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Passing of Long-time Nursing Professor: Karen D. Wiegman, PhD

by Carol Best
Dr. Karen D. Wiegman 1960-2023

Karen D. Wiegman, PhD, RN, professor of nursing, passed away March 11, 2023, at age 63. Dr. Wiegman came to MNU in 2009 to create the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program that launched in January 2010 and has since educated hundreds of nurses locally and across the nation. She served as associate dean for post-licensure and graduate nursing education before being named Dean of the School of Nursing. Serving in that capacity until 2021, Dr. Wiegman recently returned to teaching.

A life-long scholar, Dr. Wiegman earned an Associate of Science in nursing from the College of DuPage, a Bachelor and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Kansas, and a PhD in nursing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Dr. Wiegman’s faith was of great importance to her and aligned with her desire to teach at MNU. Her faculty biography stated, “I love teaching at MNU because we can talk about providing care for the whole person and can openly acknowledge that people are spiritual beings created in Christ’s image.”

Sarah Miller, EdD, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, dean of the School of Nursing, has known Dr. Wiegman since Miller was a nursing student at MNU.

“Dr. Wiegman taught many of the classes in the MSN Program, and I got to know her as my professor, but also a mentor and friend,” Miller said. “When I transitioned to MNU to work as a full-time faculty member, she was instrumental in helping me to grow as an educator and as a leader within the School of Nursing. So much of who I am as a leader today can be attributed to lessons learned from Karen.”

When Miller shared the news of Dr. Wiegman’s passing, she said, “In 2021, Karen returned to the classroom so that she could do what she loved most—impart her knowledge and wisdom to students.”

MNU President David Spittal said Dr. Wiegman served with distinction and was highly respected by colleagues and students.

“Dr. Wiegman was an esteemed and beloved member of our faculty,” Spittal said. “During her years of service, she provided leadership that advanced the department and its programming. She was a strong advocate for the nursing profession and served as a scholar, practitioner, and effective teacher.”

Visitation for Dr. Wiegman will be Friday, March 24, from 3-4 p.m., immediately followed by a service at 4 p.m. Both will be held at Grace United Methodist Church, 11485 S. Ridgeview Road, in Olathe. Memories can be shared on the Penwell-Gabel website.

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