New nursing director to start role in July

For Renee Kidd-Marshall, becoming director of the nursing program was the next step in her career.

Kidd-Marshall joined the Eastern nursing program as an assistant professor in 2007 and will start her job as the new director for the nursing program on July 1.

The nursing program is part of the College of Sciences. The director works with getting Registered Nurses a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Rebecca Merten, the current interim director of the nursing program, said Kidd-Marshall would be a good asset to the program because she has worked with a registered nursing program in the past.

Merten plans to hold more online classes for students who need to travel and to get more students enrolled in the program as nursing majors.

Godson Obia, the associate dean of the College of Sciences, chaired the search committee.

Mary Anne Hanner, the dean of the College of Sciences, picked the new director out of every applicant submitted.

“The nursing program is part of the administrative team in the College of Sciences,” Hanner said. “Dr. Kidd-Marshall comes to Eastern with experience in higher education and nursing education and has worked as a clinical instructor and a practitioner.”

Hanner said the program enjoys quality leadership and hopes Kidd-Marshall will continue said leadership with recruiting and getting information about the program out to local and other communities.

“We work on high-quality curriculum and want help delivering that in the best way possible,” Hanner said.

Merten said the upper-division program works with juniors and seniors who are already registered nurses and have an associate degree.

“Most are working full-time and not residential students,” Merten said.

Many students in the program are currently working as nurses in Chicago, Mattoon, Charleston, Effingham and Champaign-Urbana, among other locations.

“Most of them are not on campus,” Merten said. “They take a lot of online classes. Not every student has the exact same schedule, but the typical student works during the day leaving time at night for classes.”

The nursing program has been around since 2007 and the director works as a department chair, even though the program is not large enough to be classified as a department.

Merten said the director deals with budget issues, faculty, administrative supervision and advises students.

Merten has been interim director since Dianne Nelson stepped down in fall 2009.

Nelson started the program in fall 2006 and developed the program, getting the first students in fall 2007, with the first graduates in May 2009.

Merten will return to her role as assistant professor of nursing when Kidd-Marshall takes over the job.

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or at [email protected].