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Jan Strom to lead Nursing & Health Studies

June 13, 2012
Jan Strom

Jan Strom

A nurse, public health educator, administrator and trailblazer has been named chair of NIU’s School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Jan Strom, who has been lauded for having an extensive and well-rounded teaching, research and partnership-building community health background, will replace retiring chair Brigid Lusk.

Strom begins July 1.

“Her background is very impressive. Jan is an experienced leader,” said Mary Pritchard, interim dean of NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, who calls Strom “an experienced She has a unique combination of nursing and public health experience that is really needed in today’s educational environment.”

Strom’s most recent position was director of Deicke Center for Nursing Education at Elmhurst College. There, she developed a partnership with executives of Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, an organization in which she served on its Board of Governors.

Before working at Elmhurst College, Strom was director of the graduate nursing program at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn.

She was project director of the Healthy Workers Project at the Minnesota Nurses’ Association. The project’s goal was to promote an effective smoking cessation program and reduce second-hand smoke among union members.

Working at NIU will give Strom an opportunity to blend her love of applied research, teaching, mentoring students in the college’s state-of-the-art clinical and laboratory facilities and community health education.

“What excites me the most about the School of Nursing & Health Studies is the strength of the three programs (nursing, public health and health education) that compose the school,” she said. “The high quality of faculty assures (NIU) will continue to promote the population’s health and well-being by preparing students to enhance the lives of individuals, families and communities across the lifespan.”

NIU’s School of Nursing & Health Studies includes programs that are very popular to incoming freshmen, transfer students and those seeking their master’s degrees, Pritchard said. Instructors realize health care education cannot end in the classroom, she added; it must continue in health care facilities and communities.

That concept is one reason why NIU’s School of Nursing & Health Studies offers a relevant education to students, she said.

“Combining the nursing, public health and health education programs into one school creates synergy among the related programmatic areas,” Prichard said. “This synergy facilitates interdisciplinary research and benefits the faculty, students and the populations served by the programs.”

Strom, who lives in Riverside, Ill., completed her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Michigan State University. She received her master of science degree in nursing from DePaul University and earned her Ph.D. of the philosophy of nursing science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also earned a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree from the University of Minnesota.

The Commonwealth Fund Executive Nursing Fellow currently serves as an accreditation site visitor for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

by Gerard Dziuba