Penny Leake awarded top Iowa nursing honor

Nov. 13, 2009

Penny Leake, Luther associate professor of nursing, was awarded the Teresa E. Christy Award, one of the top awards given to Iowa nurses, Oct. 29 at the 105th annual convention of the Iowa Nurses Association.

The Teresa E. Christy Award, named after the woman considered the foremost nursing historian in the United States, is presented to a registered nurse who has demonstrated professional commitment to the improvement of health care and the inter-relationship of nursing education, nursing practice and nursing research.

Leake, R.N., Ph. D., holds the bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash. ; the master’s degree from Ohio University, Athens; and the doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Texas-Austin.

In January, Leake won the American Journal of Nursing 2008 Book of the Year Award for her project titled “Community/ Public Nursing Health Online.” The AJN awards honored outstanding and cutting-edge health care books in 15 categories; Leake’s award was in the electronic division.

In her online publication, Leake wrote and developed more than 50 case studies illustrating the roles of nurses in community and public health settings. Her easy-to-grasp content includes virtual tours and numerous photographs that encourage the reader to think critically and apply the content to workplace operations.

Her project is being marketed to accompany four community and public health nursing textbooks published by Elsevier Publishing Company, a leading publisher of health science books.

Leake was invited to discuss and demonstrate her project at the Association of Community Health Nursing Educators Annual Institute In June in Chicago.

Leake was also invited to present at the International Public Health Nursing Conference in Oslo, Norway, Oct. 15-16. Her presentation, “Promoting Public Health: Nursing Students and Community Agencies Collaborate for Unique Learning Opportunities,” focused on ways Luther senior nursing students help promote the health of Iowans living in Decorah and Winneshiek County.