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School of Nursing

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Faculty & Staff


Janet Reagor

Janet Reagor, PhD, RN
Interim Dean

Office: Borserine 410

Janet Reagor, RN, PhD, is Interim Dean and Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of the RN-BSN program. She has taught at Avila University since 2002. She currently teaches courses in the RN to BSN program including, research, healthcare informatics, development of the professional nurse, population based nursing, and capstone practicum.

Dr. Reagor has worked as a registered nurse in many different roles and clinical settings over the past 30 years. She has been a staff nurse in a community hospital on medical-surgical units, intensive care units, and in the Emergency Department.

Her interest in teaching began with patient and family teaching, and led to a position in staff development in a community hospital. In this setting she was responsible for new employee/new graduate nurse orientation and continuing education for all nurses at the facility. Prior to teaching at Avila University, Dr. Reagor was an instructor for nine years at a nursing school in Central Illinois. She also started an Advanced Cardiac Life Support program in this rural county and served as Course Coordinator and Regional Faculty for the American Heart Association. Dr. Reagor has volunteered as a nurse for numerous local and national Boy Scouts of America events, including summer camps and the 1997 National Jamboree.

Dr. Reagor received a BSN from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1975, a Master's degree in Nursing from the University of Illinois in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Kansas in 2010. Her dissertation focused on the perception of readiness for practice of senior baccalaureate nursing students following a clinical practicum.

At home she enjoys gardening, quilting, reading and spending time with her husband and dogs. She has two adult children and two granddaughters.

Martha Blackman, Assistant Professor of Nursing

Martha Blackman, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor of Nursing

Office: Borserine 301C

Martha Blackman, RN, MSN and Assistant Professor of Nursing, has taught at Avila University since 1998. She currently coordinates and/or teaches in a variety of courses in the junior and senior year including Patient Care Skills, Health and Illness 1 & 2; Pharmacology, Development of the Professional Nurse 1, and Population Based Health. Ms. Blackman also co-teaches an interdisciplinary course, Global Health Concerns, in the summer.

Martha has worked as a registered nurse in many different roles and clinical settings. She has been a staff nurse on cardiac intensive care and telemetry units, as well as an orthopedic unit. She has worked in the field of Home Health as a nurse case manager, a clinical supervisor, and an agency administrator.

Martha is also active in several cycling organizations and is an avid cyclist. She leads a weekly ride for area cyclists and is a League Cycling Instructor through the American League of Bicyclists.  You will see her bicycle in her office most days since she rides to work.

Martha received a B.A. in Human Development and Family life from the University of Kansas in 1974. She also earned her BSN and MSN from the University of Kansas (1977 and 1996 respectively).

Martha was named the 2004-2005 Avila Professor of the Year.

Lonna Boen, MSN, RN Assistant Professor of Nursing

Office: Borserine 301B

Lonna Boen, RN, MSN has been an instructor at Avila University since 1994. She provides theory and clinical instruction to undergraduate students in the area of medical-surgical nursing. Her main teaching focus is in the areas of health assessment, patient care skills, pharmacology and beginning level medical-surgical nursing. Lonna is coordinator of the School of Nursing Admissions Committee. She advises a large group of nursing students at the University, is a Faculty Athletic Representative and is very active in the academic community on campus.

Lonna's past practice experience has been in the area of medical-surgical nursing as a staff nurse and as an outpatient clinic manager for a hospital in South Dakota. Following graduation from her master's program, Lonna became project coordinator for a large NIH Grant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska. Lonna also provided clinical instruction for students at UNMC in their undergraduate nursing program.

Since moving to Kansas City, Lonna has become active as a volunteer for the Red Cross, providing assistance for flu clinics in the local area. She is also a volunteer at Rachel House which is a pregnancy resource center.

Ms. Boen received her BSN from South Dakota State University and her MSN at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau in 1984.

Lonna was named the 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 Avila University Professor of the Year.

Rhonda Brown, Nursing Instructor

Rhonda Brown, MSN, CCRN
Assistant Professor of Nursing

Office: Borserine 304

Rhonda Brown RN, MSN, CCRN was hired as a full time faculty member in August of 2006, although she was a clinical and laboratory adjunct faculty for Avila for the previous two years. Rhonda is currently an Assistant Professor and teaches theory in the Health and Illness III course and the High Acuity Course. She teaches and coordinates clinical in the Practicum II course and High Acuity Clinical. She will also coordinate the theory portion of the Capstone course and be involved in the Capstone Clinical. Rhonda received her ADN in 1980 and her BSN in 1982 from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Rhonda received her MSN in Clinical Specialty and Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1988. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau in 1980.

