Anthony McGuire, PhD, director of the Saint Joseph’s College nursing program, takes the Center for Nursing Innovation in an exciting new direction
By Emma Deans
In the summer of 2016, Dr. Anthony McGuireset off on a cross-country road trip adventure which ended, as all great journeys do, with a new life chapter. Starting in California, he caravanned with his mother, son, and dog through the misty woods of Washington, among snow-capped mountains in Montana, across expansive grasslands of South Dakota, and beneath towering waterfalls at Niagara, until finally arriving at a small college nestled beside Sebago Lake in his home state of Maine—Saint Joseph’s College.
Upon arriving, and as chair of the nursing department, Dr. McGuire promptly rolled up his sleeves to restructure the College’s nursing programs and elevate the level of workforce preparedness of its nursing graduates. Previously a faculty member at California State University in Long Beach, California, McGuire also serves as the nurse practitioner program director and a nursing professor at Saint Joseph’s College. Dr. McGuire brings measured insight to this position with 31 years of experience as a registered nurse and 18 years of experience as a board-certified acute care nurse practitioner.
Born in Alaska but raised in Gardiner, Maine, McGuire earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Central Maine Medical Center and a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of New England. But nursing, rather than business, called to him. “There’s a stigma associated with being a male in the nursing field. It’s something I work to change every day,” he explains. He continued to explore the country as a traveling nurse, working in Boston, New York, Miami, Virginia, and throughout California.
Then, he decided to further his education, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University—Long Beach, and master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of California—Los Angeles. Having lived away from his home state for most of his adult life, McGuire saw the opportunity at Saint Joseph’s College to come home and still serve his profession.
Dr. McGuire is already implementing steps to boost the rigor of the nursing admissions process and the qualifications of faculty, bringing the number of doctorally prepared faculty to five. He created a new position, family nurse practitioner coordinator, filled by Kelly Hudock, CRNP, DNP, which has helped streamline communications. He is supportive of nursing students who want to apply their skills through international service trips and is ironing out details for those students to receive credits. Overall, he’s striving to build a robust, integrated program that increases integration between online and campus departments. “Ultimately, what differentiates Saint Joseph’s College from other campus and online programs are our faith-based core values and investment in people,” he says.
Because Maine has the oldest population in the country, Dr. McGuire believes it’s necessary for educational institutions to collaborate with hospitals to determine the gaps in the nursing profession and how to best address them together. To this end, he has formed a partnership with Maine Medical Center through which a cohort of 18-24 undergraduate unlicensed staff will complete a 2 ½ year program. Maine Med will provide the facilities; Saint Joseph’s College will provide the degree. It’s just one way he envisions the College addressing the statewide demand for licensed nurses. “I want to use my three-plus decades of experience and infuse it into this institution to make it the best it can be. I want a personal legacy of strengthening the nursing population in Maine,” he says.
Dr. McGuire is a fellow for the American Heart Association, chair of the program committee at the Western Institute of Nursing, and an ambassador to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. His research deals with the effects of depression in cardiovascular patients with a specific focus on acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients, the utilization of bedside nurses in the identification of depression, and outcomes mediated by depression in this population of patients.
Photo caption: Dr. Anthony McGuire discusses plans for the Center for Nursing Innovation with nursing faculty member Ashton Piers ’10, ’17. Photo: Emma Deans.
Saint Joseph’s College offers an on-campus BSN, an online RSN TO BSN, RN TO MSN Fast Track, as well as online graduate programs for FNP, nursing administration, nursing education, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, and MSN/MBA and MSN/MHA dual degrees. Learn more about nursing at: www.sjcme.edu/sjcnursing.