2005 Nurses of the Year


Karen Kiley, RN, MSN, AOCN, is an advanced practice bone marrow transplant nurse at Loyola University Medical Center. She has been caring for oncology patients for over 10 years. Several patients wrote . . .

"Her thoroughly responsive approach, calm manner, wry sense of humor, and soothing voice reduce anxiety for people going through a very difficult time. Simply stated, we will never forget the positive impact she has had during our treatment and recovery."

Kiley has participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and also volunteers for the annual Loyola University's BMT picnic every year. She has also served as co-chairperson for the event as well as registration chairperson. In addition, she is currently the president-elect of the Chicago Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society and was the director-at-large from 2003-2005. Last year she received three awards from the Chicago Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society including Outstanding Member of the Year and the President's Award. Karen is also a member of the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.


Jean Ridgeway, BSN, MSN, AOCN, is a clinical nurse specialist at the University of Chicago Hospital. She has been caring for oncology patients for the last 20 years. To quote one of her nomination letters, Dr. Wendy Stock writes . . .

"The inpatients on the leukemia service here at the University of Chicago all clamor to have Jean involved in their care, and are very grateful for her input. Her focus continues to be on excellence in care, and support and education for patients and their families. She is an outstanding example of a completely well-rounded nurse educator."

Ridgeway's second nomination came from Sandy Purl, RN, MS, AOCN, the Leukemia Research Foundation's 2004 Nurse of the Year. They first met when Sandy was caring for Jean's father who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Furthermore, they worked together at Oncology Specialists in Park Ridge.

For the past 15 years Jean has volunteered at a camp in northern Wisconsin for one week each summer. In addition, she volunteers monthly at a homeless shelter as a health provider. She also presents oncology nursing as a profession every year at her children's school on career day. Jean is an active member of the Chicago Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society and has twice served as the Director at Large. Furthermore, she is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.