Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals
Kathryn Turk’s nursing career trajectory has provided her with a wealth of experiences and opened many doors. Dr. Turk has been a nurse for over 30 years. She obtained an associate degree in nursing in the early 80’s, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) immediately afterward. Her registered nurse (RN) background is in acute care settings, mainly in emergency departments, intensive care units and cardiovascular intensive care units. After receiving her BSN in 1987, Dr. Turk moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and practiced nursing in that magical country for seven years. In doing so, she was able to travel this world and experience people of all cultures, ethnic groups and religions. Dr. Turk has traveled to almost every country during those seven years, so she is a lifelong traveler now! Her worldview of nursing aligns well with her personal philosophy of nursing as a global concern. She returned to the U.S. and began working on her master’s degree, graduating from Texas A&M University in 2000 as a family nurse practitioner. Dr. Turk began practicing in that advanced practice nursing role in an urgent care setting. She also began teaching nursing at her alma mater. Dr. Turk has a post-master’s degree in nursing education from Grand Canyon University and she graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Colorado in 2009. She is enrolled in a PhD program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh now.
Faculty Spotlight Questions:
Who am I and how did I get to GCU?
I am married to the love of my life and best friend, Jim Turk, who is a retired anesthesiologist. We do quite bit of international medical mission work in underserved areas, including Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Mongolia and China, to name a few. I have taught clinical nursing in a variety of universities in China during the summer.
I moved to Arizona in 2004 to work for GCU to help design the FNP program curriculum and to launch the program as well as teach some of the courses. I applied to GCU so that I could work in a Christian institution. I directed the FNP program from 2008 to 2013. I am now teaching full-time in a faculty position in the program. Looking back over these 10 years with GCU, I am so proud of the programs within the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions and the progress we have made in graduating quality nurse practitioners who will help change the course of health care delivery. I am a lifelong learner. I believe I was given this opportunity with GCU because God wanted me to do this. He does not always call the equipped, but He equips the called. I have learned so much in this university about my profession and about God’s love for all of us.
What do I enjoy most in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals?
I know God’s hand has guided my path throughout my career. God has given me the opportunity to serve Him through the profession of nursing. Nursing is my profession, and yet I have felt called to do this since I was a child. Whether I am teaching, practicing, doing mission work or just living, I feel God’s grace and mercy with me as I strive to glorify Him. I think this is what I love most about GCU and nursing – the fact that I can be a part of a place where our Christian faith is played out each and every day in a multitude of ways. I feel very blessed to be a part of GCU’s exceptional Christian nursing faculty.
What advice do I have for CONHCP students?
I love being a part of this enthusiastic and energetic community where students are exposed to and are able to practice their faith on a daily basis. We are on fire for the Lord here at GCU! I would say to any student who is searching for a career that is rewarding in spirit and financially lucrative: Consider a career in nursing or other health care fields. People will continue to be broken in mind, body and spirit. We can help! I love being a nurse, and I love GCU!