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Faculty & Staff

Nursing Faculty

  • Megan Ashcraft, MSN, RN

    Nursing Instructor
    Phone: 816-501-3686
    Megan.Ashcraft@avila.edu

    Megan Ashcraft RN, MSN began teaching at Avila Fall 2016. She teaches in the Foundations and Health Assessment courses. She has experience as an adjunct clinical faculty.  Megan has been a nurse for 16 years, specializing in medical/surgical nursing and trauma case management at The University of Kansas Hospital.  In May 2016, Megan graduated from the University of Missouri at Kansas City with a Masters Degree in Nursing, specializing in Nursing Education.

     

    Megan has lived

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    Megan Ashcraft RN, MSN began teaching at Avila Fall 2016. She teaches in the Foundations and Health Assessment courses. She has experience as an adjunct clinical faculty.  Megan has been a nurse for 16 years, specializing in medical/surgical nursing and trauma case management at The University of Kansas Hospital.  In May 2016, Megan graduated from the University of Missouri at Kansas City with a Masters Degree in Nursing, specializing in Nursing Education.

     

    Megan has lived in Kansas City her entire life. She shares her home with her husband, two sons, a daughter, a dog and two cats. Her passion is educating patients and sharing her love of nursing with students.  She loves to spend time with her family, travel, ride jet-skis and do arts and crafts.

  • martha blackman

    Martha Blackman MSN, RN

    Assistant Professor of Nursing
    Phone: 816.501.2403
    Martha.Blackman@Avila.edu

    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.

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    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

    Lonna Boen MSN, RN

    Assistant Professor of Nursing
    Phone: 816.501.3688
    Lonna.Boen@Avila.edu

    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.

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    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.

  • Erin Boston BSN, RN

    Office: BOR 425
    Phone: 816-501-3693
    Erin.Boston@avila.edu

    Erin Boston BSN, RN began teaching as full-time faculty in 2018, but served as the Nursing Education and Resource Center Coordinator from 2016-2018.

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    Erin Boston BSN, RN began teaching as full-time faculty in 2018, but served as the Nursing Education and Resource Center Coordinator from 2016-2018. She teaches Health Assessment, Development of the Professional Nurse 1, as well as Practicum. Erin specializes in Hospice within Saint Luke’s Health System and will be graduating from Southwest Baptist University in December of 2018 with a Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Nursing Education.

  • rhonda brown

    Rhonda Brown MSN, RN, CCRN-K

    Assistant Professor of Nursing
    Phone: 816.501.2917
    Rhonda.Brown@avila.edu

    Rhonda Brown RN, MSN, CCRN-K has been a full time faculty member since August of 2006.  She she was a clinical and laboratory adjunct faculty member 2004-2006. Rhonda is currently an Assistant Professor, is a clinical instructor and teaches theory in the Health and Illness III, High Acuity and Capstone courses.

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    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

    Jessica Brunsman MSN, RN, CPN

    Assistant Professor
    Phone: 816.501.2406
    Jessica.brunsman@avila.edu

    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 Health Assessment Lab, Pediatric clinical in the Practicum II course, Women and Children, and Capstone theory and clinical. She also took on the role of co-clinical coordinator in 2016-2017.

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    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 Health Assessment Lab, Pediatric clinical in the Practicum II course, Women and Children, and Capstone theory and clinical. She also took on the role of co-clinical coordinator in 2016-2017.

    Jessica has been a registered nurse since 2007, and has earned her Certification in Pediatric Nursing (CPN), 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. She is a member of the CPN Champion hospital-wide committee, which encourages and supports employees wanting to become CPN certified.

    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 with a Nurse Educator focus in December 2013 at Webster University.  She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau in 2012. She is active on the Charlie’s House Education Committee.

    Jessica is married, has three young children, and enjoys spending time with her extended family.  Jessica has grown up in the Kansas City area and is originally from St. Louis, MO. Jessica is passionate about teaching nursing and sharing her love for the profession with others.

  • lynn gallagher

    Lynn Gallagher MSN, RN, CNE

    Assistant Professor of Nursing
    Director RN-BSN Program
    Phone: 816.501.2409
    Lynn.Gallagher@avila.edu

    Lynn Gallagher MSN, RN, 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. In the fall 2015 Professor Gallagher was promoted to Assistant Professor.  She functioned as the Simulation Coordinator in academic years 2014 -2015 and 2015 -2016, and worked with faculty during that tenure to implement a curriculum wide simulation program for the A

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    Lynn Gallagher MSN, RN, 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. In the fall 2015 Professor Gallagher was promoted to Assistant Professor.  She functioned as the Simulation Coordinator in academic years 2014 -2015 and 2015 -2016, and worked with faculty during that tenure to implement a curriculum wide simulation program for the Avila University School of Nursing. In the fall of 2015 Professor Gallagher began her involvement with the RN to BSN Nursing Program administered through Avila’s School of Professional Studies. In the fall of 2016 she was named the director of that program.  Professor Gallagher’s teaching assignments in the traditional undergraduate program include teaching Gerontology and Foundations of Health and Illness Concepts in the fall and Population Based Health Concepts and Capstone Practicum in the Spring. Professor Gallagher continues her involvement with the simulation program by being an active facilitator for simulations in both semesters.

