Two Nursing Faculty Members Named to Baltimore Magazine’s 2024 Excellence in Nursing List

Dr. Mary Packard, Dr. Kathryn Handy Each Recognized for Their Outstanding Work as Nursing Educators
Mary Packard and Kathryn Handy

By: Erik Pedersen, Content Strategy Director

BALTIMORE – Two faculty members in ַȫ’s School of Nursing were selected to Baltimore magazine’s 2024 Excellence in Nursing list in recognition of their outstanding work as educators preparing the next generation of nurses to succeed in the profession.

Dr. Kathryn Handy and Dr. Mary Packard were each recognized as Top Nurses in the publication’s Educator category. Selections were made by a panel of several registered-nurse advisors, who reviewed hundreds of nominations submitted over the past nine months.

“With the upmost respect for Drs. Handy and Packard, I congratulate both in receiving Baltimore Magazine’s 2024 Excellence in Nursing award,” said Dr. Kathleen Wisser, dean of the School of Nursing. “Both individuals fully embrace ַȫ’s mission to transform women and men to change the world.  They exemplify this mission by being change agents and influencers in an array of School of Nursing and University initiatives. Drs. Handy and Packard consistently seek to build trust and exude a ‘we can find a solution’ attitude. I truly value their unwavering commitment to educate the next generation of baccalaureate and master’s-prepared nurses.”

Dr. Handy was recently honored as a recipient of the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Dr. Peg E. Daw Nurse Faculty Annual Recognition Award. Originally hired as an assistant professor in August 2017, she is currently the associate dean of undergraduate and graduate programs, and an associate professor in the School of Nursing. Dr. Handy teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and online settings, adjusting her teaching style as needed to reach a student population which varies widely in age and background.

She also serves as a new nurse educator faculty mentor, and she is a member of ַȫ’s Faculty Senate. She was honored with the National League for Nursing's Certified Nurse Educator in 2023, recognizing her for excellence in education, and she is also a 2019 graduate of the competitive, yearlong Nurse Leadership Institute with the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Outside of ַȫ, Dr. Handy also continues to work as a part-time registered nurse in the surgical setting and interventional pain management.

Dr. Packard was ַȫ’s Nurse Faculty Annual Award honoree during the previous academic year. An associate professor who has worked at ַȫ since 2008, she has consistently provided learning opportunities for her students which go well beyond the classroom setting. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Packard has accompanied students on three occasions to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which is one of the most influential promoters of women’s rights and gender equity across the globe. When the political situation allows, Dr. Packard has also led eight groups of 6-10 nursing students to Haiti for short-term study abroad experiences.

Dr. Packard has been a vital member and leader in the School of Nursing throughout her tenure. She played a key role as chair of the BSN program in the introduction of caring science as a philosophical framework in the School of Nursing. She additionally chairs the school’s Curriculum Committee, and she developed and implemented ַȫ’s Master of Science – Leadership in Nursing Education program.

Casey Franks ’21, M ’26, a graduate of the Entry-Level Bachelor of Science in Nursing program who is currently enrolled in ַȫ’s Family Nurse Practitioner master’s program, is also a recipient of Baltimore magazine’s 2024 Excellence in Nursing award. Franks was recognized through her current role as a registered nurse at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore.

The full list of 2024 Excellence in Nursing recipients will be published in the May issue of Baltimore magazine. Winners will also be celebrated during an evening reception in Owings Mills on Thursday, May 16.

Established in 1895, ַȫ (ַȫ) is a private, Catholic institution in Baltimore, Maryland, with the mission to educate leaders to transform the world. Notre Dame has been named one of the best "Regional Universities North" by U.S. News & World Report.

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