Recipient of the 2018 ACEN Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipient of the

2018 ACEN Lifetime Achievement Award

Elizabeth Mahaffey, PhD, RN

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Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Mahaffey is Dean, Nursing and Allied Health, at Hinds Community College, where she has worked for 36 years, teaching 22 years in the Associate Degree Nursing program. Dr. Mahaffey is responsible for twelve nursing and allied health programs and the operation of the Nursing/Allied Health Center. Dr. Mahaffey received a BS in Nursing, an MSc in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing with a Cross-Cultural Emphasis and Teaching Focus, and a PhD in Adult Education. Dr. Mahaffey is active in state and national professional organizations including clinical specialty organizations as well as academic and career technical organizations. A previous president of the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, Dr. Mahaffey remains active in the state and national organization. Inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Associate Degree Nursing in 2017, Dr. Mahaffey was appointed as the first chair of the Academy in 2018. Dr. Mahaffey is a program evaluator and serves on the Evaluation Review Panel for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, where she served on the Board of Commissioners from 2006-2012 and was chair of the Board of Commissioners from 2008-2012. Dr. Mahaffey has served as a consultant for accreditation, assessment and evaluation, curriculum redesign, strategic planning, and leadership development. Dr. Mahaffey has testified in state senate committees, advocating for nursing faculty salary increases and for the introduction of practical nursing programs in high schools. She has been involved in grant writing and grant management at the local and state level. Dr. Mahaffey also serves on several boards for healthcare, service, and community agencies. At Hinds, Dr. Mahaffey fosters a shared governance model that includes the leadership of all health related programs, administration, and support services.


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The recipient for this award was be recognized at the ACEN Inaugural Nursing Education Accreditation Conference July 12, 2018 at the Opening Ceremony.

The ACEN has instituted a Lifetime Achievement Award for Service in nursing education, practice, and/or accreditation. This prestigious award honors an extraordinary individual who has made indelible contributions to nursing education, nursing practice, and/or accreditation over a sustained period of time.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who:

1. Service

  • Serves or has served the ACEN in various capacities such as on the evaluation review panel and the Board of Commissioners; or as a site visit team chair;
  • Serves or has served as faculty and/or a nurse administrator or executive administrator for a governing organization with an ACEN-accredited program; or as an ACEN-recognized clinician; or as a current ACEN public member of the Board of Commissioners or as a former public member of the ACEN Board of Commissioners;
  • Contributes to nursing education and or nursing practice over a sustained period of time;

2. Leadership

  • Demonstrates outstanding contributions to institutional, local, state, national and/or international nursing education;
  • Demonstrates evidence of leadership at the institutional, local, state, and international levels;
  • Earns recognition by colleagues in nursing education, practice, education, or other employer groups;

3. Advocacy

  • Advocates for the nursing profession through workforce and legislative efforts; and
  • Engages in inter-professional collaboration.