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Emeritus Faculty: Karen O'Neil


B.S., University of Massachusetts

M.S., Arizona State University

M.A., American University

At A Glance

Started 1982
Classes Taught Mental Health & Psychiatric Nursing, Western Civilization, Philosophy, Ethics for Healthcare
Department Nursing
Retired 2003


O'Neil, Karen W. A Residential Treatment Program: An Evaluative Study. MS thesis. Arizona State University, 1980. Print.

Additional Information

If you have additions or corrections to this page, please contact the College Archives at 928-776-2262 or  We are especially looking for :

  • Nomination materials of faculty for Emeritus status
  • Classes taught by individual Emeritus faculty 
  • Evidence of their superior teaching at YC
  • Their involvement in committee work and special projects
  • Photographs of them during their time at YC
  • List of written works published, public artwork, music written and performed

Yavapai College Career

Karen O’Neil started at Yavapai College in August 1982 teaching mental health/psychiatric nursing courses. She also taught Western Civilization and Philosophy courses and developed and taught a course in ethics for healthcare.

In the Nursing Division, Karen kept the program running smoothly as the Second Year Coordinator of the Program. She was always a role model and mentor for new faculty. Students consistently rated her classes as highly effective, and new faculty would sit in and observe her lectures to pick up new teaching techniques.

At the end of her YC career, Karen worked with Lynn Nugent, another Emeritus Faculty, to reshape the Nursing curriculum. Their efforts resulted in the high pass rate for the licensure exam for Yavapai College nursing graduates. In early 2000, the Arizona government mandated that nursing programs double their capacity for enrollment within five years. As the Second Year Coordinator, Karen began that process which ultimately led to a tripling of graduates.

Karen remained a content expert in her subject area, thereby keeping students current in important aspects of psychiatric/mental health nursing. She worked part-time at the West Yavapai Guidance clinic for five years and frequently used real-life examples from her clinical experience to make connections for the students in her classes.

For many years, Ms. O’Neil was the Nursing Division Faculty Advisor for pre-nursing students.  This was at a time when career counseling and support services were not available outside the nursing department.

Committee Work and other activities

  • Member of the Professional Growth Committee for six years
  • Faculty Association President 1986/1987
  • Secretary/Treasurer of the Faculty Association and a Faculty Senator for several years 
  • Member of the Curriculum Committee for the majority of her time at the College 
  • Chair of the Curriculum Committee a majority of the time she was on that committee
  • Two years on the Standards Committee  
  • In 1994, she was part of a ten faculty member group that formed the Steering Committee for the successful accreditation from the North Central Association (NCA)

Community Service

  • Founding member and member of the Board of Arizona Health Decisions from 1986 until 1993 when the group declared its mission accomplished
  • Participation in the Prescott Audubon Society from 1996 until the present 
    • From 2000 until 2002 she served as their President
    • Informed the community of the activities of this society through several publications in the local newspaper

Ms. O'Neil retired in June 2003.  She was recognized with Emeritus Faculty status in December, 2006 for her outstanding contributions to the nursing program and the College.

Encore Evening

Additional Photographs