Charlene Aaron, PhD, RN

Dr. Aaron comes to St. John’s College of Nursing from Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing where she most recently served as an assistant professor. She has worked at ISU’s nursing college since 2005. Prior to that, Aaron served as the director of nursing for various nursing homes and retirement communities in Livingston County. She began her career in nursing as a post-surgical nurse in 1978 at St. James Hospital in Pontiac.

Dr. Aaron received her doctorate of nursing in aging from the University of Iowa. Her dissertation research focus was on the self-management of diabetes in African American female caregivers of persons with dementia. She received her MSN in nursing systems administration from ISU, her BSN from Illinois Wesleyan University, her diploma in nursing from Methodist Medical Center School of Nursing and her licensed practical nursing (LPN) license from Kankakee Community College.

Dr. Aaron has received several honors throughout the years for her distinguished career at ISU’s nursing college. In 2015 she received the Illinois Nurse Leader Fellowship from the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Kathleen A. Hogan Endowed Faculty Development Award.

Cindy Ackley, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor
MSN - Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, Quincy, Illinois
BSN - Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, Quincy, Illinois

Mary Baker, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor

Mary Barnes, MS, RN
Assistant Professor

MS - University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 
BSN - Delaware State College, Dover, Delaware

Specialty areas and research interests:  Critical Care/ICU; Cardiac Surgery ICU; Foley Catheter Usage Reduction; Dementia; Dementia Education for Hospital Staff; Care of Hospitalized Elderly. 

Angela Bentley, PhD, MS, RN-BC
Assistant Professor

PhD - Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
MS - University of Illinois at Chicago, Peoria, Illinois
BS - Sangamon State University, Springfield, Illinois
Diploma - St. John's Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois

Dr. Bentley has more than 30 years of cardiac and critical care nursing experience, including heart transplant and flight nursing. She is ACLS certified and an ANCC board certified Cardiac Vascular Nurse. She holds professional memberships in the Society of Vascular Nursing, Midwest Nursing Research Societies, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association – Nursing Scientific Council and national and local chapters of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau, Nu Pi Chapter. 

Dr. Bentley has co-authored a textbook chapter on Technical Aspects of ICU-CCU Care and has been published in the Journal of Vascular Nursing.   She is also a peer reviewer for the American Nurses Credentialing Center Cardiac-Vascular review manual and materials. 

Her dissertation research focus was on physical activity in the older person with peripheral artery disease.  Specialty and research interests include cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, critical care, and patient education/behavior change.

Dr. Bentley is the recipient of the 2015 Illinois Board of Higher Education Nurse Educator Fellowship and the Arthur L. Davis Scholarship Recipient through the Illinois Nurses Foundation 

Dr. Bentley’s teaching experience includes online education, classroom, and clinical settings in courses including nursing informatics, inquiry and research, critical care, and nursing leadership in all programs offered at St. John’s College. 

Linda Blakley, MSN, RN

MSN - St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 
BSN - McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois  
Diploma - St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois

Linda has been an instructor of nursing at St. John’s College she since January 2009. Linda was a labor and delivery staff and charge nurse for 17 years and then a perinatal outreach educator for eight years. In her role as an outreach educator she taught fetal monitoring courses (through AWHONN) as well as neonatal resuscitation provider courses (through AAP).

She has taught courses in maternity and pediatrics, as well as introductory medical surgical nursing at St. John’s College. She is a member of AWHONN (Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses), STTI (Sigma Theta Tau International) and NACNS (National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists). Her research interest is with maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Gloria Brummer, DNP, MS, RN, CEN, CNE
Associate Professor
DNP - Rush University, Chicago, Illinois
MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois 
BSN - University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, Illinois
Diploma - St. John's Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois 

Gloria Brummer, a certified nurse educator, has taught at St. John’s College for 25 years. Her teaching experience includes classroom, online education, clinical practice and nursing laboratory settings in courses including nursing leadership, medical-surgical nursing and critical care. Her research interests include inter-professional education and improving client-centered care through evidence-based practice and quality systems. She is currently a member of the Emergency Nurses Association, Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders, American Organization of Nurse Executives, Midwest Nursing Research Society and Sigma Theta Tau. 

Gloria is certified in emergency nursing and teaches advanced cardiac life support and is a past trauma nurse specialist. Her clinical experience includes emergency, trauma and flight nursing, surgical intermediate care and ambulatory care. Recently, she participated in the 2015 Interprofessional Student Team Hot Spotting Mini-grant Project through Southern Illinois University which focused on identifying individual barriers which cause over-utilization of the health care system. In 2013 she published a chapter related to cardiac resuscitation in Simulation Scenarios for Nurse Educators: Making it Real, 2nd Edition and in 2012, co-authored an online learning module related to medication safety for the Emergency Nurses Association GENE series.

Gloria values the opportunity to assist in the development of future professional nurses who will carry on the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis healing ministry among the complexities of today’s health care.

