Educator, healer, and military veteran – just three of the ways to describe Dr. Anita Siccardi, Dean of the Leighton School of Nursing at Marian University in Indianapolis. And while Dr. Siccardi measures her impact by the lives she’s touched, she can now add “award winner” to the list as she was announced the 2015 recipient of the Star Media ‘Salute to Nursing’ Advancement in Nursing Award yesterday.
The Salute to Nurses program annually recognizes Indiana’s best and brightest among healthcare’s largest profession. ‘Salute’ is also appropriate to recognize Dr. Siccardi’s achievements, as her career in nursing began in the service of our country: In 1990 she joined the Army Nurse Corps, a division of the U.S. Army Medical Department. She served as the chief of nursing administration house supervisor for the 98th General Hospital in Nuremburg, Germany. Later, she became section supervisor for the 128th Combat Support Hospital in Saudi Arabia, where she was responsible for an 80-bed minimal care/expectant unit during the Persian Gulf War.
When the war was over, her service didn’t end as she pursued opportunities in nursing education and patient care. A long-time advocate for better senior care, Dr. Siccardi helped establish the wellness program at St. Augustine Home for the Aged in Indianapolis and has maintained an active interest in nursing practice for the elderly. She is one of the founders and officers of the Central Indiana Gerontological Nursing Association, a past president of the Board of Directors of the Central Indiana Council on Aging, and a former board member of the National Gerontological Nursing Association.
As an educator, Dr. Siccardi is a strong advocate for growing the nursing profession. Indiana and the nation have suffered from a shortage of skilled nurses; it’s estimated that the U.S. will need more than a million new registered nurses by 2020 to fill new and vacant positions. Siccardi has used her position as Dean of Marian’s School of Nursing to expand opportunities for those who feel the call to help others, growing the ranks of nurses to meet increasing demand for care.
One of these initiatives is an accelerated alternative to a four-year nursing degree – a unique program that allows motivated career-changers to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in just 16 months. The Marian University Accelerated BSN program accepts students who already have a four-year degree, allowing them to earn a second bachelor’s in nursing without starting over in a traditional program.
Dr. Siccardi has championed this program, pushing to bring students from all walks of life into nursing. Students in the accelerated online program have included former teachers, social workers, marketing executives, even practicing attorneys and a number of military veterans who share Dr. Siccardi’s commitment to continuing to find ways to serve in civilian life. Students have access to a combination of online lectures, hands-on practice and clinical hospital rotations through St. Vincent Health, with the commitment to quality education and rigorous preparation that have been hallmarks of Siccardi’s tenure as Dean.
With her long career as a caregiver in war and peace, her compassionate leadership on behalf of the aging, and her vision for finding innovative ways to teach the next generation of nurses, Dr. Anita Siccardi is a worthy winner of the Indy Star’s Salute to Nursing Advancement in Nursing Award.
To explore how you can become a nurse quickly through Marian University, contact an admissions advisor today.