"My dissertation was on the career satisfaction in the field of nursing.... I wanted to study the factors that could contribute to nurses staying in the field or leaving."
Dean of Nursing, Concordia College
Dr. Susan Apold was recently appointed the new Dean of Nursing at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. Her appointment coincides with a $2 million five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III-Strengthening Institutions Program to support the development of an accelerated 15-month bachelor’s program in nursing.
For the last 19 years, she has been with the College of Mount St. Vincent, where she served as the Vice-President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty. Prior to that position, she served as the director of the Department of Nursing, and as a member of that department’s faculty.
Dr. Apold serves on the editorial board of the Journal for Nurse Practitioners. She has been a private nurse practitioner since 1997. She is a recipient of the Dr. Nancy J. MacIntyre Nurse Practitioner of the Year award from the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State and was the first recipient of the American College of Nurse Practitioner’s Nursing Leadership Award.
When and why did you first want to become a nurse?
In kindergarten, I wanted to be a crossing guard – other than that, I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be a nurse. I had a great aunt who was widowed and enlisted as a nurse during World War II. She served front-line casualties in the United States and abroad. She went on to become the first woman in the United States Air Force. She was smart and kind and I wanted to be like her.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in nursing from Holy Name College in 1979. I was the first in my family to go to college. Later I took advantage of a scholarship opportunity and earned a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania. When I married and came to New York, I knew that I wanted to continue my education. In 1983 there were two choices, Adelphi or New York University, and I chose Adelphi in 1985.
Do you have favorite memories of your time at Adelphi and your residencies?
From my first day, both the campus and the faculty were so warm and welcoming. My professors were great, especially Pierre Woog, my dissertation chair; Steven Greenfield, who taught the Nature of Scientific Revolution; and Ruth Hymen, who taught me patience. Professor Kuhn’s class on the reality of a career in nursing was a true A-ha experience.
My dissertation was on the career satisfaction in the field of nursing. In the late 1980s, the burn-out rate among nurses was very high, and I wanted to study the factors that could contribute to nurses staying in the field or leaving.
Adelphi was a very collegial environment. I hope to bring that spirit to Concordia.
What advice would you give to today’s nursing students?
Be bold. Be award of public policy. Be aware of things outside of the now and the job. Nurses need to understand that when things like physical education are cut, the healthcare field will see repercussions such as increases in diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Always remember that you have the power to make a real difference in the lives of your patients.
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