Mary Ellen Carlson, MS, RN,
Adjunct Faculty

MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois
BSN - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois   
Diploma - Swedish American Hospital, School of Nursing, Rockford, Illinois

Mary Ellen Carlson is a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) through NLN. Mary Ellen Carlson has more than 20 years teaching experience in undergraduate nursing education in the classroom, lab, and clinical setting. Her main focus of teaching is medical-surgical nursing. Her main clinical focus has been medical-surgical nursing, diabetes, nephrology; and recently psychiatric care and quality and safety. She is a member of the Academic Affairs Committee at St. John’s College, and also a member of Sigma Theta Tau. She has experience in student advisement programs and accreditation reports.

Bettianne Casper, MSN, RN

MSN - Kaplan University, Des Moines, Iowa 
BSN - Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois

Bettianne received her BSN from Millikin University (Decatur, IL) in 2008 and her MSN in Nursing Education from Kaplan University (Des Moines, IA) in 2013.  Her clinical experience includes floor nurse and charge nurse on an acute psychiatric unit.  She also completed mental health assessments for the Hospital to Home clinic at Prairie Heart Institute.

Bettianne's professional interests include mental health advocacy and education. 

Jane Diers, EdD, RN, CNE
Academic Dean & Associate Professor

EdD - Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois  
MS - University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 
BSN - Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois  
Diploma - St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois

Jane has taught nursing at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels for more than 20 years. She was among the first group to become a Certified Nurse Educator in 2005. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Kappa Delta. Her research interests include communication, online education, and program evaluation.

Meagan Hood, MSN, RN

MSN-Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
BS-Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
ADN- Spoon River College, Macomb, IL

Meagan received a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University in 2007, majoring in Microbiology.  She received her Associate's Degree in Nursing in 2010 and Master's in Nursing Education in 2013. Meagan's primary clinical experience is within Emergency Services with a pharmacy background. She will be teaching Pathopharmacology and participating in Medical-Surgical clinical rotations. Meagan is TNCC certified and maintains certification in ACLS and PALS.

Michelle McCarthy, DNP, RN, CPHQ, NE-BC
Assistant Professor
DNP- Rush University, Chicago, Illinois 
MS - University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 
BSN - University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, Illinois 
Diploma - St. John's Hospital, School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois 

Michelle is a certified professional in health care quality and served as the division director for Quality Resource Management at HSHS St. John’s Hospital for 14 years. She has 30 years of nursing management and leadership experience and is a board certified nurse executive.   Her scholarly interests include evidence-based practice, nursing leadership and patient safety.

Judy Shackleford, PhD, RN

PhD - University of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri 
MS - University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 
BSN - Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois

Judy Shackelford, PhD, has been an educator for 29 years. She is a medical/surgical “generalist” with a research focus in adult asthma self-management education to improve health care outcomes. She is passionate about nursing and research with a career goal to expand nursing research utilization to improve health care practice and outcomes for the health care consumer. She has vast experience in curriculum development at the undergraduate and graduate level.

She has done program development in continuing education for professionals in the areas of leadership and faculty development, spirituality and Faith Community Nursing. She is a Faith Community Nurse and founding board member of Faith Community Nurses International Organization and Chair of the Education Committee.

She serves on the editorial board for The International Journal of Faith Community Nursing. She has served on the board of Nu Pi at-large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau’s Nursing Honor Society in a variety of roles, including president.

Judy considers it an honor to work for an institution where Christian values are foundational to its mission, and a blessing to serve in a profession where God’s healing presence can reside freely.

Judy Skelton
Adjunct Faculty

Malissa Talbert, MSN, RN, CMSRN
Adjunct Faculty
MSN - Benedictine University, Lisle, IL 
BSN - SIU, Edwardsville, IL 
ADN- Lewis & Clark Community College, Godfrey, IL

Professional interests include Med/Surg and Geriatric Nursing

Julie Varns, RN, PhD(c)
Assistant Professor
PhD Studies - University of Missouri - St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
MSN - University of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri 
BSN - Sangamon State University, Springfield, Illinois 
Diploma - St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing, Springfield, Illinois

Assistant Professor

Tim Marten MS, Ed.
Financial Aid & Compliance Officer

Tim has a master's of science in educational administration and a bachelor's of science in agriculture degree from Illinois State University (ISU) in Normal, IL. He has two years of student activities experience at ISU and three years of residence life experience at Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, TN and Western Illinois University in Macomb. Tim was a financial aid counselor at ISU for seven years before joining the staff at St. John's. Tim is an active member and committee chair for the Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (ILASFAA).

(217) 544-6464, ext. 44705

Britni Caruso, BS
Admissions Officer/Registrar

Britni has a bachelor of science in communication studies from Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Britni worked in the admissions office and served as an academic advisor for six years at Benedictine University at Springfield prior to joining St. John’s College in 2014. She is an active member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

(217) 544-6464, ext. 45440 

Holly Rae Blanford, EdM
Student Development Officer
For more than fifteen years, Holly Rae Blanford has been dedicated to the support services that help students thrive both in and out of the classroom. Prior to joining St. John’s College in 2015, she served as dean of students at Benedictine University at Springfield. Holly Rae earned her master’s degree at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in higher education administration and her bachelor of arts degree with a double major in dance and psychology from Webster University in St. Louis.
Lydia Holdman, BA
Instructional Support
Lydia has a bachelor of arts in communication from Benedictine University at Springfield.