After 13 years of working in direct patient care at The Christ Hospital, Kelly Spradling returned to Northern Kentucky University to get her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing degree in NKU's ABSN program. Her commitment to nursing and her patients is just one of the many reasons Kelly was honored with the Janice Mabry Cantrall Excellence in Leadership Award.
The Cantrall family created the award in 2014 to honor the life and career of Janice Cantrall—a longtime nurse, nurse educator, and nurse administrator. Janice earned her advanced degrees while juggling family and work; She also was a professor at NKU.
After Spradling earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology and Bachelor of Science in Health Science degrees, she joined the staff at The Christ Hospital working with X-ray, CT, and MRI.
But Spradling still felt that something was missing.
“Over the years I have realized that I really wanted to be more involved with my patients,” Spradling says. “I felt that in X-ray, CT, and MRI that I didn’t get to spend enough time with the patients or see their care through.”
That’s when she found the ABSN program at NKU.
Leadership skills that she acquired throughout her college years and current career helped her soar to the top of the Cantrall Scholarship application list.
"She is a joy to be around," says Dr. Erin Robinson, the director of the ABSN program at NKU. "She was well respected by her peers and the nursing faculty. She is a genuine person and amazing care giver. Kelly's ability to lead, love for learning, and passion to help others is an asset to the profession of nursing. I am proud to have her as a peer and graduate of the ABSN program."
Spradling recently graduated from the ABSN program and accepted a position at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit as a registered nurse. She is also a member of the Rho Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, an honor society for nurses, and has served as a peer mentor for incoming ABSN students. Spradling is currently a member of the graduation committee.
Mrs. Cantrall followed a similar path and has been an inspiration for Spradling as she becomes the nurse she has always dreamed of becoming.
“Mrs. Cantrall has impacted me and nursing by being such an amazing inspiration,” Spradling says. “Like Mrs. Cantrall, I completed a BSN program while being a mother, wife, and leader. As a new nurse, I feel grateful that Mrs. Cantrall paved the way for so many of us nurses and leaders. She was an amazing nurse, leader, and role model.”
Spradling hopes to one day work in oncology hematology, and BMT. She also aspires to return to NKU to continue her education and get her Master of Science in Nursing.
“The Cantrall award has had a huge impact on me,” Spradling says. “It was something that I never expected to receive and feel truly blessed that I did. I hope to become a leader in the nursing community and leave a legacy in the nursing field just like Mrs. Cantrall did.”