Jackie Halley, an assistant professor in Union College’s nursing program, was recently recognized as one of the 40 Under 40, an award from the Nebraska Action Coalition honoring 40 emerging Nebraska nursing leaders under the age of 40. Halley accepted the award at a celebration of nurse leaders held in Union College’s Woods Auditorium on September 16.
“Being recognized as an emerging nurse leader is an honor and privilege that I haven’t taken lightly,” Halley said. “I have been blessed to work with amazing nurse leaders, both within the Division of Nursing at Union College and throughout the community here in Lincoln.”
Halley has been teaching in the nursing program at Union College since 2012. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2009, and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in 2014. Before coming to teach at Union, Halley worked as a floor nurse on the Neuroscience Progressive Care Unit at Bryan Health in Lincoln while also serving as a clinical instructor for Union nursing students.
Halley currently teaches the first clinical course of the nursing program, Fundamentals, along with acting as chair of the Admissions and Academic Evaluation Committee. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Halley also instructs students in the clinical setting including the skills lab and simulation center.
The 40 Under 40 award is a special acknowledgement of nurse leaders, all under the age of 40, who are the future of nursing, health, and healthcare in Nebraska. Nicole Orian, chair of the Division of Nursing, received the award in 2014, and nominated Halley this year. Nominees are judged by their contributions to the nursing profession in areas such as clinical practice, education and teaching, administration, research, writing and publishing, public policy, mentoring and healthcare innovation. Additionally, awardees are chosen based on their positive promotion of the nursing profession in their community.
The award is presented by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action initiative, founded with the goal of transforming healthcare to build a healthier America, as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP, and more than fifty other state action coalitions, which combined total more than three million members.
In her nomination, Orian described contributions Halley has made to the nursing program and the educational approach she has taken with her students. “Her care and compassion for her students is exemplary—her balance of nurturing the students while holding them accountable to a professional standard demonstrates her expertise in nursing education,” Orian said. “Jackie embodies the heart and spirit of the art and science of nursing.” According to Orian, her ingenuity, hard work, and commitment have helped boost enrollment in Union’s nursing program.
“Nicole and every faculty and staff member I have had the pleasure to work with in the Division of Nursing have been mentors and role models to me in one aspect or another,” Halley said. “I thank Union College for the support and opportunity to come to work every day with the ability to share my passion for nursing and leadership with students.”
In response to the 2010 Institute of Medicine landmark study, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Nebraska Action Coalition, funded by the American Association of Retired Persons and the Robert Wood Johnson foundation, was formed to help transform leadership, embrace diversity, promote best practice, and provide quality health care. The Nebraska Action Coalition is partnered with 50 other organizations in our nation, working together to change health care. The Action Coalition’s initiative seeks to communicate the value of nursing leadership and offer support and recognition to nurses taking on leadership positions and to ensure that nurses have a voice at the decision-making table regarding the future of health care.
By Elizabeth Bearden, student writer