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Leo A Yurek

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Assistant Professor
(919) 530-7978
3113 Nursing Building


Hi There! I completed doctoral studies at The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill / School of Nursing in May of 2010. Prior to doctoral studies, I had succeeded in numerous nurse roles over the past 35 years, which include the bedside, teaching, mentoring, professional development, management & leadership, and most recently nursing research.

My research interests include the design of nurses work, health care quality, patient safety, and group learning principles. I was fortunate and selected as a Fellow by the National Institutes of Nursing Research, which emphasized Health Care Quality & Patient Outcomes. My dissertation explored the conception of staff nurse control over the content and context of nursing practice (CONP) as a motivational task characteristic in predicting performance and nurse-sensitive outcomes such as staff nurse reports of patient care quality and job satisfaction.

I am originally from Wyoming Valley, the coal-cracker region of northeastern Pennsylvania nestled within the Pocono Mountains. The valley is divided by the mighty Susquehanna River and is located about 2 hours south east of New York City and 2 hours north of Philadelphia. I grew up on ice skates and downhill skies. Several members of my family were nurses and I followed in their footsteps. Professional nursing is an amazing way to journey through life; in the service of others, and the ability to work anywhere and everywhere you so desire. The economy has had little impact on health care so I suspect you too will likely always have coin in your pocket and a roof over your head. If I were to do it all over again I would NOT change a thing.

I graduated with a BSN from Widener University in Chester, PA. I completed certification requirements for CCRN 3 years after graduation and maintained certification through 2007 when hours of research and doctoral studies prevented my maintaining the minimal number of clinical bedside hours for re-certification. The majority of my clinical experience has been in critical care, cardiovascular surgery, and transplantation.

I perceived a rather significant disconnect between the resource levels desired by care givers and those available at the bedside. It seemed if I learned the language of business and finance then perhaps I would be able to articulate an effective argument for appropriate resource distribution and improve patient care quality. I returned to school for a Masters in Health Care Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas... my journey continues.

My last non-academic position was as Administrative Director / Heart & Vascular Institute, Neuroscience s, Critical Care, Emergency & Trauma Services at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston, Texas. There were eight Directors and Managers that directly participated in the leadership of these areas with me. We led more than 300 staff, 12 departments, and several million in assets. A few of our successful projects included certification as a Level II Stroke Center, Level III Trauma Center (of the second busiest ED in Houston), accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers (Cycle IV), and the submission and subsequent designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Pathway To Excellence institution, which is considered by some as a precursor to Magnet status.

My previous academic position was clinical instructor for the AD Nursing program at Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson, NC where I was joint faculty for second year students. Clinical included 4300/Neurosciences at Duke University Hospital and our simulation lab. Our first-time NCLEX pass rate this past May, 2012 was 100%. I have also served as adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University with an on-line Management & Leadership course designed for ADN-BSN students.
I am looking forward to this great opportunity at North Carolina Central University, Eagle Hospital, and meeting you. I hope we get an opportunity to chat soon. Sincerely, Leo.


PhD University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 2010
MHA Trinity University 1983
BS Widener University 1978
BS Widener University 1978

Selected Publications

1. Yurek, Y. L., & Donna, . S., & Spencer, H. , & Linda, H. C. (2015). Factorial Validity of the Decisional Involvement Scale as a Measure of Content and Context of Nursing Practice. Research in Nursing & Health, 38, 403-416.
2. Yurek, L. A., & Karen, J. E., & MElissa, M. M. (2015). Severe Symptomatic Aortic Stenosis in Older Adults: Pathophysiology, Clinical Manifestations, Treatment Guidelines, and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 41, 8-13.
3. Yurek, L. A., & Vasey, J. , & Havens, D. S. (1900). The Use of Subject-Generated Identification Codes in Longitudinal Research. Evaluation Review, 32, 435-452.
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