Cynthia McCurren, PhD, RN
Dean, Kirkhof College of Nursing


Cynthia McCurren, PhD, RN

Welcome to the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON). Established in 1973, KCON has a rich history of successful innovations in nursing education provided in a supportive environment that is infused with positive energy and excitement.

In July 2008, the GVSU Board of Trustees approved our newest program of the study, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and it was reviewed and approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in April 2009. Transforming health care delivery requires clinicians who can design, evaluate, and continuously improve the context within which care is delivered. Healthcare must be available to all individuals regardless of age, gender, or race, and in both acute care and communities. Front line advance practice nurses prepared at the doctoral level with a blend of clinical, organizational, economic and leadership skills are most likely to be able to critique nursing and other clinical models, and design programs of care delivery which impact health outcomes. The DNP will prepare nurses at the advance practice level for positions in various healthcare settings and/or clinical education.

The website provides various links that will allow you to quickly see the additional program opportunities KCON has to offer and be introduced to our faculty, staff, and alumni board. You will find relevant information on the many ways the College is contributing to the nursing profession through education, practice, service, and research. Whether you are thinking about nursing as a career choice, you are an experienced nurse considering advanced education, or you are contemplating being part of our faculty or staff, KCON is the place where your career ambitions can become reality.

We are currently faced with the challenge of a rapidly changing healthcare delivery system that demands critical thinking and creative solutions. Therefore, our educational goals are broad. Along with strong, evidence-based knowledge and bedside skills, students are learning professionalism, effective communication, cultural awareness, systems leadership for quality care, and health policy and regulation content. Clinical practice occurs in acute care settings, ambulatory care, and the community; learning experiences are with individuals across the lifespan. Interdisciplinary problem solving is stressed in order to produce patient centered outcomes.

Our academic nurse managed center (ANMC) provides care to students, faculty, staff, and the community. Faculty and students practice in the setting along with the center's advanced practice nurses and staff. The ANMC is a focal point for clinical experiences for our DNP students. Research in this environment informs nursing practice and education. The ANMC is part of a national network of nursing centers that share expertise and data to support this mission.

The College of Nursing faculty are highly committed to the development of new knowledge and the translation of research findings to the bedside and community. Faculty research is focused on a number of areas, to include:

  • Gerontological Nursing Research:
    • Grandparents as primary caregivers of grandchildren
    • Chronic disease self-management intervention with community dwelling elders
    • Wayfinding strategies for older adults
  • Academic Nurse managed Health Centers Research
    • Client satisfaction with care at an academic nurse managed center
    • Continuous quality improvement in academic nurse managed health centers
  • Caregiving for mentally ill individuals
  • Healthy Bones Lifespan Osteoporosis Prevention
  • Staff nurse fatigue

As the Dean for the College of Nursing, I am committed to excellence. It is my goal to maintain a setting where every member of the school community can be successful, and a welcoming and supportive environment is sustained. Please share in the unique opportunities that can be yours at the Grand Valley State University Kirkhof College of Nursing -- we hope you visit us soon!

Page last modified April 8, 2013