Dr. Nancy Kertz Dr. Nancy Kertz

A Message From Dr. Nancy Kertz

November 14, 2022

Dear UNI Friends and Family:

I am honored to join the University of Northern Iowa as our institution’s first Executive Director of Nursing and Chief Academic Nursing Administrator. Thank you to President Nook, Provost Herrera and the entire campus community for placing their trust in me as we prepare to launch a nursing program at UNI in Fall 2024. 

Nursing education is truly my passion, and that’s why I am so excited to develop this much-needed program at UNI. I feel a very strong obligation to share the many lessons I’ve learned over my years as a registered nurse, advanced practice nurse, and nurse educator. The recent pandemic magnified how vital skilled nurses are to our health care system, and the increasingly heavy load we are placing on these individuals is taking a toll on the nursing profession. The only solution is to educate more nurses and ready them to face a rapidly changing landscape. 

One of my key objectives at UNI is to holistically prepare our nurses for the many challenges they will face, scenarios that go well beyond the scope of the training I received in college. In order for tomorrow’s nurses to remain vibrant on a long-term basis, they need to be ready for the many challenges that await them. They need guidance on how to balance the stress of their profession with raising their own families. Nurses must also recognize the necessity of caring for their own physical and mental health, particularly when they witness the toll that addiction, violence and poverty will take on so many of their patients.

Helping remove a child from an abusive situation is every bit as much of a life-saving procedure as performing CPR on an unresponsive emergency room patient. Empowering our UNI nursing students with the tools to recognize a wide spectrum of perils and possible solutions is essential. Teaching nurses the grace to communicate empathetically with families can’t be learned from a textbook. Developing the ability to treat individuals with a compassionate touch is a skill that requires much practice and patience.

I want our nursing program to produce highly skilled nursing professionals who are situationally aware, clinically focused, and practice ready upon graduation and who also exude the personal characteristics so frequently associated with UNI graduates. We will seek to develop nurses whose dedication, devotion and caring commitment will serve as a great example of excellence whether it’s in a rural clinic or an urban urgent care center. 

Simply put, I chose to lead this nursing program because the University of Northern Iowa has a proven track record of preparing students for success dating back to our institution’s days as the Iowa State Normal School. We will seek to build on that proud tradition as we help ensure that communities across Iowa and the Midwest have the skilled nurses we need and deserve.

Dr. Nancy Kertz Signature
Nancy Kertz, PhD, FNP-BC
Executive Director of Nursing and Chief Academic Nursing Administrator