The University of Arizona College of Nursing has named Betty Parisek, EdD, MSN, RN, as the new program director of the College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing-Integrative Health (BSN-IH) Program in Gilbert, Ariz. Previously, Dr. Parisek served as a clinical assistant in the College’s General Nursing & Health Education Division.
“Dr Parisek is a leader who embodies and consistently models integrative nursing principles in action for educating students,” said Connie Miller, DNP, RNC-OB, CNE, Clinical Associate Professor and Chair, General Nursing and Health Education Division. “Her whole-person and learner-centered approach fosters the success of our BSN-IH students.”
“I envision a mindful perspective of nursing practice that includes opportunities for self-care and reflection. The hope is that by beginning the process of mindfulness in the nursing program, our students will carry that mindfulness perspective with them into the future as they transition into caring, mindful, and resilient practitioners,” ~ Betty Parisek, EdD, MSN, RN
Dr. Parisek’s passion for the BSN-IH program stems from her belief that it embodies the true art of nursing. “It’s the recognition that the best healthcare comes from meeting our clients where they are,” she said. “That positive change comes from a mind-body-spirit perspective that is much more than often we, or our clients, can see at first. I believe there is always possibility, always hope, always an opportunity, for that positive change. Our faculty embodies that perspective everyday as they facilitate the learning of the students in our program.”
As the new director of the BSN-IH program, Dr. Parisek has two main goals: to cultivate relationships with the College’s community partners, both in acute care and in the community, that will sustain enrollment growth; and to offer students the opportunity to view and participate in a healthcare model that embraces an integrative, wholistic approach both for the clients and the practitioners. “I envision a mindful perspective of nursing practice that includes opportunities for self-care and reflection,” she said. “The hope is that by beginning the process of mindfulness in the nursing program, our students will carry that mindfulness perspective with them into the future as they transition into caring, mindful, and resilient practitioners.”
Dr. Parisek has been a registered nurse since 1995. She also holds a doctorate in Education Leadership from Walden University and a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. She joined the College of Nursing in August, 2019 as a Clinical Assistant Professor teaching full time in Level 1 and took over as the Level 1 lead faculty member in spring 2020 and Interim Program Director, July 1, 2020.
Dr. Parisek chose a career in nursing after realizing early on that health promotion allowed her to provide positive encouragement to others. She began her career as an ADN nurse, and worked in healthcare areas that included both the beginning of life and the end of life. “I loved to facilitate the learning of new graduate nurses on my unit,” she said. “I decided a few years into my career that nursing education would offer me an opportunity to provide perspective, encouragement, and support to nursing students, as they moved through their educational journey.”
Dr. Parisek's accomplishments include a focus on the retention and success of diverse student populations. Her dissertation research encouraged positive change in a college-wide Early Alert system as well as a strategic dialogue regarding use of data to inform teaching and learning. This dialogue served as the foundation for the college’s HLC accreditation 'Informed Improvement' initiative.
As chair of a college level student outcomes committee, she collaborated with a team of faculty to develop system wide strategies that more positively aligned the use of college general education student learning outcomes assessment with the practice of teaching and learning, and co-authored a white paper offering strategies designed to improve academic success and retention of indigenous students.
Dr. Parasek’s strategic initiatives include the development of an alternative program design that supported student access to a nursing program while also maintaining faculty positions, and collaboration with university partners to cultivate the success of culturally diverse nursing students enrolled in the Concurrent Enrollment Program through Maricopa Nursing. Additionally, as a nursing leader in healthcare industry, Dr. Parisek developed effective and innovative strategies to ensure increasing market share in a highly competitive hospice market while also ensuring administrative oversight of a hospice team.
She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, the National League for Nursing, and the American & Arizona Nurses' Associations.