Cooper Hired to Lead College’s Expanding Nursing Program
St. Louis Community College and its Board of Trustees recently named Jordan Cooper as dean of nursing.
Cooper, who served as the interim dean of nursing for the spring 2022 semester, began his duties June 6. He will continue the College’s impressive expansion started in 2019 that will see the College grow its nursing program by 75% by 2024. By increasing the capacity and number of its cohorts at its Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec and Wildwood campuses, STLCC will graduate approximately 384 nurses per year by the end of the expansion.
This movement comes as the metro area and nation face an increasing shortage of registered nurses. Vacancy in registered nurse positions at hospitals hit 20% this year — the highest level in the 21 years the Missouri Hospital Association has conducted the survey — and up from 10% in 2019 and 12% in 2021.
“We are looking forward to Jordan’s leadership in this critical position,” said Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D., STLCC chancellor. “The St. Louis region is facing a shortage in health care workers and for many years, the College has served as a vital pipeline to area hospitals. I am confident that under Jordan’s strategic leadership, our nursing program will continue to be the premier health care worker provider for the region.”
STLCC’s nursing program is the most affordable education in the St. Louis area at approximately $19,000 for two years. Its students also have one of the highest pass rates with 96% of the students passing the National Council Licensure Exam.
“I look forward to working with Jordan as we continue to develop one of the region’s largest and best healthcare education programs,” said Julie Fickas, Ed.D., president and chief academic officer at STLCC-Forest Park.
Cooper is a registered nurse, board-certified family nurse practitioner and native of St. Louis County. He attended Riverview Gardens High School and graduated from STLCC-Florissant Valley with an associate degree in nursing. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Maryville University and a master’s degree in nursing, specializing as a family nurse practitioner, from Walden University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in nursing, specializing in interdisciplinary health.
“As a lifelong resident of St. Louis and an alumnus of St. Louis Community College, it’s an absolute honor to be offered the dean of nursing position,” Cooper said. “The College already provides the region with some of the best-trained and most-qualified nurses to help fill the growing gap in registered nurses. I look forward to growing our program, continuing to develop strong relationships with our community, academic and clinical partners in the metro area and help promote student success by removing barriers to learning and making our program an accessible goal for all.”
Cooper’s nursing experience includes critical care, emergency nursing, pediatrics and family practice. His interests include fatigue/burnout in nursing educators, diversity and inclusion among nursing students and faculty, and workforce development.
After serving as an adjunct nursing faculty for STLCC in 2017, he joined as a full-time faculty member in 2018. In 2020, he became program coordinator of the STLCC-Florissant Valley nursing program before assuming the interim dean role in January 2022.
Cooper made numerous contributions to the Florissant Valley program. He led the expansion from a single to a double cohort, including increasing from seven to 13 full-time faculty members and boosted enrollment to 48 students for both the spring and fall semesters. He strengthened the College’s partnership with Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, which has provided meaningful clinical experiences for students.
In addition to chairing several district nursing committees, Cooper co-chaired the Missouri State Board of Nursing Five-Year Program Review for the district nursing program and facilitated the development and planning of the newly built nursing simulation lab on the Florissant Valley campus. He also organized student and faculty participation in a joint venture with the St. Louis Department of Public Health for the first mass vaccination clinic in the St. Louis metro area in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooper also served on the leadership team for the development of the future Centers for Nursing and Health Sciences at the Florissant Valley and Wildwood campuses.
“I look forward to working with Jordan as we continue to develop one of the region’s largest and best healthcare education programs.”