Beginning in June, Debra Maloy, assistant director of the Nursing Anesthesia program, will become director of the department.
After a national search, Maloy, who was one of three finalists, was chosen. Maloy has served as a professor and assistant director of the program for nine years. She said the program is really good and she does not plan to make any drastic changes to it.
“My first goal is to make as few mistakes as possible,” Maloy said. “[I don’t want] to stray too far from the formula that’s been working.”
Maloy said her interest in the field was inspired by her father, who was a nurse anesthetist.
“He was so happy with his career,” Maloy said.
She earned an associate’s degree and spent 14 years working as a nurse before she went into anesthesia. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, she enrolled in the Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia at Texas Wesleyan and graduated in 1992.
After spending 20 years working at John Peter Smith Hospital as a CRNA, she returned to Texas Wesleyan University in 2003 and became a professor.
Maloy said although she is taking over as director, she still plans on teaching.
“There won’t be quite as much time for it as there was before, but I plan to still teach anesthesia pharmacology, and some of the principles and practices of nurse anesthesia,” Maloy said.
Maloy said she will miss the teaching side because the best part of the job is guiding students to their future careers.
Maloy said in the next 10 years, nursing anesthesia schools will transition from students only needing a graduate degree, to them being required to earn a practice doctorate.
“That’s been mandated by nursing accrediting agencies and The American Association of Nurse Anesthetis,.” Maloy said.
She said the Wesleyan Graduate of Nursing Anesthesia will remain as long as it possibly can, because it is convenient for students financially and time wise. Maloy said those two factors are important to people in this economically hard time.
“But we will have to get there so that everyone graduating in the year 2025, graduates with a practice doctorate,” Maloy said. “So that’s a lot of hard work in the next 10 years.”
Maloy said she is confident that she along with her talented staff will meet the challenge.
“There are some really great people working here,” Maloy said.
In addition to everything else she has going on at Wesleyan, she is enrolled in classes at the University of North Texas working on a doctorate in education.
“You can always learn something and should always be learning something,”Maloy said.
John Martin, the exiting director of the Graduate Nursing Anesthesia program, said Maloy’s longevity with the university and her passion for education makes him confident that she will do well. He is happy that she was chosen.
“I think it’s an excellent choice.” Martin said.
James Schmidt, assistant professor of human anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology, said he thought Maloy was the right choice as well.
“I think her years of service with the program put her in a great position [to take over],” Schmidt said.