Meet The Director


Dr. Judy McKenna has nearly 30 years experience as a nurse, nurse practitioner, nursing instructor and professor. She is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and earned her doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) from Oakland University. Prior to accepting her position as Alma College’s first Director of Nursing Education, Dr. McKenna taught at the University of Detroit - Mercy. She is enthusiastic about leading a nursing program with high quality standards that emphasizes a well-rounded educational experience.

“In all of my experiences of teaching, I’m most impressed by the caliber of Alma students, not only from an intellectual standpoint but from a respect standpoint.” says McKenna. “Whatever the students are interested in, I have found them focused, passionate and dedicated. Many students here have expressed an interest in going into nursing, but not just to get a job; they want to learn and make a difference in the lives of people.”

McKenna has a strong commitment for educating compassionate and skilled nurses who can respond quickly to changing patient needs. She believes that as the professionals who work most closely with patients, nurses should be able think critically and solve problems as they arise. “It’s nurses who are at the bedside of a critically ill patient or with the family who has lost a loved one. It’s nurses who guide families through the next steps of their recovery programs. It’s nurses who look at personal situations beyond the disease and see what really needs to happen at this point in a patient’s life.”