Rhonda's clinical experience includes being a staff nurse on a surgical floor, medical and surgical intensive care units, and instituting the role of Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist in a community hospital. Prior to her faculty appointment she was a staff nurse in the Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit. Rhonda has been certified as a Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) since 1986 and is also a Basic Life Support Instructor Trainer and an Advanced Cardiac Life Support training center faculty.

Rhonda has five boys and enjoys involvement in their activities as well as music, skiing, reading and travel

Jessica Brunsman, MSN, RN, CPN

Office: Borserine 413

Jessica Brunsman, MSN, RN, CPN, began teaching as full-time faculty at Avila University in 2013, although she was adjunct clinical faculty for one year prior. She teaches Patient Care Skills, Pediatric clinical in the Practicum II course, Women and Children, and Capstone theory and clinical.

Jessica has been a registered nurse since 2007, and has earned her certification in pediatric nursing, as well. She has worked at Children’s Mercy Hospital since 2003, where she continues to work with the inpatient population in the following specialties: orthopedic, neurology, rehabilitation, and nephrology. She is active on many committees there, including her unit education, scheduling, and spirit committees. Jessica earned a degree in Photojournalism from Arizona State University in 2002, with a minor in Family Studies. She earned her BSN from St. Luke’s College in 2007, and she completed her MSN, Nurse Educator focus, in December 2013 at Webster University. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau in 2012.

Jessica is married, has two young children, and enjoys spending time with her extended family. Jessica has lived in the Kansas City area for 21 years, and is originally from St. Louis, MO.

Lynn Gallagher, Nursing Instructor

Lynn Gallagher, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Coordinator RN-BSN

Office: Borserine 411

Lynn Gallagher RN, MSN, CNE has been at Avila University since 2008 as an adjunct instructor, NERC Coordinator, and full time faculty.   She transitioned to a full time faculty position in the School of Nursing in the fall of 2011. Lynn has been tapped to pilot the Simulation Coordinator position during 2014 -2015 and she will be working extensively with faculty to implement at curriculum wide simulation program for the Avila University School of Nursing.   In addition, her teaching assignments include teaching Gerontology in the fall and co-teaching Foundations of Evidenced-Based Practice and Capstone Practicum theory in the spring. Lynn coordinates Practicum 1 clinical in the spring semester as well as serving as a clinical instructor for Practicum 1 and Capstone Practicum

Lynn has been a registered nurse for over 30 years and has practiced nursing in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Her medical/surgical background was gained at a variety of hospitals in San Diego, Honolulu and Newport, RI. In addition, Lynn also has experience with a variety of community focused educational programs and has taught in several health occupation programs from the CNA level to the BSN level since 2002.

As the spouse of a career military member, Lynn has lived throughout the US and overseas. She has volunteered in a number of roles for the Boys and Girls Scouts of America, the American Red Cross and most recently at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Health Fairs. Lynn enjoys reading and many handicrafts such as cross-stitch and quilting.

Lynn received her BSN from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1981. She completed her MSN, Nurse Educator Tract, in 2011 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and in the fall of 2013 earned the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) designate through the National League for Nursing’s Certified Nurse Educator Program.

Debbie King, MSN, MSM, RN
Assistant Professor of Nursing

Office: Borserine 408

Deborah King, RN, MSN, MSM and Assistant Professor of Nursing began teaching at Avila University in Fall 2013. Deborah brings to Avila University 20 years of clinical nursing experience including medical surgical, trauma, urology, PACU and Assistant Director of Nursing.

Deborah is an experienced nursing faculty member of twelve years.  Deborah has taught both didactic and clinical nursing at the junior and senior level in Fundamentals, Adult Health, Lab, Simulation and Leadership. At home, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and animals.

