Sister Maurita Soukup awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Creighton University commencement

Sister Maurita Soukup

Sr. Maurita Soukup received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Creighton University during commencement proceedings on May 18. Sr. Soukup has worked in health care ministry for over 55 years and as a Sister of Mercy for 53 years. She currently serves as a health trustee and nurse consultant/researcher and collaborates with two boards of regional health care systems.

Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Sr. Soukup acquired her R.N. at Mercy School of Nursing in 1964 and a B.S. in biology at Mount Mercy College in 1970. She furthered her education while attaining her B.S.N. from Marycrest College in Davenport in 1973, but she didn’t stop there. She also received a M.S.N. in cardiovascular clinical specialization from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1975, and her D.N.Sc. in 1989. She later converted it to Ph.D. in 2006 from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

“As a Sister of Mercy, my passion for nursing empowered a life ministry in care of the critically ill through clinical excellence, compassionate care, leadership, and prayer,” stated Sr. Soukup. “I am blessed and filled with gratitude for the many wondrous ways the gift of mercy inspires students, families, colleagues, religious, and leaders to carry forth mercy as a sacred ministry in serving unmet needs of humanity, locally and globally.”

When Sr. Soukup was honored with the Doctor of Humane Letters on May 18, Creighton University President Rev. Daniel S. Jendrickson, SJ, said that the honorary degree recognized Sr. Soukup’s tireless commitment to quality, compassionate healthcare delivery, and education.

“Her expertise is always offered through the lens of mission, keeping the board grounded in the sacred responsibility of caring for God’s people in their moments of greatest joy and deepest vulnerability,” said Rev. Jendrickson. “Sister Maurita is a wonderful exemplar of the kind of healthcare professional Creighton strives to form, and we are honored to recognize her.”

For the first 30 years of her ministry, she acquired critical care nursing positions at various hospitals in the Midwest. After she received her doctorate degree, she worked in nursing administration including as the founding director of the Eastern Iowa Hearth Institute at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, founding director of the Center for Advanced Nursing Practice at Bryan LGH Medical Center, critical care clinical nurse specialist at The Iowa Heart Hospital of Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and as vice president of The Iowa Heart Hospital at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Sr. Soukup then returned to Cedar Rapids to care for her mother and launched multiple special health ministry projects with the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Regional Community. She also ministered to individuals and families during the flood of 2008.

After working in nursing administration, Sr. Soukup served as a consultant. She also continued researching critical care and advance practice nursing. She currently serves as a trustee for MercyOne-Mercy Medical Center Siouxland in Sioux City, Mercy Medical Center North Iowa in Mason City, Mercy Hospital New Hampton, Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, MercyOne IA/NE Trinity-Regional Health System in Des Moines, and CHI-Health NE/IA System in Omaha, Nebraska. Many other hospital boards seek her expertise as well.

She also helps in various professional associations, such as American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Association of Nurse Executives, Sigma Theta Tau International, National Organization of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Catholic Hospital Association. Serving as a nurse consultant/researcher, Sr. Soukup is a lead reviewer for the American Nurses Association Credential Center’s Pathway to Excellence Program. She also serves as vice-chair/secretary to the Sisters Mercy West Midwest Community’s Health Ministry Council. Sr. Soukup has contributed to nursing textbooks, written multiple articles in critical care nursing, advanced nursing practice, research, and an evidence-based practice model, which has been accepted nationally to guide clinicians in ways to think and practice.

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