Dean Pamela Binns-Turner, PhD, MNA, CRNA
PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
MNA, University of Alabama at Birmingham
BSN, University of Alabama at Birmingham
There are two things Dean Pamela Binns-Turner finds irresistible about nursing: serving patients and individualizing and customizing their care to provide the best outcome. This two-fold challenge attracted the 20-year-veteran nurse to the field, propelled her into advanced practice nursing and teaching, and guides her work as dean of the School of Nursing.
Dr. Binns-Turner discovered the joy of meeting people’s needs in high school as a summer, nursing assistant at South Fulton Hospital in Atlanta. There, she fed, bathed, and clothed patients and gained a respect for how emotionally vulnerable people are when they’re ill.
Prayer and the memory of serving at South Fulton Hospital led Dr. Binns-Turner—at age 31—to pursue nursing. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She first worked as an RN in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit at the University of Alabama Hospital, a rare placement for a new grad.
Since then, Dr. Binns-Turner earned a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia and a doctorate in nursing. Even as dean, she continues to work at AnMed Health hospital in Anderson, South Carolina, as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), a class of prestigious and highly valued advanced practice nurses. To date, Dr. Binns-Turner—one of only three CRNAs in the state with a PhD—is the region’s only school of nursing dean who has the CRNA certification.
AU tapped Dr. Binns-Turner as dean after a national search. Before joining Anderson, she taught nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Teaching courses that ranged from Pharmacology to Neurosurgical Anesthesia, she shared her love of individualizing anesthesia care that gives patients the best outcomes.
Dr. Binns-Turner says the diversity in what makes subjects “click” for nursing students makes teaching exciting. “If it means I have to stand on my head, then I’ll do it” to get students to understand material, she says.
Dr. Binns-Turner joined AU in 2011 after growing a new nurse anesthesia program at Union University to graduate 75 students and expand clinical training to 14 sites in four states. She also expanded the curriculum by designing the nurse anesthesia track within the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. In addition, for five consecutive years, Dr. Binns-Turner accompanied students on medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
As AU’s School of Nursing dean, Dr. Binns-Turner looks forward to assessing and meeting whatever students need to become Christ-centered nurses. Said Dr. Binns-Turner: “My vision for AU’s School of Nursing is to be a premier, comprehensive nursing school (that meets) the needs of our students not only at their entry into the nursing profession but their development into specialty areas of advanced practice—while developing and maturing their faith and relationship with Christ.”
See Dean Binns-Turner’s curriculum vitae
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