Vice President of Health Affairs and Chief Nursing Officer

Vice President of Health Affairs and Chief Nursing Officer

Position Profile

Mount Marty University, South Dakota’s Catholic University, invites applications for the Vice President of Health Affairs and Chief Nursing Officer (VPHA). Mount Marty seeks a dynamic, forward thinking, and accomplished academic nursing educator to continue to advance its nursing program.

The Position

The VPHA is the chief academic and administrative officer for the nursing program. The VPHA oversees curricular programming, supervises nursing faculty and staff, promotes student success and satisfaction, fundraises, strengthens community partnerships, and assures compliance with accrediting and regulatory bodies. Additionally, the VPHA is expected to incorporate the core values, mission, and strategic plan of the larger University into all nursing programming. The VPHA reports to the Executive Vice President and Provost at Mount Marty University, and will work collaboratively with designated leadership at Avera Health, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the Midwest.

The VPHA must demonstrate a deep commitment to academic excellence and will have the opportunity to grow and enhance undergraduate and graduate programs, with a particular focus on rural health. As the chief nursing administrator, the VPHA will maintain relationships with community clinical partners, accreditors, and the South Dakota Board of Nursing. The VPHA must be an effective collaborator who will work with disciplines and leaders across the University to explore innovative and forward-thinking programs that meet the needs of students, faculty, staff, and the broader nursing community. In addition, the VPHA will:

  • Demonstrate leadership and passion for the nursing profession and nursing education.
  • Understand and implement the University’s core values and Benedictine educational hallmarks into the undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Effectively budget and allocate resources for the nursing program.
  • Foster a collaborative environment focused on strong communication with the faculty, staff, students, and administration.
  • Provide support in the recruitment of nursing students.
  • Work collaboratively with regulatory and accrediting agencies in complying with requirements for curriculum, faculty, and students.
  • Expand Avera and Mount Marty University’s preferred partnership relationship to include focus on rural healthcare needs, support and recruitment of nursing students, Avera adjunct faculty, research opportunities and more.
  • Strengthen procedures for continual improvement of nursing programs.
  • Support the teaching effectiveness of the full time and adjunct faculty and work to assure a vibrant and student-centered experience.
  • Maintain and grow clinical site relationships for the nursing program.
  • Remain up to date on emerging models of nursing care, such as, the use of telehealth, virtual nursing, etc.
  • Possess understanding and ability to integrate evolving quality nursing metrics


The VPHA must possess a terminal degree and be eligible for tenure at the rank of Associate or Full Professor. Additionally, the selected candidate must be eligible to practice nursing in the state of South Dakota. It is preferred that the VPHA possesses:

  • Experience in academic administration.
  • Extensive teaching experience in an academic nursing setting.
  • Knowledge and experience surrounding the mentoring, development, and evaluation of faculty.
  • An in-depth understanding of national accrediting agencies and state oversight boards.
  • A willingness to interact with key health partners outside of Mount Marty University.
  • Demonstrated experience in program development, implementation, and evaluation at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  • Budget development and financial oversight skills.
  • A demonstrated commitment to shared governance.
  • Experience selecting qualified faculty and promoting faculty development.
  • An ability to work with all stakeholders across the nursing program, university, and in the community.
  • Deep insight into nursing trends and challenges, including an understanding of evolving healthcare dynamics and the interconnected healthcare system, particularly in rural and tribal areas of the Midwest and the nation.
  • Evidence of excellent organizational, communication, interpersonal, decision-making, and leadership skills.
  • A commitment to Mount Marty University’s Benedictine tradition and the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • Experience and knowledge of holistic student success, including academic and career development.

The Nursing Program

The Nursing Division at Mount Marty University is home to strong graduate and undergraduate nursing programs, including the nation’s first nurse anesthesia degree program, and the second post-graduate program in endocrinology for practicing nurse practitioners.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is based at MMU’s Yankton campus and enrolls a cohort of 30-40 students each year. Many clinical rotations occur at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, a 99-bed regional hospital adjacent to campus. Future planning efforts with Avera Health indicate increasing the BSN cohorts each year for the next five years.

Located in Sioux Falls, the Mount Marty University Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesiology is a 36-month doctoral program that accepts roughly 40 students each year. Recognized as one of the oldest Nurse Anesthesia programs in the country, the program traces its roots back to a diploma program at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, SD, in 1942. The CRNA program has clinical assignments at the major hospitals in Sioux Falls and Omaha, and at a variety of regional and critical access hospitals on the northern plains.

MMU’s Nurse Practitioner program is based in Yankton and currently enrolls about 70 students seeking certification as family nurse practitioners (FNP) or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP). The MSN program is mostly online, with limited residency requirements for the FNP track. The PMHNP track is completely an online program. In 2023, Mount Marty launched the nation’s second post-graduate program in endocrinology for nurse practitioners, with the primary goal of educating providers to offer advanced care to diabetes patients in rural areas. 

The University also has a small Doctor of Nursing Practice program for future nurse educators and leaders. The program graduated its first cohort in December 2023.

Mount Marty University

Mount Marty University is a Catholic, Benedictine university founded in 1936 by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, South Dakota. Although both undergraduate and graduate nursing represent the highest enrollment at MMU, the University offers more than 25 undergraduate majors and additional graduate programs in biotechnology and education. Since 2016, Mount Marty has grown more than 25% in enrollment to nearly 1,000 non-dual credit undergraduate and graduate students.

In keeping with its Catholic, Benedictine tradition, the institution exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. The mission of the institution is renewed year by year within the framework of Benedictine traditions, the teachings of the Catholic Church, the goals of American higher education, and the educational needs of all students.

The academic programs are housed in three separate locations in South Dakota: Yankton, Sioux Falls, and Watertown. The main campus is in Yankton, adjacent to the Avera Sacred Heart Hospital which is part of the Avera Health system that serves more than 100 communities in five states. Avera Health, headquartered in Sioux Falls, is jointly sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters in Yankton and the Presentation Sisters in Aberdeen, SD.

The Sioux Falls location is home to Mount Marty’s Nurse Anesthesia and Biotechnology programs. Sioux Falls, with a metro population of approximately 300,000, is one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest. Its economy, based largely on health care and financial services, superb quality of life and outstanding schools, make it a great place to live. By car, Sioux Falls is about 3.5 hours southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul and 2.5 hours north of Omaha.

Application Process

The Search Committee invites nominations and applications (a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of five or more references) to be submitted to the search firm assisting Mount Marty University. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. It is preferred that all nominations and applications be submitted by Friday, July 26th.

Jacob Anderson, Principal
Jack McGrew, Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
(678) 775-4564 ||