Reese named director of UIC’s Springfield nursing program
Cynthia Reese began this week as the new director of the Springfield regional campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing.
An accomplished educator and administrator, Reese was previously an assistant professor at Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing who received her master’s degree in medical surgical nursing from UIC. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati and earned a Ph.D. in nursing science from Indiana University.
“I am very fortunate to have a role bringing UIC’s highly ranked undergraduate and graduate level nursing programs to the Springfield area,” Reese said. “The innovative partnership between the University of Illinois Springfield, Memorial Health System and UIC offers an exciting and unique opportunity to make a significant impact on healthcare for the citizens of central and southern Illinois.”
The UIC College of Nursing partnered with the University of Illinois Springfield and Memorial Health Systems last fall to make Springfield the college’s fifth regional campus, joining Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford and Urbana. Classes begin this fall for students seeking to earn a UIC Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Springfield.
The Springfield program can be completed in two phases. Freshmen and sophomores can take pre-nursing and general education courses at UIS. The second phase allows juniors and seniors to complete professional nursing courses taught by UIC nursing faculty on the UIS campus.
Reese is well known in Springfield. She was associate dean of nursing at Lincoln Land Community College from 2009 to 2014, serving as nurse administrator for the associate degree and practical nursing programs. At Lincoln Land she led major curriculum revisions and implemented a rigorous standardized testing program throughout the associate degree curriculum, which was followed by a jump in students passing the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) from 80 percent to 93 percent in one year.
In addition to her 15 years of experience teaching pre-licensure nursing students, Reese conducts research in clinical simulations, inter-professional education and instrument development. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and books, and she has been a presenter at national nursing meetings.