Kathy McCurry Nursing Lab Coordinator

Kathleen A. McCurry, BSN, RN
Clinical Site Coordinator

Office: Borserine 425

Kathy McCurry RN, BSN began her career at Avila University in the Fall 2011. She assumed the position of Nursing Education and Resource Center Coordinator.  Kathy comes to Avila with many years of nursing experience including six years as a faculty member at St. John's College of Nursing of Southwest Baptist University in Springfield, Missouri. Kathy's experience at St. John's included teaching in the fundamentals of nursing course and the development and implementation of clinical simulation into the ASN curriculum. In addition to experience as a nurse educator Kathy comes to Avila with experience in med/surg, emergency room , home health and home infusion, staff development, interventional radiology and infection control nursing.

Kathy and her husband come to Kansas City after spending eight years in Springfield, Mo. Prior to Springfield they both were raised in Columbus, Ohio and are Ohio State University graduates (Go Bucks!). Kathy has two adult children, Kathy and her family have been very active in their church youth program and mission work and also enjoys many outdoor activities.

Kathy received her BSN from Ohio State University in 1985. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau.

James Spence, BSN, MPA-HSA, RN
Assistant Professor of Nursing

Office: Borserine 301D

James K. Spence, BSN, MPA-HSA, RN and Assistant Professor of Nursing has over 17 years of teaching and administrative experience at the University level. Jim works PRN for the Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City and has experience in critical care, community health, and leadership. Jim has taught didactic and clinical nursing courses in Adult Health, Community Health, Leadership, Health Assessment, and Health Communication. Prior to his career in nursing, Jim taught courses in organizational behavior and healthcare policy and ethics and conducted research in the area of workplace stress and stress vulnerability.  Jim is originally from Southeast Missouri, but has lived in the Kansas City area for over 20 years. At home, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, Erin and JT. In his spare time Jim is an avid runner often entering races in Kansas City and the surrounding area. Jim has a BA in Psychology, a BSN, and an MPA with an emphasis in Health Services Administration, all from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Jim is also currently completing a DNP in Organizational Leadership at the University of Kansas.

Bruce Voegele, Nursing Instructor

Bruce Voegele, BSN, MA, RN

Office: Borserine 301A

Bruce Voegele, MA, BSN, RN, has taught at Avila University since 2005. He currently teaches Healthcare Informatics and Development of the Professional Nurse II in the fall semester and Psychosocial Nursing Concepts and Practicum 1 in the spring semester.

Bruce has worked as a registered nurse in a variety of roles and settings over the past 37 years. He began as a staff nurse at a local medical center on a mental health unit with adolescents, adults and geriatric patients. He also assisted the development of urgent care clinics – beginning the first cardiac rehab program in a shopping mall in the United States. Additionally he has worked as a director of nursing at a free-standing psychiatric facility and as an assistant director of nursing at a local nursing home.

Bruce also worked as a performance improvement/staff development specialist at a local hospital for fourteen years with duties that included performance improvement activities; orienting and providing ongoing education to new employees, as well as working with nursing instructors and nursing students.

Bruce has volunteered as a nurse at numerous health screenings including National Depression Days, Alcohol Screening days and National Anxiety Screening days. He participated for many years as a volunteer for a mini-triathlon held annually at Shawnee Mission Park.

He enjoys the outdoors and has walked many miles with his dogs believing that routine exercise benefits both the two legged and four legged animals.

Bruce received a BSN from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska and an MA from Webster University in Kansas City, Missouri.

Angel Yanez, MSN, RN


Office: Borserine 422


Angel Yanez, RN, MSN began teaching at Avila in fall of 2014. She teaches in Patient Care Skills, Health Assessment and Simulations, and has been an instructor in both the community college and university settings. She has taught in LPN and RN programs, and loves teaching. She is a lifelong Kansas Citian, and loves the Royals and the Chiefs.

Angel has been an RN for 30+ years, most of that time working clinically in the Hospice setting. She has also worked in Home Health, Critical Care and as a Nurse Consultant, holding a variety of positions from staff nurse to Nurse Educator to Director and for a time as an Administrator. 

She and her husband have been married for 31 years and have 4 children and 3 grandchildren (so far). She loves spending time with family, traveling, reading and crafting. Educationally Angel is very interested in the topic of Simulation in Health Care Education. Angel is a member of Sigma Theta Tau.

Debra Bortniker

Debra Bortniker
Office Manager

Office: Borserine 300

Debra has been the Office Manager for the School of Nursing since August 1999. She has a BA in History and English from UMKC.