Abington nursing alumna receives prestigious Penn State award

ABINGTON, Pa. — Kathleen Geraghty Burke, who attended Penn State Abington and graduated from the University’s Nese College of Nursing in 1976, recently was recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association with its highest honor, the Alumni Fellow Award. Burke serves on the Abington Advisory Board, an organization of professionals and community leaders who provide advice and support to the campus.

Penn State Abington

Kathleen Burke

Credit: Penn State

Alumni are nominated as leaders in their professional fields and accept an invitation from University President Eric Barron to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty and administrators. Since 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award has been the most prestigious honor given to select alumni who are leaders in their professional fields.

Burke and the 21 other 2021 Alumni Fellows will be honored at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, during an award ceremony that will be livestreamed by WPSU. Registration is free but required to access the livestream link. 

Burke has more than 35 years of clinical, teaching and scholarship experience in nursing. She is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development and an elected member of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education board of commissioners, serving as vice chair of the executive committee and chair of the Nurse Residency Accreditation Committee.

She is an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, an administrative consultant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and a senior fellow emeritus at the Leonard Davis Institute of Heath Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds certifications from the American Organization of Nurse Leaders in Executive Leadership and the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Nursing Professional Development.

Most recently, Burke was corporate director of nursing professional development and innovation at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. For over a decade, she provided oversight and strategic leadership for nursing professional development, education, and innovation for more than 8,000 nurses in six acute care hospitals, home care and hospice, and outpatient clinical practices. Her leadership in this role led to the development of several innovation programs and systemwide education innovations that have become national models.

In 2013, Burke was elected a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, recognizing her national expertise in leadership development in quality improvement, patient safety, and interprofessional education.

She received a master’s degree in nursing from Widener University and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing with an emphasis on the history of the diffusion of innovations.

About Penn State Abington

Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With about 3,700 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 23 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics and more.