Kathleen Dracup M.N. ’74

UCLA Award for Professional Achievement

Kathleen Dracup is an educator, researcher and clinician with nearly 50 years of experience in cardiovascular nursing. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her investigation in the care of patients with heart disease and the effects of this disease on spouses and other family members. She has tested a variety of interventions designed to reduce the emotional distress experienced by cardiac patients and their family members and to reduce morbidity and mortality from sudden cardiac death. Dracup has also been an influential mentor for cardiovascular nurse researchers for the past three decades and received the Eugene Braunwald Award for Academic Mentorship from the American Heart Association. Because of her advocacy and research, the quality of life of patients with heart disease and their families has improved dramatically. For example, she was the first nurse researcher to study the effects of incorporating families into the care of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and her research resulted in changing policies related to visiting hours in adult ICUs across the U.S. She was a professor and held an endowed chair in the UCLA School of Nursing prior to serving as Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, which was ranked the number one school of nursing during her tenure. She has been recognized for her research on the treatment of patients with heart failure, including receiving the Heart Failure Society of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, Dracup was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing.

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