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Connor joins TU as Chair of the Division of Nursing

Dr. Nadine Connor brings a world of experience to her new role as Thomas University’s Chair of the Division of Nursing. With professional nursing experiences in tertiary and primary care and in different parts of the world, Connor brings a great deal of understanding about nursing care for patients while also being culturally sensitive.

“Over the past 10 years, Dr. Susan Otto and the Nursing faculty have built bachelor’s and master’s programs that are the programs of choice in our region and for earning an American Nursing degree in China,” said Dr. Ann Landis, TU Executive Vice President and Provost. “With Dr. Otto’s retirement, we could not be more pleased that Dr. Connor will come on board to continue to build TU’s reputation in Nursing education.  Dr. Connor’s range of experience in nursing practice and research, teaching, and nursing education administration, both in the U.S. and internationally, is impressive.” 

Most recently, Connor spent the past 16 months teaching nursing classes in China as part of TU’s programs at three partner universities in the country.

“I hope to inspire students to understand the value of higher education and how it’s a stepping stone for bigger and better things,” Connor said.

Originally from Cinnaminson, New Jersey, Connor earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Columbia University School of Nursing in New York; a Master of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio; and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Connor has worked in almost every hospital department except labor and delivery. Most of her tertiary care nursing experiences were in the emergency room and intensive care units. While becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and completing graduate work, Connor was a National Health Service Corps Scholar.  After graduating with her FNP, she worked in community clinics on the border of Mexico, New Mexico and Texas.   She worked as the clinical site manager of a Ryan White-funded HIV clinic for adolescents and adults. During that time Connor frequently spoke to groups about HIV issues. She was also a lecturer at the University of Texas at El Paso.

While working on her master’s degree, Connor minored in nursing education because she knew that she wanted to teach nursing.  She also took nursing education courses during her DNP program.

Connor’s first full-time teaching position was at the University of Victoria in Canada in the online, (hybrid) Family Nurse Practitioner program. While there, she learned about the new Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in the U.S. and decided that was the next step for her. Connor relocated to the University of South Florida, where she served as a faculty member while pursuing the doctorate. There she taught in the graduate nursing program and also oversaw the clinical education of nursing students, medical students and nurse practitioner students in the free clinics in the Tampa area.  These clinics provide primary care services for patients Connor describes as the “working poor.”

Connor also served as interim director for each one of the primary care nurse practitioner programs at USF during her time in the doctoral program. After completing the DNP program, Connor traveled to Africa for a year with the Clinton Health Access Initiative as the E-Learning Adviser for the Ministry of Health in Rwanda.

Back in the U.S., Connor was named chair of the brand new Family Nurse Practitioner program at Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale. She developed the program and it was successfully launched in January 2014.   

In March 2015, Connor once more felt the call to go abroad when she accepted a position teaching with Thomas University’s China Programs. For 16 months Connor taught classes in China at the three different partner universities – Wenzhou Medical University in Zhejiang Province, Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Jiangxi Province, and Inner Mongolia University for the Nationalities in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

“I absolutely love international work,” Connor said. “I just loved working in Canada, Africa and China. In China, I felt like it was an opportunity to do what I love. With some of those students, I was the first Westerner they had ever met.”

Thomas University first began partnerships with universities in China in 2011. These programs are approved by the Chinese Central Government and provide the opportunity for students to earn the Bachelor of Science in nursing degrees from TU faculty in China at the partner universities. TU also has programs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Business at partner universities in China. In another TU program, students from China complete the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or the Master of Business Administration at TU’s campus in the United States.

At TU’s campus in Thomasville, Connor replaces Dr. Susan Otto, who had served as Chair of the Division of Nursing for a decade before retiring this spring.

“I like to think that I’ve made some small contribution to nursing, student education and patient care,” Connor said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had.”

Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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