2009 Distinguished Nurse Alumna
Karla Witt Nacion, PhD ’88, MS ’87
Karla Witt Nacion, PhD, CNM, RN-BC is the Coordinator of the Midwifery Practice at University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago and a Clinical Associate Professor at the UIC College of Nursing. She is a life-long proponent of midwifery and women's health and was instrumental in the establishment of the full-scope midwifery practice in 1991.
After 37 years of service to the United States Navy, Dr. Nacion retired with the rank of Captain in January 2009. As an active member of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, she was one of the a few officers selected to provide care for POWs returning from Vietnam. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Dr. Nacion held a variety of leadership positions in the Naval Reserve and was mobilized during Operation Desert Storm.
During a 10-year hiatus from the military, Dr. Nacion earned a master’s degree in Nursing with a specialization in Nurse-Midwifery in 1987, and a doctorate of philosophy in Nursing Sciences with a concentration in Healthcare Administration in 1988, both from UIC. Her research in the areas of effective healthcare models has been published in many professional journals.
Dr. Nacion has received numerous awards including the American College of Nurse-Midwives Regional Award for Excellence in 2003, the Chicago Chinese American Service League Volunteer of the Year Award in 2004, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008.
Established in 1977, this award recognizes graduates who have been involved in creative work, distinguished achievements and service, and important contributions to nursing or other endeavors. It is the highest award presented by the College of Nursing Alumni Association and is customarily given at the May commencement.