Assistant Professor of Nursing
At North Park since: 2012
Cheri Coakley, with her fellow School of Nursing professors, is committed to engaging with her students, giving them excellent preparation to pass the NCLEX examination and start a successful nursing career. “North Park-educated nurses are sought by area employers because our education produces high-quality nurses with solid clinical skills as well as the strong critical thinking skills that are so necessary in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment,” she says.
Professor Coakley is also passionate about North Park’s Christian focus, which is one reason why she choose to teach at the school. “I want to teach in a well-respected university in a Christian environment,” she says. “It is thrilling to be able to minister to students as well as instruct them.”
She sees faith as having a role both in clinical care and in the classroom. Nursing students are taught to evaluate and treat spiritual needs as well as physical and psychosocial needs, and her curriculum is based on the belief that people are spiritual beings created by God. No matter what faith background students come from, they can learn to draw from this sense of compassion and respect for humanity in their practice as nurses.
Her students also have many opportunities to experience Chicago’s diversity by working in multicultural environments throughout the city. Her clinical group is assigned to an urban hospital in Chicago, where students interact with a variety of patients who experience problems that include poverty, homelessness, and a lack of social support along with a variety of physical and psychosocial needs, Professor Coakley says.
“My students get an amazing opportunity to experience a majority of the cultures that make Chicago such a rich extended classroom,” she says. “We learn to communicate with and care for individuals and families who speak different languages, practice different religious beliefs and customs, and have different attitudes about their health.”
Professor Coakley brings significant professional experience to her classrooms, having served as a nurse in a variety of settings, including med-surg, cardiac, OB, home health, extended-care nursing, emergency nursing. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and American Nurses Association.
- Nursing Professional Development Board Certified
- MSN-ED, University of Phoenix
- BSN, University of Phoenix