Janice M. McKinley (’75)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2016 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Changing institutions is no easy task, but it is one that Janice McKinley has taken on with vigor. As chief nursing officer and senior vice president of quality, safety, and nursing operations for Covenant Health, Janice McKinley oversaw nursing operations at Covenant-affiliated facilities in East and Middle Tennessee. Her goal? To eliminate hospital-acquired illness.

With McKinley at the helm, Covenant Health consistently improved its patient satisfaction scores and clinical quality measures. In her role as chief quality and patient safety officer, she implemented new nursing guidelines and created the Covenant Nursing Leadership Series, a collaborative effort with the UT College of Nursing that instills nursing leaders with knowledge in business practices and leadership skills.

McKinley graduated from the College of Nursing in 1975 and added an acute care nursing course at the Fort Sanders Sevier Medical Center in Sevierville, Tennessee, in 1977 and infection control practitioner training at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta in 1985. She earned her master’s in health science administration from the College of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, in 1994 and a Johnson & Johnson/ Wharton Fellowship for Nurse Executives at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998.

A former chair of the College of Nursing Advisory Board, McKinley established the McMahan-McKinley Endowed Professorship of Gerontology, and she and her husband, Rudy, have included the College of Nursing in their estate plans, leaving additional funding for their endowment. Passionately believing in and understanding the need for a new College of Nursing building, McKinley also signed a gift agreement establishing the quasi-endowment allowing funds secured for a new facility to be placed in an interest-earning account until the new building can be constructed.

Now retired, she is a frequent speaker at graduation ceremonies for nursing students and was the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Sylvia E. Hart Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Nursing.