Magazine article American Nurse Today

Karen Bankston: A Leader Who Listens

Magazine article American Nurse Today

Karen Bankston: A Leader Who Listens

Article excerpt

ANA's 2016 Mary Mahoney Award recipient discusses effective leadership in the workplace.

ANA'S MARY MAHONEY AWARD honors significant contributions to advancing equal opportunities in nursing for members of minority groups. Karen Bankston, PhD, MSN, FACHE, has devoted much of her career to this endeavor. In her role as associate dean for clinical practice, partnership, and community engagement in the college of nursing at the University of Cincinnati (UC), Bankston develops partnerships between nursing and other disciplines to support an inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. She also is president and CEO of KDB and Associates Consulting Service. For Bankston, a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, the YWCA USA tagline, "She lifts as she climbs," represents a leadership approach to which she has always aspired.

What's most rewarding about your current role at UC?

At UC I'm working with students at all levels from high school through their doctoral education. One example of a significant program is Leadership 2.0: Nursing's Next Generation. The program's goal is to increase the number of racially and ethnically diverse, first-generation or economically disadvantaged students in nursing by providing them with strategic support through graduation. I enjoy playing just a small role in shaping their lives.

Of what achievement are you most proud?

I've been able to do more things than I would have ever imagined, so it's hard to select just one accomplishment. As a native of Youngstown, Ohio, born in the 1950s, and the eldest child of a single mom, this journey in and of itself is a major achievement. I'm just so thankful to have been able to touch the lives of so many people and make a difference.

What's your leadership style?

I'm someone who loves opportunities to help other people no matter what their role in an organization. …

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