Rhonda (Roni) DeLao Kerns, Ph.D., RN, has been named to the position of lead nursing instructor at the Payson campus of Gila Community College.
“I’m excited to be having Roni join the faculty here in Payson. We are
always striving to improve the nursing program, and Roni brings a wealth
of knowledge and experience to our program,” said Dean Pamela Butterfield.
Kerns has experience both in teaching nursing and working at various medical facilities.
Her specialty has been in working with rural populations both here in Arizona and in the Appalachia region. She will be responsible for coordinating nursing education at the college.
“I have a strong affinity for rural communities and I firmly believe rural residents deserve quality health care delivered by competent and compassionate nurses from their own communities. By providing education in community colleges, nurses can be educated without uprooting families or leaving them,” said Kerns.
Kearns earned her doctorate in nursing at the University of Arizona, taught at several community colleges in Arizona and was named Outstanding Nursing Instructor of the Year in 2000.
Her experience includes being the director of community health and administrator of home health and hospice at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford.
In her most recent position as associate professor of nursing at Berea College in Berea, Ky., she has developed her expertise in curriculum development, and meeting the health needs of the rural community.
Kerns is knowledgeable about utilizing innovative methods of teaching and understands the needs of the student nurse in diverse settings.
“There is always room for improvement and new ways to approach learning,” said Kerns.
From her experience at community colleges in Arizona she is familiar with the nursing program and believes in working as a partner with the community. She is pleased to be returning to Arizona to continue her teaching.
Kerns looks forward to becoming an integral contributor to the nursing program at Gila Community College and collaborating with health care delivery systems to assure a quality outcome from the program.
“Payson residents deserve high quality health care, and the nursing students deserve a quality education that prepares them to be successful in their chosen career,” Kerns said.
Beginning in the spring semester, Dr. Kerns will start her work as lead nursing instructor at Gila Community College, Payson campus.