    Professor Gallagher 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, Professor Gallagher 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, Professor Gallagher 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. Professor Gallagher enjoys reading and many handicrafts such as cross-stitch and quilting.

    Professor Gallagher 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.

  • deborah king

    Deborah King MSN, MSM, RN

    Assistant Professor of Nursing
    Phone: 816-501-2416
    Deborah.King@avila.edu

    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.

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    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.

  • Tracy Koehler MSN, RN

    Assistant Professor
    Office: BOR 408
    Phone: 816-501-3701
    Tracy.Koehler@avila.edu

    Tracy Koehler MSN, RN began teaching at Avila University in the Fall of 2018. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Baker University in 1998 and her Master of Science in Nursing Education from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 2018.

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    Tracy Koehler MSN, RN began teaching at Avila University in the Fall of 2018. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Baker University in 1998 and her Master of Science in Nursing Education from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 2018. Her academic focus was on mindfulness-based stress reduction to impact resilience and preservation of the nursing profession.

    Prior to joining the School of Nursing at Avila University, Tracy was an adjunct instructor in the clinical and classroom setting for six years. Tracy has worked in a variety of clinical settings including medical/surgical acute care, intensive care, cardiac rehabilitation, emergency department, post-surgical recovery, and an outpatient clinic.

    Tracy is married with three children, is active in her Catholic parish teaching religious education throughout the year, and is a certified yoga instructor.  

  • janet reagor

    Janet Reagor PhD, RN

    Chair, Program Director and Assistant Professor
    Phone: 816.501.3672
    Janet.Reagor@avila.edu

    Janet Reagor, RN, PhD, is Chair, Program Director and Assistant Professor of Nursing. 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.

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    Janet Reagor, RN, PhD, is Chair 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 PhD 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 2 adult children and 2 granddaughters.

  • bruce voegele

    Bruce Voegele MA, BSN, RN

    Nursing Instructor
    Phone: 816.501.3638
    Bruce.Voegele@avila.edu

    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.

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    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

    Angel Yanez MSN, RN, CHSE

    Nursing Instructor
    Phone: 816-501-3682
    Angela.Yanez@avila.edu

    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.

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    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.

Staff

  • Debra Bortniker

    Debra Bortniker

    Office Manager
    Phone: 816.501.3671
    Debra.Bortniker@Avila.edu

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

  • Erin Boston, BSN, RN

    Nursing Education & Resourse Center Coordinator
    Phone: 816-501-3693
    Erin.Boston@avila.edu

  • Michele Burns BSN, RN

    Simulation and Nursing Lab Assistant
    Office: BOR 301
    Phone: 816-501-3687
    Michele.Burns@avila.edu

    Michele Burns, BSN, RN, CPN became a staff member in the fall of 2018 as the simulation and nursing resource and education center assistant.

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    Michele Burns, BSN, RN, CPN became a staff member in the fall of 2018 as the simulation and nursing resource and education center assistant.

    Michele has been a registered nurse since 1990 and earned her Certification in Pediatric Nursing (CPN) in 2007. Michele started her nursing career at Duke University Medical Center on an adolescent medical/surgical unit and did two years of travel nursing on pediatric units in Richmond, VA, Charlottesville, VA, Charlotte, NC and Columbia, MO. For the past 25 years she worked for Children’s Mercy Hospital in various roles including charge nurse, unit educator and assistant director on the nephrology, liver and rehabilitation unit. She has also had pediatric experience with hematology/oncology, neurology and orthopedics in her time at Children’s Mercy. In the past few years Michele has also had experience at an adult oncology outpatient infusion center and a home health agency.

    Michele earned her BSN from Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in Kirksville, MO in 1990.

    Michele loves spending time with her two girls, her animals and her extended family. She grew up in a small town in Northwest Missouri and loves any opportunity to travel. One of the highlights of her nursing career has been the opportunity to be on two medical mission trips to Kenya with Operation Smile. Michele enjoys volunteering and fostering animals for Chain of Hope, a local animal rescue.

  • Kristin Gaughan

    Administrative Assistant
    Phone: 816-501-3672
    Kristin.Gaughan@avila.edu

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