Jody Bryan, BSN '97

UWAANC Spotlight

Above: Jody Bryan sends the above picture for this spotlight, feeling that it "captures my spirit pretty accurately."
Bryan was honored with the Daisy Faculty Award for her work as a professor in nursing at the University of West Georgia.


"As a nurse educator, I have the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of patients I'll never even meet. If I can inspire my students to bring an attitude of true curiosity, caring, and compassion, and a passion for evidence based practice to each interaction they have with their patients, I can help to create a ripple effect in the world. My goal is to help build the kind of nurses I'd want caring for my own loved ones."

- Jody Bryan, RN, MSN, MPH


UW Nursing Alumna honored with Daisy Faculty Award in Georgia

"Professor Bryan is a Nurse Educator who is not the typical professor," states a student about this UW Nursing alumna. "I am lucky enough to have her for a second class right now. When I saw that she was teaching it I literally jumped for joy."

Jody Bryan, RN, MSN, MPH, teaches nursing at the University of West Georgia. She graduated from the University of Wyoming BSN Program in 1997, and cites several UW faculty who touched her life, inspiring a desire to become a nurse educator.

"When I was in nursing school," says Bryan, "I had the opportunity to learn from some wonderful mentors--Susan McKay, Holly Miller, Nancy Jansa, Mary Burman [all names of previous or current UW faculty]. They inspired me with their passion, intelligence and caring attitude toward patients. I wanted to help inspire future nurses the way that they inspired me."

So Bryan is already meeting her goal, since future nurses are indeed inspired by her teaching at the University of West Georgia. Those students decided to nominate her for a Daisy Faculty Award, an award from a national foundation dedicated not only to "celebrating nurses who provide extraordinary compassionate and skillful care every day", but also "celebrating nursing faculty for their inspirational influence on the the nurses of today and tomorrow." [Check out the Daisy Foundation at]

What is Bryan like as a professor? One student nominator says Bryan makes herself available to her students "literally 24/7".  "She incorporates real life issues and experiences with readings and classwork. She is encouraging, engaging, and incredibly bright," and "She makes me excited to learn and be a nurse."

What attracted her to nursing in the first place?

Bryan says she knew she wanted a career as a health caregiver, but focusing in on nursing came after the experience of working in a pediatrician's office one summer during high school. "I realized that nurses are the members of the health care team who spend a lot of quality time talking to and educating the patients. I love developing meaningful relationships with people." So nursing seemed the perfect fit.  

How did she get into nursing education?

Bryan spent several years of clinical practice in geriatrics and public health. Then a friend "made me aware of an opening to teach community health nursing," says Bryan. "I applied and was selected for the job, and I've loved every minute I've spent interacting with nursing students!" 

Challenges in nursing education

"We seem to live in a world that is increasingly not conducive to true health," says Bryan. "Every day we are tempted (1) with demands on our time that make it difficult to exercise and to relax, and (2) strong advertisements and incentives to consume food that is harmful to our bodies. Helping students to see that they need to live mindfully and nurture their own healthy spirits and bodies so that they can meaningfully and competently care for their patients is an ongoing yet very worthy challenge."

Interested in pursuing a career as a nurse educator?

Bryan has some advice: "I would urge students who want to become nurse educators to obtain as much education as possible as soon as possible--get that Master's degree as soon as possible after graduating with your BSN. You'll never regret taking the time to give yourself the gift of more education, and that education will open doors in your career that you may never have imagined."

Story posted 1/03/2018

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