadership at ISU and served as a dean demonstrating stable, thoughtful and common-sense leadership. We are pleased to recognize her this year for her distinguished career,” says Randall Hudspeth, NLI’s executive director.

Renn grew up in Pocatello, Idaho and graduated from the ISU Department of Nursing in 1980 with her bachelor in nursing degree. She has worked full-time as a professional registered nurse since, except for a brief retirement from 2012-2015.

Renn says it has been her great pleasure to spend her career working in local health facilities and at ISU. She worked as a staff nurse at the Bannock Memorial Hospital and later served on the Board of Directors for Bannock and Portneuf Medical Center. She worked at the South Idaho Public Health department as a home health nurse and as a public health administrator.  Renn says, “My last and some of my best work was done at ISU where I have worked diligently to assure quality nursing education is provided to all nursing students. I truly believe all of the work I have done over my career has not been work completed by one person, but work completed by many great colleagues who have worked side-by-side with me along the way. I would like to say thank you to the many good people who helped me accomplish the work that needed to be done.”

Karen Neill, who is this year’s board president for NLI and an ISU nursing professor says, “Dr. Renn has served as an advocate and leader for nursing and nursing education throughout her career... Dr. Renn has been instrumental in advancing nursing education in Idaho, and in the teaching of of competent and caring nurses for practice, scholarship, and service.”

Rex Force, vice president for Health Sciences at ISU, says “Nancy has had an incredible career. She’s maintained such an enthusiasm for the profession of nursing, led the growth of the College of Nursing, and always stepped in to help whenever necessary. She’s ISU through and through, and we’ll miss her contributions.”

The College of Nursing will also host a celebration reception at 5 p.m. on September 24, 2018, in the Helen Beckley Nursing Building Lobby, to commemorate Renn’s distinguished career and retirement. This event will also showcase the College of Nursing’s recent reorganization into one of four colleges within the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences at ISU and welcome their new Dean, Anita Smith, PhD, who joined ISU in early August. Anyone wishing to congratulate Renn on her retirement or her award is invited to leave their comments at kudoboard.com/boards/tFQnqojH.