Oct. 15, 2013
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Board of Nursing President Joins WTAMU Faculty
CANYON, Texas—In October 2011, she was a member of the Texas Board of Nursing when it voted unanimously and with commendation to move West Texas A&M University’s nursing program to full status. Fast forward some two years, and the president of the Texas Board of Nursing is now a member of WTAMU’s nursing faculty.
Kathy Shipp joined the WTAMU Family Nurse Practitioner Program faculty this fall as an instructor overseeing clinical practice in the Lubbock area. She was familiar with West Texas A&M University well before it came to a vote with the Texas Board of Nursing. She was a member of the school’s first nursing class and roomed with Anita Thigpen, now known as Anita Perry, the First Lady of Texas. Shipp earned both her B.S.N. and a F.N.P. certificate at WTAMU and a M.S.N. at the University of Texas at Austin.
In March 2011, Gov. Rick Perry appointed her to the Texas Board of Nursing and in January 2013, she was named president of the board.
“The WT nursing program has a long history of quality,” Shipp said. “The graduate program at WT has always done well and the F.N.P. is respected.”
The University’s nursing faculty have thoroughly reviewed curriculum, teaching, clinical experiences, admission standards and student assessment to make a number of changes to ensure success for its nursing students. And those changes worked. In October 2011, the Texas Board of Nursing voted unanimously to change the status of WTAMU’s baccalaureate degree nursing program from conditional to full approval after the school’s baccalaureate nursing graduates achieved a 95.18 percent first-time pass rate on the NCLEX. And in the years since, WTAMU’s nursing baccalaureate graduates have maintained a 95 percent or higher first-time pass rate.
Full approval status and a consistent first-time pass rate combined with a faculty member who serves as president of the Texas Board of Nursing is a definite boon for WTAMU’s nursing program. In her dual role as board president and faculty member, Shipp is teaching issues to WTAMU students while affecting issues at the state level.
“It’s the reality of the practice of being an advance practice RN, and the reality of the regulation of that practice that I want to bring to the student,” she said. “I am excited about it—it’s a good fit for me and a great opportunity.”
And a great opportunity for WTAMU students. The Texas Board of Nursing regulates approximately 360,000 nurses and 200 schools across the state of Texas, and Shipp represents the advanced practice RN on the board. Its mission is to protect the people of Texas. The 13-member board is comprised of nine nurses and four consumers, who all have been appointed by the governor for six-year terms.
“The board strives to provide excellent schools with an excellent education to get excellent nurses,” she said. “With excellent nurses, we can protect the practice of nursing and the people of the state.”
Plus, she brings a wealth of experience to the classroom with a background in both academia and practice. Shipp taught full time for 20 years and has been a nurse practitioner for 18. She currently works one day a week with a family practice doctor in Lubbock. Shipp also has a background in public health, where she learned about grant writing, the legislative process and state budgeting.
It’s a busy schedule, but it’s one that she juggles well. Work, board activities, teaching and travel fill her calendar, but she wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
“It’s a God thing,” she said. “Christian values are important to me and have directed my career. If I can affect the health of the state and nation, then it’s an honor.”
Shipp and husband Gary are the proud parents of three children and four grandchildren with an additional two on the way.