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Janice L. Thompson, RN, PhD ‘83 to Receive 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award

Award Ceremony

Friday, October 2, 2015

Reception: 11:30 am

Award Program and Presentation: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

College of Nursing, Annette Poulson Cumming Building, 10 South 2000 East, 2nd Floor, Eccles Auditorium.

A light lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP ONLINE or send an email to or call (801) 581-5109.  

Parking is available at the Health Sciences Parking Terrace

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes College of Nursing graduates who have attained the highest level of professional accomplishments, and has advanced the profession through practice, research, education, or administration. On Friday, October, 2 the College of Nursing will honor Janice L. Thompson, RN, PhD '83 as recipient of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Thompson's presentation: Border Scholars: Educating for the ethics of democratic professionalism in nursing

Border scholars discover knowledge and meaning while working, studying, or living with people in places where regular crossings between nations/states occur. Dr. Thompson’s presentation will reflect on her education in transcultural nursing, the relevance of border scholarship in nursing, and the ethics of elite privilege, social justice, health equity, and political advocacy for health. 

Biography of Janice Thompson RN, PhD

Jan ThompsonJanice (Jan) Thompson completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Iowa in 1976 and her PhD in Transcultural Nursing at the University of Utah in 1983. Her clinical practice in early years included work in acute care settings and later in community health. After completing graduate work at the University of Utah in transcultural nursing, she moved east for an appointment at the University of Southern Maine (in Portland, Maine) in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. There she focused on community engaged action research and taught for 22 years in graduate and undergraduate nursing degree programs. Courses taught were in areas of research methods; nursing theory; leadership, ethics and policy; transcultural nursing; and thesis supervision. Her research used feminist and critical ethnographic approaches with Khmer refugee women- employing community based participatory action research methods that eventually led to program and policy initiatives in state government and in non-government refugee resettlement programs in Maine. During these years in Maine, Dr. Thompson was also a member of the faculties in Women’s Studies and in the University Honors Program at the University of Southern Maine, where she taught interdisciplinary students. She served as chairperson of graduate programs in nursing and as director of the university wide honors program during the period 1992-2006.
Her research and scholarship during these years focused on critical social theory, feminist analysis, and critical pragmatism as interdisciplinary fields of study relevant to nursing philosophy. In that intersection of work, she also engaged community based participatory action research in Portland to support the establishment of the first community based collaborative nurse managed clinic-jointly funded by the Maine Medical Center and the university. This clinic is still operating 25 years later in a multiculturally diverse low income neighborhood in Portland. During later years at USM, Dr. Thompson secured federal funding to support the establishment of the NP program at USM, secured national public and private funding to support curriculum revision in the honors program to address diaspora among refugee populations and science education for civic responsibility, and secured private funding to support university wide efforts at core undergraduate curriculum revision at USM. During these efforts, she was actively involved in curriculum and recruitment efforts with the office of multiculturalism, diversity and equity.  Finally while in Maine, Jan co-directed (with David Allen and Lorraine Rodrigues Fisher) the development of an international network for critical theory and feminist scholarship in Nursing. This network of doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars has continued in new directions with international involvement in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.

In 2006, Dr. Thompson accepted an appointment as Dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. During her tenure as dean of the faculty between 2006 and 2011, she facilitated significant funded growth in enrollment in the undergraduate and graduate programs to address a shortage of RNs, nurse educators and NPs. While in New Brunswick, Dr. Thompson has also facilitated the successful government-university funding of an academic-community based partnership in a nurse managed primary health care clinic for underserved and homeless individuals in Fredericton. Other engaged and applied scholarship has included partnering with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs to increase the enrollment and retention of Aboriginal students in Nursing and to integrate cultural competence and safety in the undergraduate curriculum. Dr. Thompson now maintains teaching responsibilities in the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at UNB in courses related to research, theory, ethics, leadership and advanced practice.  Her latest scholarship addresses the influence of social justice in nursing and the importance of democratic professionalism in the identity of nurses.
Dr. Thompson holds her nursing registration in both Maine and in New Brunswick. As a U.S. citizen, she retains permanent residence in Maine where she lives with her husband Ken. They are the proud parents of 2 children, Jennifer and Jonathon, and two young granddaughters, Aida and Carolina.

View past distinguished alumni.