Assistant Dean, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals
Lisa Smith, PhD, has been a registered nurse for 30 years and quickly became a cardiovascular nurse right out of school. She realized in those early years something significant – if she wanted her patients to believe that a healthy lifestyle was important for their own overall health and well-being, then she also had to believe it. She needed to incorporate those same principles into her own life. How could she expect her patients to listen to instructions, if she was not practicing them herself? This has led to a journey of practicing a healthy lifestyle both physically and spiritually. Dr. Smith has also recently been named assistant dean of graduate studies for the GCU College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, after briefly serving as associate professor in the Master of Science in Nursing programs.
Faculty Spotlight Questions:
Who am I and how did I get to GCU?
My husband and I vacationed in Arizona over the last 10 years. We decided when the time was right to look at a permanent relocation to the Valley of the Sun. I investigated all the universities in Arizona and chose to only pursue a position with GCU based on their mission, Doctrinal Statement and student support. As a result, I accepted a full-time faculty position in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions. So this past August, I relocated from Florida.
Although most of my nursing career was spent in clinical and administrative positions, I have been in academia for the last nine years. My research interests combine both technology and simulation in health care.
What do I enjoy most in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions?
I love having the ability to impart in nursing students. Health care is more complex and demanding than ever before in history. I really like to focus students on the “art of nursing,” which is the caring side of what we do as nurses. Everyone starts out to care for others, but with the demands and challenges facing nurses, many times the art of caring for someone gets lost. I look for opportunities to infuse this concept in curriculum wherever I can.
What advice do I have for students in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions?
Take care of yourselves physically, psychologically and spiritually so you can take care of the needs of your patients. When you are not in a state of wellness, it is hard to concentrate on and care for the needs of your clients.