In Remembrance of Karen Kirby, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN


A Message from Melissa A. Fitzpatrick, MSN, RN, FAAN, President of Kirby Bates Associates:

Karen Kirby - Kirby Bates AssociatesI am writing today with the sad news of Karen Kirby’s passing. She died in Boston on August 15 after a valiant battle with breast cancer. Karen led Kirby Bates Associates from 2003 until 2019 and was a visionary international thought leader in nursing practice for over thirty years.

Karen contributed to the development and expansion of nursing practice through diverse healthcare administration and consulting roles as well as top‐level nursing and hospital administration positions in the United States and abroad.

Notable achievements include the establishment of the Center for International Nursing Fellowship with Harvard Medical International. Karen was also a Founder and Board Member of On Nursing Excellence, Inc., focused on innovations in nurse staffing. Karen’s most widely known work may be her role as Executive Producer of the film, NURSES, If Florence Could See Us Now!, 2012.

Karen earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Michigan with Summa Cum Laude distinction. She later received a master’s degree in Administration from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed the Johnson & Johnson Nursing Executive Fellowship at the Wharton School in Philadelphia.

Karen had an expansive professional network of cherished colleagues whom she called friends. She was an active member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders for over 30 years, was a Past President and current member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA, RI, NH, VT, and CT, a board member of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She will be dearly missed by so many across the globe.

For additional information, please see Karen’s obituary here.