CLEARFIELD, Pa. — Lock Haven University has been graduating quality registered nurses for 30 years and Kim Owens, assistant professor in the Nursing Department at LHU, has played a major role in her students’ successes. Owens will retire from her position at LHU on Aug. 14.
Owens, MS, RN, along with Therese Sayers, MS, RN, and Dr. Fay Cook, RN, were the founding faculty of the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program in 1990 at LHU Clearfield. The program, under the direction of Helen Hummel, evolved from the closing of the highly acclaimed Philipsburg School of Nursing, nursing diploma program, later known as the Central Pennsylvania School of Nursing (CPSN), in 1982.
The ASN program was the first venture into nursing for LHU and the first associate degree program offered by LHU at Clearfield. The Clearfield campus officially became a branch campus of LHU in 1991 and currently offers a variety of associate and bachelor’s degree programs, including an RN to BSN online, and a Master of Science in Health Sciences, as well as general education courses.
A native of Clearfield, Owens received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1977 and a Master of Science in Nursing in 1996, both from Penn State University. She began her nursing career at DuBois Hospital in the field of pediatrics, then gaining experience while in Chicago in the areas of surgical nursing, hemodialysis and private in-home care of the terminally ill.
In 1984, Owens returned to Clearfield and began her nursing education career. She began teaching at CPSN, where she remained until the program evolved into the LHU ASN program in 1990, minus a year and a half teaching experience for the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC), practical nursing program.
Owens served as the chair of the Department of Nursing at LHU from 2008 to 2017 and gained approval for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (RN to BSN online), which began in Sept. 2009.
Since LHU nursing began in Clearfield, the region has received a never-ending source of more than 1,000 high-quality prepared nursing graduates and continues to grow. In 2019, the program expanded to offer the ASN degree at the LHU main campus, as well as at Clearfield.
Owens said she is thankful to LHU for the opportunity to begin a nursing program at the Clearfield Campus and to be a part of its growth over the years. “The university, faculty, staff and of course my students have been such an important part of these last 30 years of my life,” Owens said. “It has been one of life’s richest blessings to have been instrumental in preparing many, many nursing students for the rigorous, challenging, but yet so rewarding profession of nursing.”
Owens said she has kept special student boxes that hold the many notes, cards and special sentiments from students over the years, and that each one holds a special place in her heart. “Being a nurse educator for the past 36 years has been an amazing privilege,” Owens said. “I am fortunate and blessed to have dedicated this time of my life to a worthy cause”.
Dr. Darlene Ardary, interim director of the LHU School of Nursing, has had the opportunity to work with Owens since 2008. “Kim will be greatly missed by faculty, staff and students. It was an honor to work with her over the years,” Ardary said. “Her commitment to quality and excellence in nursing education is outstanding. She is not only an excellent nurse educator, but a caring and knowledgeable nurse. We all wish her the best in retirement”.