Blue and Gold Blue and Gold Winter Edition 2020 | Page 12

BSC Alumna Named Among “top 100” healthcare professionals When Dr. Loressa Cole got her Associate Degree in Nursing from Bluefield State in 1977 perhaps not even she knew she was taking the first steps toward the peak of her profession. Recently, Modern Healthcare magazine recognized Dr. Cole as one of America’s Top 100 most influential healthcare professionals. These women and men are picked from across the broad spectrum of the nation’s healthcare system including hospitals, health systems, insurance, government, vendors and suppliers, trade and professional organizations. The magazine noted that “She is focused on finding ways to not only increase the ranks and diversity of the nursing profession, but also create a safer environment for nurses in the workplace.” In 2018 Dr. Cole was named CEO of ANA Enterprise, a family of organizations comprised of the American Nurses Association, American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Nurses Foundation. At the time she said about her new position, “I am very honored and excited to assume this prestigious position. The American Nurses Association is the professional association for all registered nurses, and a recognized leader in ensuring quality health care for all Americans. At four million and growing, America’s nurses outnumber all other health-care professionals and serve an essential role to protect, promote, and improve health for all ages.” Following her graduation from Bluefield State, Dr. Cole earned her B.S., Nursing, from Virginia Commonwealth University. Then an 12 BLUE AND GOLD schools report Dr. Loressa Cole, Class of 1977 MBA from Averett University. And, finally, her doctorate in nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University. She reflected in an interview shortly after her appointment, “I started my nursing career with an associates degree, followed by a baccalaureate, and master’s, and a doctorate – literally a degree every decade. I was always a part-time student, while working full-time and supporting a family. So at the point of attain- ing my ‘terminal’ degree, I realized what an accomplishment that was.” Indeed. Even as Dr. Cole’s determination, hard work and dedication to her profession have taken her far from Bluefield State, we’re proud to know her journey began as she walked across our Blue & Gold stage to accept that first diploma. 2020 latest news from each of our schools WINTER 2020 13