Some 92 to 66 million years ago, as the Age of Dinosaurs waned, giant marine lizards called mosasaurs roamed an ocean that covered North America from Utah to Missouri and Texas to the Yukon.
Dianne Wright has been named the coordinator of the certified nursing program (CNA) program at Utah State University Moab.
A former instructor at Utah State University, Wright brings a wealth of teaching and nursing experience to the position.
"Dianne is a kind and student-centered teacher familiar with local needs for nursing assistants,” said Lianna Etchberger, associate vice president at USU Moab. “She is well-positioned to prepare students for the workforce, and we are excited for her to join us full-time to help us grow our own healthcare providers right here in Moab."
Wright previously served as a CNA instructor at USU Moab from March 2018 to May 2019, and she was also a lab/clinical instructor at USU Eastern in Price in the spring of 2012. Most recently, Wright has spent the past five years as a registered nurse and staff development coordinator at Canyonland Care Center in Moab, following decades of service as a nurse at healthcare facilities in Texas, as well as a two-year stint as the school nurse at the American School of Kuwait.
“I have had a wide variety of experiences in education and in nursing,” said Wright, who was in Kuwait from 1992-94. “My experience in living overseas was very interesting and enlightening. I was able to learn about the Arabic culture and language. This has helped me to be more culturally aware and tolerant of other cultures. It has also helped me in working with students from other cultures and backgrounds.”
A native of Monticello, Utah, Wright attended Utah State as a student in 1967, and she now has a granddaughter who is enrolled at the university.
“I was very excited to be back in a full-time position at USU,” Wright said. “As I love teaching and love working with the students in this program.”
After earning an associate degree in applied science in nursing at Victoria College in Texas, Wright went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing at what was then known as Corpus Christi State University in 1991, and a masters in occupational training and development at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 1997.
Now as an instructor in USU Moab’s Health Professions Program, Wright said she wants those students enrolled in the school’s CNA courses “to learn and develop the technical skills and knowledge to provide competent care, as well as the compassion and the communication and critical thinking skills to function effectively in the health care setting.”
“They will even have to learn a new language, the language of health care,” Wright added. “And not only will the students develop the skills they need to become nursing assistants, they will be introduced to a very humanistic approach to caregiving. Because so many students use a nursing assisting course as the starting point for other endeavors in the healthcare profession, developing the sense of humanistic care early on assures its use throughout a person’s career.”
For more information about educational opportunities at Utah State University Moab, moab.usu.edu.