Debra Gurney Joins COD as Director of Nursing

News at College of DuPage

By Angela MenneckeWith extensive experience overseeing nursing programs in higher education, Debra Gurney
is well-suited to serve as the new Director of Nursing in the Biology and Health Sciences
Division at College of DuPage. Her wealth of experience will allow her to lead program
approvals and accreditation processes, evaluate program goals and outcomes and oversee
curriculum.Prior to her appointment, Gurney served as executive director of nursing programs
at Dominican University in River Forest, Ill., and the City Colleges of Chicago, where
she oversaw the nursing admission process, curriculum planning and evaluation and
assessment of student outcomes. Most recently, Gurney was Assistant Dean of the College
of Health Sciences at Dominican.Gurney began her nursing journey by taking prerequisites at a local community college.
She credits her experience with the faculty and advisors into shaping her career path
in nursing. “I was a non-traditional student, married with a family, and neither of my parents
had attended college. I had limited role models in the educational world,” Gurney
said. “Without the faculty and the advising I had at the community college, I wouldn’t
have had the direction to follow a career path in nursing. My own experience is why
COD is so special to me on a personal level. I want to ensure each nursing student
is given the tools and resources they need to succeed.”As she continues to meet with faculty to review the current curriculum, Gurney wants
to focus her efforts on recruiting and retention, as well as individual student success.“Nursing is one of the most difficult majors in any college or university setting,”
she said. “It takes discipline and grit. We need to provide resources to help each
student on their individual journey to becoming a nurse. A big focus this year will
be building upon resources already in place. I also want to look at …

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