Northwest State Community College is pleased to welcome Kathy Keister as the dean of the Nursing Division. Keister will be in charge of a nationally-renowned nursing program that has experienced tremendous achievement in National Council Licensure Examination passage rates and job placement in healthcare facilities throughout northwest Ohio. Her first official day on campus was Tuesday, September 4, and it is expected that the NSCC Board of Trustees will officially confirm her appointment at the next regularly-scheduled meeting on October 26.
Keister graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1979 with a bachelor’s of science in biology and in 1982 with a bachelor’s of science in nursing. She continued her education, earning a master’s of science in nursing in 1988 from University of Illinois at Chicago and a doctorate in nursing in 2004 from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to her position at NSCC, Keister was an associate professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She has also held education positions at Miami University, Owens Community College, Medical College of Ohio and others.
Perhaps the most fascinating and heart-warming aspect of this story is that thirty years ago, Keister was one of two original faculty hired to implement the nursing program at Northwest Technical College, which would eventually become Northwest State. Noting that family in northwest Ohio encouraged her to apply for this position, Keister appreciated the thought of her career coming full-circle. “My long-term plan was to return to this part of the state once I retired, but that timeline sped up thanks to this opportunity,” Keister said.
Keister loves the daily challenges and opportunities in nursing education. “I love seeing the students develop from the first day they walk through the door to the last day they walk out with that diploma,” she said. Keister also noted that she has enjoyed the loving and accepting campus culture at Northwest State, from staff and students alike.