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Director of nursing program announced

John Brown’s new nursing program now has a Ellen Odell has been named the director of John Brown University’s new nursing program.

University president Chip Pollard said Odell will officially begin as the Director of Nursing in January.

“I think the first things to hopefully make it is a service focused program,” said Odell.

She wants students to help the greater SIloam Springs area and to also have national and international missions included in the curiculum.

Odell said she began seriously considering how she could help the university create a nursing program in February of this year.

Odell worked with the university as a consultant during the new program’s planning and accreditation process.

It is unusual for new hires to begin mid-year, according to Pollard, but Odell will have to start working at the beginning of the new year to make sure the program is ready to launch by year’s end.

The nursing program is set to officially launch in the fall of 2014.

Odell said this is the second time John Brown University considered starting a nursing program. But in 2004-05 it was decided the university had too many other obligations to begin a new nursing program.

Some of the descriptions of the position on the university website include coordinating on- and off-campus learning activities pertaining to all practice experiences, completing remaining steps in program approval process with the state nursing board and coordinating course scheduling and instructor assignments each semester.

“She’s a good mission fit for the University. She’s been a part the Christian education world and certainly has a heart for Christian Higher education,” said Ed Ericson, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.

“I really want to have interaction with students,” said Odell. “Not just in the classroom and in clinicals but personally.” She said she feels the smaller, more intimate campus will allow her to do that.

Odell served as the director of the Har-Ber nursing program and has lots of experience as a nursing faculty member, according to Ericson.

Odell taught in the graduate nursing program at the University of Arkansas as well and in April 2013 won an award for her innovative teaching in part because her use of technology to interact with her students.

Odell also wants the nursing program to be intergrated with the other departments on campus.

“I’m just really excited to get started,” said Odell.