Patricia A. Burns, PhD '88 & MS '79

Distinguished Alumni Award

By Barbara A. Byers

Release Date: March 28, 2011

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Patricia A. Burns

Patricia A. Burns, PhD '88 & MS '79, is an internationally recognized leader in the nursing profession. She is renowned for excellence in clinical practice and educating students, developing innovative educational programs that are responsive to community needs and maintaining an international research focus while mentoring other professionals in their research programs. In addition, her lifetime body of scholarly achievement has advanced nursing science, advocacy of the nursing profession nationally and abroad, and provided service through national and international professional nursing organizations.

From 1997 to 2010 Burns served as dean of the College of Nursing at the University of South Florida, and prior to that she was chair of the Nurse Practitioner Program for the UB School of Nursing.

She began her career in general medical surgical nursing at the Edward J. Meyer Memorial hospital in Buffalo, followed by work as a nurse practitioner in private practice from 1978-97. During that time she became a specialist in female urinary incontinence and received research funding for more than 50 studies and nursing training grants of more than $11 million.

She has served as a reviewer for national and international journals, participated in federal and private grant review panels and has been published extensively both nationally and internationally. She also was a member of a team that developed a federally patented improved perineometer device.

She has served as president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty and the Southern Regional Education Board Nursing Council, and has held leadership roles in both the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and its national accrediting body, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Previous awards include a certificate of special congressional recognition; the outstanding leadership award from Sigma Theta Tau, Delta Beta Chapter, FONE Region II Leadership Award Overall; Tampa Bay Business Journal 2006 Health Care Heroes Special Recognition Award; and Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing.