Campus: San José State University -- October 4, 2004

$1M Grant for Nursing Endowed Chair

Valley Foundation Supports SJSU's School of Nursing by Funding First Endowed Chair

San Josť State University has named Associate Professor Colleen O'Leary-Kelley as the first endowed chair for the School of Nursing, a position made possible by funding from The Valley Foundation of Los Gatos. The funding that made this endowed position possible exceeded $1 million.

Not only is O'Leary-Kelley the first fully-funded endowed chair in the School of Nursing, she's the first in the history of the university, says Jayne Cohen, director of SON. Besides clinical and classroom teaching responsibilities, O'Leary-Kelley will provide curriculum update and development, and conduct nursing research.

"SJSU has had ongoing support and commitment from The Valley Foundation for our nursing programs," says Cohen. "The foundation has filled a need at a time when there is a nursing faculty shortage in the state and throughout the country -- as well as severe budget cuts in education."

"Because of these budget cuts, we have had to turn students away who are eligible to enroll in our program," continues Cohen. "With this endowment, we are better prepared to reach our capacity enrollment by providing students with a quality education. We feel fortunate to have O'Leary-Kelley, who is a highly-skilled medical/surgical nurse, as our first endowed chair."

"The Valley Foundation is very pleased to have been able to partner with San Josť State and the School of Nursing in creating this endowment," said Phillip R. Boyce, board chairman. "This partnership, which will enhance nursing education at SJSU, is a prime example of the foundation's focus on programs that improve the quality of life in our community."

O'Leary-Kelley has served as a staff nurse in the medical/surgical intensive care unit of VA Palo Alto Health Care System; as staff nurse in the cardiac ICU at UC San Francisco Stanford Health Care; and critical care educator and staff nurse at Sequoia Hospital, in Redwood City. She has also served as an adult medical/surgical clinical instructor at SJSU.

In 2003, O'Leary-Kelley conducted research for VA Palo Alto while serving a postdoctoral nurse fellowship. With numerous presentations to her credit, O'Leary-Kelley has also contributed book chapters and invited reviews, and she has received a number of grants, fellowships, honors and awards. She holds a doctor of philosophy degree in nursing from UC San Francisco. Besides a registered nurse, O'Leary-Kelley is certified in both critical care and nutrition support for critically ill patients.

Established in 1984, The Valley Foundation, headquartered in Los Gatos, seeks to improve the quality of life for the residents of Santa Clara County by providing grants in health care, medical research, social services, education and arts.

SJSU's School of Nursing offers baccalaureate, master's and post-master's nursing education programs. All programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. The school also has several Nurse Managed Centers in the community.

Contacts: Nancy L. Stake, Ron Bottini at 408-924-1166

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