Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University

Table of Contents

Early Education; Coming to Oregon; 1996 Strategic Plan; Research Mission; University-School Relations; One Faculty Initiative; Christman Model; Becoming a Vice President; Branch Campuses; Budget Challenges; Distinguished Professorships; Faculty Recruitment; Growth of Research; Cultural Diversity Initiatives; International Outreach; Early Research; National Service; Oregon Nursing Leadership Council and OCNE; Leadership; Development of Nursing Programs; DNP and Trends in Nursing; Looking Back on a Career; Index


Kathleen Potempa discusses the numerous changes in the School of Nursing since she became Dean in 1996, trends in nursing education, her research interests and grants, and her long career in nursing administration. She discusses the strategic framework created during her early years at OHSU and the resulting One Faculty Initiative. Potempa discusses her involvement in national associations and her work in the Oregon Nursing Leadership Council and its development of the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE). Kathleen Potempa was born and reared in Michigan. Educated at Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Southfield, Michigan (nursing diploma, 1970); University of Detroit (B.A., 1974); and Rush University College of Nursing (M.S., 1978; DNSc, 1986). She joined the Department of Gerontological Nursing at Rush University in 1978 and then served as Director of Nursing at the Johnson R. Bowman Health Center for the Elderly, 1978-1985. Potempa also served as a research associate in the Robert Wood Johnson Teaching Nursing Home Project in Hines, Ill., 1985-1987. She rejoined the Rush University faculty in 1987 as practitioner-teacher in the Department of Psychiatric Nursing and then moved to the Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1988, becoming Executive Associate Dean and then Interim Dean of the college. Potempa came to Oregon Health Sciences University as Dean of the School of Nursing in 1996. She resigned in 2006 to become Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan.


Transcript of oral history interview with Kathleen Potempa, conducted on July 28, 2006 by Barbara Gaines


OHSU Oral History Project




School of Nursing


CC BY 4.0 (

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.