Dr. Debra Spring, dean of the School of Nursing, retires from the medical field

After four decades in the nursing profession, Dr. Debra Spring, dean for Alcorn State University’s School of Nursing, says goodbye to her career.

Spring, who has served as dean for the School for five years, is retiring after 45 years of service to the field of nursing. Before her stint at Alcorn, Spring worked at Hinds Community College for 35 years, where she served as a faculty member for 25 years and assistant dean of Nursing for 10 years.

Transitioning into a world without nursing will be a new beginning for Spring. She anticipates everything that retirement has to offer.

“It will be a whole new world for me, but I am excited about what the next chapter of my life will hold,” said Spring. “I have loved the time I have spent with my Alcorn family and look forward to maintaining a relationship with the University.”

A highlight of Spring’s career is the joy she received from her career daily. She’s thankful to have been in a profession as rewarding as nursing.

“I can honestly say I have enjoyed what I do every day. There are only a few people that can look back on their careers and say that. Nursing had afforded me the ability to provide care and service to individuals and their significant others at times in their lives when they were the most vulnerable. Few careers allow one to be there and care for others in times of need. I truly found my passion when I decided to change my major from speech therapy to nursing in 1972.”

The dean position provided Spring with an opportunity to become better as an individual and professional. She credits the School for her overall growth.

“My experience as dean has been challenging, but one of the most rewarding opportunities I have been afforded in my professional career. Alcorn has allowed me the opportunity to grow and develop, both personally and professionally.”

Being approved to offer the doctoral program in nursing is one of Spring’s shining moments as dean. She credits her staff for their hard work and commitment to excellence, and she hopes the School will inspire other departments at the University to add more doctoral programs in the future.

“I have been able to participate in some exciting nursing education activities on the local, state, and national levels. I’m particularly proud of the hard work on the part of the faculty, staff, and administrators in the School for establishing the first doctoral program at the University. I hope to see more doctoral degrees offered at the University in the future.”

Spring made relationships that she will always cherish, and she hopes to keep strong bonds with her collogues and students.

“I will miss the students, faculty, staff, and other administrators. I will also miss the many professional and personal relationships I have established over the years. I do plan to maintain as many relationships as possible. Also, I will be following all the exciting things I know the School will engage in in the future.”

In retirement, Springs plans to embrace family life more.

“I plan on spending time with my family. I need to focus my energy on being a grandmother to my three grandsons and supporting them in their activities, such as attending sporting events. I expect I will maintain some presence in the nursing world through part-time teaching, serving as a peer evaluator for one of the national nursing accrediting organizations, attending conferences, and volunteering for health-related events.”