Diane Kennedy

In Diane's recent work as a pediatric nurse, teacher, and doctoral student, the guidance of several talented nursing professors has inspired several research accomplishments. As lead author in a poster presentation, Diane presented a psychometric study about an instrument that measures nurse work satisfaction at the 2003 annual meeting of the Midwest Nursing Research Society. Precise measurement of work satisfaction can provide leverage for work place innovation that improves patient outcomes. In 2003 at an international gerontology meeting, Diane participated in a symposium about everyday decision making of elders in assisted living. The findings provided implications for enhancing the quality of life for the growing population of elders who depend on the expertise of nursing. Diane and colleagues shared these findings in a poster presentation in the spring of 2004, again, at the Midwest Nursing Research Society. While completing the doctoral comprehensive exams in June of 2004, these findings were submitted and later accepted for publication in 2005 by the Journal of Gerontological Nursing. Recently, Diane received the Millennium Scholar Award from the University of Kansas, School of Nursing, an endowed fund that provides monetary support for a doctoral candidate who has demonstrated leadership, vision, and innovation.

To date, Diane has succeeded in publishing several papers, an abstract, and a book chapter with practicing colleagues. Her most recent publication is an analysis of human error in the practice of nursing. The paper advocates acceptance of human limitations and attention to the cumbersome, flawed health care systems that erode the rewards of nursing practice. Peer support and friendships were the crux of these achievements.

Discipline and determination have enabled Diane to succeed on many levels during the past five years of doctoral studies. While managing the rigorous demands of student life, Diane has mentored beginning nursing students during clinical experiences in a full-time teaching appointment… cared for her husband and step-son as they struggle with the challenges of end-stage renal disease….. supported her spouse in raising a son who is now in college on a football scholarship….. continued a week-end pediatric nursing practice…. and, assisted her frail mother in accepting the loss of independence. The multiple roles and responsibilities of her personal and professional life have not deterred Diane's desire to acquire the skills of a contemporary nursing scientist. In fact, the many challenges have been gifts that have inspired growth and confidence.

Immersion in the evolving, post-positivist philosophy of science has created a new reality for Diane. Doctoral studies have equipped her with the tools to pursue fellowship with expert scholars, and continue life-long learning in the art and science of nursing. Diane has many research interests: application of cognition theory, systems theory, and information technology to create an organizational practice model for patient safety; triangulation of the concepts of caring, acceptance, forgiveness, and hope as the essence of wellness across the age spectrum; and, use of the performing arts in nursing education to demonstrate practice artistry. Currently, Diane is conducting a qualitative dissertation study about the student experience with information technology in learning documentation and nursing process.