Meet Jacksonville DON Lenora Bodway

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Because it’s the middle of winter and most in the U.S. are freezing and staring out at gray landscape, we decided to take this month’s edition of Meet Your Program Director to the Sunshine State. We’re going to Jacksonville, Fla. – where temperatures hover in the 70s – to meet Lenora Bodway, Director of Nursing at Concorde’s campus there.

In this interview, we’ll learn how Bodway came to Concorde Career Institute by chance – “divine intervention,” she called it. We’ll learn her fascination with “the art of people,” love of a certain reality TV show and how she made medical history.

Meet Lenora Bodway.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A CONCORDE NURSING PROGRAM DIRECTOR?

My journey began in April 2015 at the Board of Nursing Meeting in Fort Lauderdale. I truly believe it was divine intervention. I was working at a state college and had worked for two years getting that nursing program off probation for low NCLEX scores. That college had just hired a new college president and new campus president and was undergoing a reorganization. Several employees who were on the dean’s calendar came back and said their jobs were eliminated. I was on that calendar on Friday at 3 p.m. It’s now Wednesday morning.

As I entered the Super Shuttle at the airport, I met Melissa Ryan, the campus president at Concorde in Jacksonville, and Sherry, the director of nursing at the time. During the 45-minute ride to the hotel, I was informed that their program was being placed on probation for NCLEX scores less than 10 percent of the national average. The next 45 minutes was filled with conversation surrounding strategic plans to raise pass rates.

Someone from Concorde invited me to join them for dinner that night. The entire corporate team was there. Looking back, it was like a huge panel interview. The director of nursing position became available, and it was decided that was where I could be the most effective.

WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A PROGRAM DIRECTOR?

The best part is understanding “the art of people,” building relationships and recognizing the talents of my faculty and students.

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOUR NURSING PROGRAM IN JACKSONVILLE STAND OUT, SEPARATES IT FROM A TYPICAL PROGRAM?

Our Jacksonville Concorde program has been in existence for more than 41 years. In addition to its longevity, the program’s accelerated study and strategic student success plan sets it apart from other programs. A traveling student success plan follows each cohort through the program so faculty can see each student’s weaknesses. Students remediate all the way through the program, and the remediation is kept in a binder by the student so they begin to build an NCLEX study packet from the very beginning.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN?

A very seasoned LPN told me, “If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything and find someone who does.” She said that more people have died or suffered permanent damage by a nurse doing something that is wrong rather than delaying treatment for a short period until someone who knew what to do could be consulted.

WHAT’S A FAVORITE TV SHOW, RECENT MOVIE YOU’VE SEEN OR BOOK YOU’VE READ?

I absolutely love Undercover Boss. I get a kick out of watching CEOs try to perform the duties that their employees perform every day, especially when they have no clue what their employees really do.

WHAT IS A HIDDEN TALENT, FAVORITE HOBBY OR LITTLE-KNOWN FACT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Little-known fact: My personal case on facial clefting was the first case published in the New England Journal of Plastics in 1961 by Dr. Bernard Morgan, the pioneer of plastic and reconstructive surgery in Jacksonville. I was able to work with Dr. Morgan at the Nemours Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic as a nursing student almost 40 years ago.

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Lucy Vang | Medical Assistant Graduate

“Concorde was one of my best vehicles that helped me gain the confidence I needed to change my life. … It all started with a vision, a will and Concorde.”

Marcus Streator | Respiratory Therapy graduate

“Without the support of certain instructors … I would not have pushed myself to grasp the concepts and pass my boards on the first attempt. Once I passed my boards, it was less than one month after that I landed my first Respiratory Therapist job where I am currently working with so much joy every day.”

Trenisha Jones | Dental Assistant Graduate

“I decided to go to school because I was tired of working dead-end jobs. … When I found out I was pregnant, I realized that I needed a better life for me, for my child, for my husband, and just to better myself.”

Andrea Nolan | Dental Assistant graduate

“Knowing I could be working as a Dental Assistant in eight months was crazy to me! I loved going to class and would drive an hour there every day. I’m truly happy that I took the step to go to Concorde. It was the best thing I have done for my family.”

James Harkins | Nursing Graduate

“What I liked about Concorde was that there was nothing flashy. They were very up front, very simple, answered all my questions. They were more concerned with my education than tuition.”