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COVER STORY
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Renee P. McLeod

Dean of Irvine-based Brandman University’s new School of Nursing & Health Professions

20 Women to Watch, continued ...Published: March 01, 2011

Hometown: San Diego

Age:
57

Family:
I’ve been married for 35 years to a retired Navy dentist. I have a daughter, a son and two grandsons.

First job:
At age 15, I wanted to get a job as a lifeguard but learned that women couldn’t do this! I started my own business teaching swimming lessons in my backyard pool. I made more money than I would have if I had worked at the community pool.

Worst job:
The worst job I had was doing utilization reviews. I am a people person, and sitting in a room all day reviewing medical records was very boring for me.

Biggest break:
I think coming to Brandman University has been my biggest break.

Secret to your success:
I am passionate about what I do. The day I wake up and don’t want to go to work is the day I know that it’s time to change jobs.

Advice to other women in business:
Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something.

“House,” “Grey’s Anatomy” or “ER”:
“House” – I love the diagnostic dilemmas that occur on each show. It is why I went into primary care.

McLeod hasn’t wasted any time after being tapped to put together a school of nursing for Brandman University. Last year, she got the school accredited for a Doctor of Nursing Practice through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. She hired 10 faculty members and opened the school’s doors to its first class of students in August. Next year, she plans to open the college’s Center for Simulation and Technology Innovation, which will be the only facility in O.C. available to local community colleges and hospitals for competency testing and simulated critical-patient events, and for companies to test new technology in a health-care setting.
   
“I have wanted to change the health-care system to improve patient outcomes for years, and I know that for change to occur, the way we educate our future health-care providers had to change,” McLeod says. “Brandman offered me the opportunity to start an entire school of nursing and create an innovative nursing curriculum, and then hire the faculty to carry out the vision.”




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