COLUMBIA, S.C. (courtesy ciu.edu) — In preparation for a nursing degree program at Columbia International University, Dr. Jill McElheny has been hired as the program director to begin laying a solid foundation for the future of Nursing at CIU.
McElheny brings a wealth of experience in leading the operations of a fast-growing Christian Nursing program at Colorado Christian University (CCU) in Lakewood, Colorado where she served as the director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and professor of Nursing. Under her leadership, enrollment in CCU’s nursing programs doubled.
She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Furman University.
McElheny has 11 licenses and certifications in nursing including Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Emergency Nurse Practitioner. She has practiced nursing for 24 years, most recently as RN case manager for Heartland Hospice in Charleston, South Carolina.
CIU Associate Provost Dr. Brian Simmons says McElheny is a perfect fit for CIU’s Christian mission and core values.
“For the last 10 years, Dr. McElheny has served with Samaritan’s Purse International Relief,” Simmons said. “In this role she has traveled to many countries around the world including Ecuador and Haiti serving as the hands and feet of Jesus. She expresses a deep desire to lead teams of CIU nursing students to do as she has done through the years.”
As for McElheny, she considers nursing “a sacred calling.”
“I am excited to join a Christian organization where I can promote nursing as a calling while sharing my faith with students,” McElheny said. “I would love to connect nursing students to the field of Christian nursing ministry.”
As director of Nursing Programs, McElheny is working with university leaders to develop a strategic plan for Nursing to be offered in both online and residential modes of content delivery. The first nursing degree program is expected to begin in the 2021/22 academic year.