Get to know the new department chair for the Ronald and Marvel Jones School of Nursing, Jason Kiernan!

Jason Kiernan is brand-new to CUAA, but holds a wealth of experience teaching nursing in collegiate settings. Prior to Concordia, he served at Michigan State University and, before that, at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where he completed his doctoral studies. He began his career working six years as a nursing instructor at the University of Windsor in Ontario.

He’s excited to join the CUAA faculty and begin contributing to the nursing program’s ongoing success. Read on to learn more about Dr. Kiernan.

Jason Kiernan, PhD, RN, ACNP

Department Chair, Ronald and Marvel Jones School of Nursing

What are some of your areas of interest/specialty?

I am interested in complementary and integrative medicine (formerly complementary and alternative medicine). This area includes neat things such as acupressure, massage, pet therapy, aromatherapy, and meditation. My specific interest is music listening (not music therapy), and examining how listening sets off neurochemical cascades in the brain that can be used strategically for analgesic, anxiolytic, and possibly even anti-nausea effects.

What initially drew you to become a nurse?

My mother was an LPN (licensed practical nurse), and she introduced me to the concept of considering nursing as a career choice.

In your opinion, what are the “essentials” any nurse must possess?

It’s always been my belief that empathy and compassion are the cornerstones of the profession; these characteristics are indispensable.

Scientific interest would be my next essential. As we look toward the staggering growth in the “-omics” sciences, nursing needs to keep its place at the table and make sure new nurses are well-equipped to work in a scientifically-demanding environment. The bench sciences and topics such as proteomics, transcriptomics, and genomics might seem far off and insignificant, but they all end up “at the bedside,” which is where our profession is unmatched.

It’s no secret that the nation is facing a nursing shortage…What makes a career in nursing worthwhile?

I agree that the pandemic put stress on the profession, but I also think there’s a recovery ahead. A career in nursing offers a degree of life satisfaction that cannot be found with a business degree, engineering, or most anywhere else. Providing a loving hand supported by a keen mind, in a moment when a patient is experiencing life-changing vulnerability, is just something that other careers can’t offer.

Why Concordia?

In my opinion, Concordia’s secret weapon is its Christ-based approach to learning. I’ve always considered what I do in a classroom to be a ministry, but at Concordia everyone is sharing that ministry with me, so its impact is far more powerful. I also believe firmly that there’s a lot of college-age students who are at a time in their life where faith allows them the inner strength to weather many of the storms young-adult life stirs up. Concordia understands that, and the students grow not only academically, but spiritually as well.

Where might one find you in your free time?

Free time? My goodness, what is that?! 

This is probably humorous to most people, but I’ve been teaching myself to play bluegrass banjo, and within the past few years I’ve attained at least enough proficiency to play in an ensemble. I’m most proficient on piano, though I don’t play much anymore.

Want in?

CUAA’s Ronald and Marvel Jones School of Nursing is dedicated to providing a rigorous Christ-centered education. Programs are designed to develop and inspire highly skilled professional nurse leaders who are prepared to serve diverse communities with excellence, truth, integrity, and compassion to promote health and healing.