School of Nursing and Health Studies selects John Stevens to receive Alumni Award
Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. In 2019, the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is honoring John Stevens (D.N.P. ’12) with their Alumni Achievement Award.
From serving as a trauma nurse in the U.S. Army to his current role as CEO and clinical director of deNovo Health, a multi-discipline healthcare practice, John Stevens has held nearly every position in nursing. He recently took a moment to reflect on his career path.
You’ve started several successful businesses. Where does your entrepreneurial spirit stem from?
I am not a nurse that became an entrepreneur, I am an entrepreneur that just happens to be a nurse. I think entrepreneurship was intrinsic to my nature. People often think that a successful business is a straight line from point A to point B but it’s really a constant process of assessment, intervention and response.
Of all your nursing positions, which ones did you love? Which were challenging?
I honestly cannot think of a position or assignment that I did not like but the place where I felt most effective was my years spent in hospice. The dying process can be such a beautiful and peaceful time if all the chess pieces are in the right order.
What are your favorite books?
Getting Real, Ten Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life by Susan Campbell
Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
What advice do you have for students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?
Be ready for school. Be in the right mental place and be prepared to make the sacrifices to accomplish the goal of education.
About the UMKC Alumni Awards
Stevens will be honored at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards on March 15. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards events have raised more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for students.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies ranked in the Top 25 of the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report for the fifth year in a row.
UMKC’s No. 21 ranking, released today, is the highest of any university in Missouri. Last year, UMKC also ranked high at No. 23.
“UMKC online graduate nursing programs are consistently among the best in the country,” said Ann Cary, dean of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies, who was recently appointed to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “UMKC was a pioneer in distance learning in nursing because we saw the need to offer busy professionals a high-quality but convenient way to access advanced degree programs to further their careers and meet the needs of an evolving health care system.”
The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies has been offering online graduate programs since 2002. The school’s pioneering program is designed to offer classroom-quality instruction with the reach and convenience of web-based learning. Online students are expected to participate in online discussions as if they are present in the classroom. Technology allows two-way communication in real time via multiple modes, including webcams, microphones and/or simply typing comments. Students also experience on-site learning through summer institutes where they are required to attend clinical training or dissertation work sessions, and deliver presentations to classmates and faculty.
Pamela and Daniel Williams have devoted their careers to the healthcare industry. Their $400,000 estate gift to the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is a testament to their commitment to the future of nursing and a reflection of their respect for the educational preparation of nurses who are on the front lines of providing care.
The couple, who will soon celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, began their life-long careers in the business side of health care at Liberty Hospital. Dan, who earned his MBA in finance from UMKC in 1986, is currently Vice President of Finance and Support at Liberty Hospital.
Pamela, who earned an MBA in management from Rockhurst University, recently retired from Children’s Mercy Hospital as Director of Organizational Learning and Engagement. While the Williamses believe that everyone who works in a hospital is an essential member of the health care team, they appreciate the importance of nurses.
UMKC’s No. 18 ranking, released Wednesday, is the highest of any public university in Missouri or Kansas. It’s the third year in a row the school has ranked in the Top 20.
“We have established that the UMKC online graduate nursing program is consistently among the best in the country, and keep innovating to stay at that level,” said Devon Cancilla, vice provost for Online and Distance Learning at UMKC. “We maintain the same high standards for teaching and learning in cyberspace that are required in the physical classroom.”