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Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Posted on 27 Oct 2020 by Goldfarb Team

Jean  Hoffman

After more than a 50-year career in nursing, Jean Jolley von Hoffman has tried to retire. But then COVID-19 hit and her community health skills were in demand. While the 1964 graduate of Barnes School of Nursing started as a volunteer contact tracer for the Dallas County Health Department in March 2020, she was ultimately hired full time for the County Health Department’s special COVID-19 team for school health.

Jean’s latest position follows a track record of answering the call to help others in need.

It started in Tuscola, Illinois, where she nurtured calves and piglets on her family farm as a young girl. Dreaming of a nursing career, Jean enrolled at Barnes School of Nursing a year after high school. She dove into the clinical work immediately and enjoyed applying what she learned in the classroom to patient care.

After graduating in 1964, Jean worked at Barnes Hospital for 11 years. She started on the cardiothoracic surgery unit where she witnessed the hospital’s first coronary artery bypass surgery as well as the opening of the first ICUs.

Jean quickly worked her way up from staff nurse to head nurse. After she married and had a baby, she came back to work part time.

Barnes School of Nursing leadership soon recognized Jean’s exceptional knowledge and skills and asked her to serve as an interim clinical instructor.

She also served as a nursing care adviser, similar to today’s clinical specialist position, where she was instrumental in developing the first written pre-operative and discharge instructions and managed the post-op clinic, among other accomplishments.

Jean says working at Barnes for 11 years made her a better nurse and a better person because she learned something new every day. 

In 1975, Jean’s husband was transferred from St. Louis to Dallas, Texas, for his job. So Jean packed up her two children, a large dog and her broad nursing skill set and relaunched her career in Dallas. She worked at two hospitals but felt the roles didn’t measure up to her experience at Barnes Hospital.

Feeling disenchanted, a friend suggested she become a school nurse. Although the pay wasn’t as competitive, it fit with her family’s needs at the time. Jean became hooked on the autonomy and challenge of school nursing where she was able to help both children and families.

As always, Jean was driven to make a difference and elevated her role and the school nurse program.

She also became a student herself again. In 2001, Jean graduated with honors as she received her bachelor’s degree in health services administration from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

This degree led to a promotion. Her responsibilities grew as lead school nurse and technical specialist for the Garland Independent School District in Texas. She spent 30 years as chair of the technology committee and helped develop the school nurse program.

Jean was a visionary leader. She developed the electronic health records for the school district with responsibility for technical writing, testing, training and implementation of the new EHR system.

In recognition of her outstanding service to the school district, a nursing scholarship was named in her honor. She also has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the Texas School Nurse Organization President’s Award in both 2004 and in 2016.

Through her leadership and dedication, Jean has blazed trails in the nursing field. She has extended her skills and compassion to volunteer work locally, nationally and internationally.

For more than 10 years, Jean was a volunteer nurse at indigent clinics that served school-aged and adult uninsured populations. She also has made 10 mission trips around the United States to help communities recover from floods and tornadoes. In addition, she has taken eight international mission trips—two of them were medical trips.

Jean even brings her expertise right to her own neighborhood by helping her elderly neighbors coordinate medical appointments and their medications.

“It gives me a sense of fulfillment by caring for other people,” Jean says. “The humanness of nursing is an art.”

Because of Jean Jolley von Hoffman’s many accomplishments and dedication to the nursing profession, education and research, Jean has been named a 2020 Goldfarb Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

Linda Urden

When Linda Urden drove from her Indiana hometown to attend an open house at Barnes School of Nursing in St. Louis, she fell in love. She already knew she wanted to be a nurse but the school’s dorm, faculty, students and the excitement of being part of a top-notch medical center cinched the deal of where she would be educated as a nurse.

“We lived and breathed nursing for three years straight,” Linda says. “I loved everything about it.”

Today, the 1969 Barnes School of Nursing graduate celebrates an extraordinary career that includes multiple professional degrees, leadership positions and awards, as well as published research and nursing textbooks.

Linda says the faculty encourgage students to think about what they were doing and why.

“This opened a spirit of inquiry, which was needed for the rest of my education and career,” Linda says.

After Linda graduated, she worked for three years at Barnes Hospital. Eventually, the independent, goal-oriented young nurse began seeking new challenges. She followed the sun to California at the urging of a friend who had moved to San Diego. The decision changed the course of her career.

When she arrived in San Diego, she worked in adult critical care nursing and soon began an ambitious journey to expand her education.

Linda graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Next was a master’s degree from University of California in Los Angeles and a doctorate of nursing science from University of San Diego.

When Linda received her doctoral degree in 1989, only 20-25 nurses had nurse researcher positions in hospitals. Linda was one of the first nurses in the country to be a PhD-level nurse in a clinical hospital setting.

Unfortunately, these jobs became scarce in the early 1990s. Through her expansive professional network, Linda found a new position—in Michigan, in the winter. While it was a dramatic change from California, she was able to put her degree and experience in nursing education and research to work first as administrative director in patient care services and later as director of quality, research and advanced practice.

Due to hospital mergers, her position was ultimately eliminated. After six years in Michigan, Linda headed to a new position in Indianapolis where she held joint positions as an instructor and researcher at Indiana University as well as director for outcomes research. The combination of teaching and research became her sweet spot.

Linda’s reputation for strong leadership led her to become more involved in local, state and national organizations where she has held many significant roles. She also has served on numerous boards of major nursing organizations.

During that time, Linda became a pioneer for the Magnet Recognition Program. Through her service in the American Organization of Nurse Executives, she was appointed the commissioner and later the chair of the Magnet committee to expand the program around the country and internationally. This became one of Linda’s proudest achievements.

Eventually, the California sunshine and opportunities drew Linda back to San Diego in 2004. At University of San Diego, she became director of the executive nurse leadership program where she mentored PhD students. This role complemented Linda’s expansive research experience and a highlight of her career.

With her research focus on the importance of the clinical nurse specialist role and impact on health care outcomes, Linda has received more than a dozen research grants, has been published more than 60 times, and has presented nationally and internationally more than 70 times.

Another of Linda’s significant accomplishments is publishing two critical care nursing books. These evidence-based books have been adopted nationally and internationally. As the go-to source for critical care nursing, the books have influenced tens of thousands of nurses. The 9th edition of the books will be published in 2021.

Linda recently retired from her position as professor at the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science and Beyster Institute for Advanced Practice, Simulation and Nursing Research. Yet she is still involved and continues to mentor students.

“Through each step of my career, from staff nurse to nurse leader to nurse education and research, my goal has always been to impact patient care,” Linda says.

Because of Linda Urden’s many accomplishments and dedication to the nursing profession, education and research, Linda has been named a 2020 Goldfarb Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

Comments (1)Number of views (3565)

1 comments on article "Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients"

Robert Charles

11/4/2021 2:32 AM

I am currently accepting nominations for the Alumni Awards. You may submit your nomination here. The purpose of the annual alumni leadership award is to recognize outstanding .

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