Past 2nd Vice President of ANA Named GCU President

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Kathy PlayerKathy Player, EdD, RN, who served as ANA’s second vice president from 2006-2007, has been appointed president of Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix, Arizona, taking over the reins from Donald Andorfer, who has served in the interim role for the past two years. Kathy has played a key role in the growth of GCU since she came to the university 10 years ago.  Her move into this position will be pivotal as GCU continues to grow as a leader and innovator in higher learning.

Kathy was named provost and chief academic officer last year. During her time in this position, she has made significant strides in connecting to the GCU student body on a personal level. She has been a visible presence on campus, meeting individually and in groups with both online and on-campus students to gather feedback on how to enhance their experience. Kathy's strategic vision and leadership will be key as the university continues its focus on enriching the experiences of all GCU students.

Prior to her position as provost, Kathy was dean of the Ken Blanchard College of Business. She oversaw the expansion and reaccredidation of the college and was instrumental in the establishment of the highly regarded Ken Blanchard Executive MBA program. Kathy also is a well established leader in healthcare education, and has authored several publications on the nursing profession, including her most recent books, Words of Wisdom from Pivotal Nurse Leaders (September 2008) and Pivotal Moments in Nursing: Leaders Who Changed a Path of a Profession, Volume II (March 2007). She lobbies actively at both the local and national level on behalf of nurses and nursing issues and has made a significant contribution to the image of nursing, including serving as second vice president of the American Nurses Association (2006-2007). She currently serves as an advisory board member for St.Luke's Behavioral Health Hospital, as a board member on the Arizona Nurses Foundation and was past president of the Arizona Nurses Association. She was awarded the RWJ Executive Nursing Fellowship in Leadership (2002-2005) and is an invited member of the Global Nursing Exchange.

Kathy graduated with her doctoral degree from Argosy University (formerly the University of Sarasota) in Counseling Psychology and holds a Master of Business Administration from Grand Canyon University, Master in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems, Master of Science degree in Counseling from Nova Southeastern University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from St. Joseph's College.