M. Jan Keffer


Part-Time Teaching Award (2004)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Nursing


After a decade as a full-time faculty member with the School of Nursing, M. Jan Keffer returned to clinical practice in 2001. Currently a nurse practitioner at Providence Health Center in Terre Haute, she has taught at least one IU course per semester and summer session since leaving her regular faculty post. Besides N532, Keffer has developed online versions of three required courses: graduate and undergraduate ethics courses and a graduate theory course.

In the past, the theory course was "rarely described as a student favorite," said Sharon Sims, chair of the school's Department of Family Health Nursing. Keffer, however, "has made it a lively and engaging environment for learning," Sims said. "When she teaches this course, it is always fully subscribed, with students on the waiting list to enroll. Imagine the task of engaging 40 to 45 students in difficult material in an online environment—many of us would quail at the challenge. By my count, she has taught 382 master's students in her courses over the past three years, a feat that would be hard for some full-time faculty to match. It isn't simply that she can teach large numbers of students, but that she does so in difficult environments and that she teaches with substance, style and grace."

These qualities have been recognized over the years with numerous honors. Keffer was awarded the School of Nursing's Lois Meier Teaching Excellence Award in 1994, and she was elected to the university-wide Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching in 1995. Keffer also has twice received the Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, as well as a school award for Web course design. "Each of these recognitions," Keffer said, "has encouraged me to continue to strive for excellence."

Keffer combines her busy practice and substantial teaching load with seminar presentations and publications. Content from her ethics courses has been published as a CD-ROM that is nationally distributed, and she recently collaborated with School of Nursing colleagues on a study of the ethics of Internet-based nursing research.