Beebe Healthcare recently announced that Karen L. Pickard, MSN, RN, CNE, has been promoted to program administrator of the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing. Pickard takes over from Connie Bushey, RN, MEd, MSN, who retired in January 2014 after serving as school director for nearly 25 years.
Pickard has been a full-time faculty member since 2004. She serves on the Faculty Program Development Committee, which each year evaluates and updates the systematic plan of evaluation based on standards established by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. She serves as secretary on the Executive Committee of the Beebe School of Nursing Alumni Association.
In her new role, Pickard has overall responsibility for the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing, the faculty and staff, as well as for Beebe Healthcare Library Services, which includes the Medical Library in the Medical Center in Lewes and the School of Nursing Library on the campus. She reports to Joan G. Thomas, RN, MS, FACHE, special consultant to Beebe Healthcare President and CEO Jeffrey M. Fried.
“I am pleased to announce this promotion,” Thomas said. “The Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing is beginning a new chapter in its 93-year history just as our nation faces a great need for highly educated and skilled nurses.” In 2015, the school will move into a new building that will house some of the latest technologies in nursing education. Faculty members are currently reviewing the curriculum to ensure students have the opportunity to seamlessly progress in their education and earn bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The school maintains articulation agreements with the University of Delaware and Wilmington University.
“Karen has demonstrated the leadership skills, clinical knowledge and the commitment to our community that are so critical for the future success of the school in preparing nurses for what lies ahead in tomorrow’s complex healthcare environment,” said Thomas.
Pickard has been focused on healthy lifestyles and patient care since her undergraduate days. In 1999, she earned a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. She then entered Beebe School of Nursing and graduated first in the class of 2002. She earned her registered nursing credential soon after. She started working at Beebe as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit in 2002. She soon decided that she wanted to teach and shared her time between providing direct patient care and teaching clinical part time until she gained her full-time faculty position. In 2006, she earned her master of science degree in nursing from Wesley College in Dover.
Pickard is a certified nurse educator by the National League of Nursing. In 2012, she began as a program evaluator for the Accrediting Commission for the Education of Nurses. Pickard has also served as a member of the Evaluation Review Panel for Diploma Schools of Nursing.
Born Karen Drake, Pickard grew up in Rehoboth Beach, attended Cape Henlopen High School, and now resides in Lewes. Her husband, Tom Pickard, teaches special education at Mariner Middle School in the Cape Henlopen School District. They have two sons.
The Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare is the only hospital-based nursing program in Delaware, and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.