I am a Proud Cardinal – twice.
Alice Gerard, President and CEO of McLaren Bay Region, earned both her Bachelor of Science Nursing and Master of Science Nursing from SVSU. She particularly values the fact that she was able to earn her degrees while working and raising a family.
I am a ladder climber.
After Gerard had completed her associate’s degree at Delta College, she says she knew that advancing her education was critical to her plans to advance her career. She moved from supervisor to director and when she had obtained her Master's, she was invited to become the director/vice president of nursing at Bay Regional Medical Center (later becoming McLaren Bay Region). In 2006, she became president and CEO for Bay Regional, a position she has held since. Gerard notes that nursing administrators with clinical experience and an understanding of business, (which is highlighted at SVSU) are becoming desirable candidates for healthcare CEO positions.
I am connected to SVSU – personally and professionally.
Gerard oversees a workplace that is looking more and more at hiring nurses and other healthcare professionals with advanced degrees; she notes that it is an industry trend. “We look for the critical thinking skills and the professionalism that comes from the advanced training,” she adds, and calls SVSU students “well rounded with good communication skills.”
When asked to speak to the value of SVSU to this region, she does not hesitate. “The input we have regarding our needs is tremendous. We can have conversations with the university leadership and they in turn, can offer curriculum and clinical experiences that speak to those needs.” As an example, Gerard notes that when SVSU was considering the addition of its Doctor of Nurse Practice, university President Eric Gilbertson contacted her for her professional insight and recommendations. “That’s invaluable,” she says.
Additionally, Gerard and McLaren Bay Region involve SVSU students in research projects and for analyzing data. Internships that often lead to job offers is another way in which she stays connected to SVSU students and her alma mater. She notes that not all hires are necessarily nursing students, and that many of SVSU’s other healthcare as well as business and science graduates are important to the industry and the region.
I am a CEO and Caring Cardinal …
Gerard adds, “I would not be in my position without the education, experiences and degrees I have from SVSU.”
McLaren Bay Region seeks SVSU interns and graduates in nursing, business, science and other healthcare programs. Gerard describes SVSU students and "well rounded with good communication skills."
All SVSU programs in Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Approval for the DNP program has been submitted to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).