Mary Frances Pate, Chair-elect, AACN Certification Board

AACN Certification Board
July 2013 – June 2014


Mary Frances Pate, RN, DSN, CNS, serves a one-year term as chair-elect on the AACN Certification Corporation board of directors from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. A board member from July 2009 to June 2013, she was secretary/treasurer in 2011–2012.

Pate is an associate professor at the University of Portland School of Nursing in Oregon. She previously was an associate professor at the University of Alabama (UA), Birmingham, School of Nursing from 2009–2011. Prior to the UA position, she was an assistant professor at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing in Portland.

Before holding teaching positions at the graduate level, she was a clinical nurse specialist in the pediatric intensive care unit at Oregon Health & Science University from 2000 to 2005 and at Children’s Hospital of Alabama, Birmingham, from 1993 to 2000. She began her nursing career as a registered nurse in the Birmingham area.

A member of numerous AACN volunteer committees, she sat on the Healthy Work Environment Work Group in 2006–2007, NTI Program Planning Committee in 2003–2004 — chairing that same group in 2007–2008 — and Board Advisory Team from 2001–2003. She has been an active member of AACN’s Greater Portland and Greater Birmingham chapters.

She continues to serve on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal AACN Advanced Critical Care, a position she’s held since 2004. She also is pediatric department editor for AACN Advanced Critical Care and was a contributing editor to the pediatric column in AACN’s Critical Care Nurse, from 2009 to 2012.

Her published work includes multiple articles in nursing literature, many about pediatric intensive care. Most recently, she authored “Nursing Leadership: From the Bedside to the Boardroom” and co-authored “Providing Adult and Pediatric Care in the Same Unit: Multiple Considerations” in AACN Advanced Critical Care.

A frequent presenter on nursing topics, Pate recently spoke on the value of certification at the nurse residency graduation at Legacy Health Systems in Portland. She also presented on “Where Worlds Collide: Children in the Adult Intensive Care Unit” at the 2012 Annual Critical Care Symposium sponsored by AACN’s Greater Portland Chapter and “It Takes a Village: The CNS Student, Faculty and Preceptor Partnership” at the 2nd Annual Society of Clinical Nurse Specialist Educators Conference, Lexington, Ky., in 2012.

A member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Pate has earned several prestigious awards, including the Nurse Luminary Recognition Award from the American Nurses Association.

Pate earned Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Science in nursing degrees in 1982, 1987 and 1998 respectively from UA’s School of Nursing.


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