Illinois 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award Winner Highlight: Jacy Ghast

Meet Jacy Ghast, the Assistant Professor and Director of the RN-BSN Program at Eastern Illinois University. She has been nominated for the class of 2023 Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award. Designed to highlight young nurses who are making a lasting difference in the healthcare industry, this award celebrates those who shape the future of nursing.

Dr. Jacy Ghast: Recognising Academic Nursing Excellence 

In the world of academia, leadership, and nursing, there are individuals whose impact goes beyond their immediate roles – individuals who inspire, innovate, and drive change. Dr. Jacy Ghast is undeniably one of those exceptional leaders. Her remarkable journey and tireless dedication to the field of nursing have not only transformed the lives of countless patients but have also inspired and shaped the future of nursing practice. 

A Versatile Leader in Nursing Education

Dr. Ghast’s journey in nursing education has been nothing short of transformative. As Assistant Professor and Director of the RN-BSN Program at Eastern Illinois University’s Gail and Richard Lumpkin School of Nursing, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence. Her leadership extends to the development and launch of the Traditional Pre Licensure BSN Program, a feat that showcases her innovative spirit and dedication to shaping the future of nursing education.

In just three years, Dr. Ghast achieved the remarkable task of recruiting and retaining the initial cohort of 48 students for the Traditional Pre Licensure BSN Program. Her leadership skills were further evident in her ability to secure invaluable clinical partnerships with numerous acute care and community agencies in the east central Illinois region. These partnerships not only enrich the student’s educational experience but also strengthen the healthcare ecosystem in the community.

Scholarship and Mentorship

Dr. Ghast’s dedication to scholarly pursuits is evident through her poster presentation at FSI: At the Intersection of Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Her commitment to furthering her expertise is exemplified by being selected for the Nurse Educator Fellowship Grant through the Illinois Board of Higher Education. However, Dr. Ghast’s impact extends well beyond academia – she is a true mentor and leader. Her exceptional support and mentorship to her profession have not only empowered fellow educators but also inspired a new generation of nursing leaders.

A Commitment to Service: From Campus to Community

Dr. Ghast’s service-oriented mindset is evident through her active involvement in multiple committees both at the departmental and college levels. She has served on various nursing subcommittees, demonstrating her dedication to improving the nursing education landscape. Beyond the university, she serves her local community as a member of the Jasper Together initiative, supporting the long-term vision of her small community. Her role as the secretary of the Jasper County Health Board underscores her commitment to the well-being of her community members.

Jacy Ghast: An Inspiration in Nursing, Leadership, and Education

In summary, Dr. Jacy Ghast epitomizes the qualities of a nurse, a leader, and an educator. Her impact is far-reaching, inspiring those around her to give their best both inside and outside the classroom. Her innovative contributions to nursing education, commitment to mentorship, and dedicated service to her community and profession make her an exceptional candidate for the Forty Under Forty Emerging Leader Award.

Congratulations to Jacy Ghast and Eastern Illinois University for this prestigious honor! The Illinois Nurses Foundation 40 Under 40 Award for Emerging Nurse Leaders is proven to open career doors for its recipients. INF is proud to celebrate nurses like Jacy who have made a lasting impact in the healthcare industry. 

For more information on the INF 40 Under 40 Award Ceremony, click this link

Illinois Nurses Foundation: Support Education, Advocation, and Recognition for Nurses

The Illinois Nurses Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports nurses through various programs, empowering them, promoting excellence, and advancing the nursing profession while also recognizing and celebrating the remarkable achievements of young nurses through the INF 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders Award, highlighting their talent and potential for the field’s growth and evolution. Donate to INF today, and you can help empower nurses and improve healthcare!