Allen College

Dr. Tara McEnany
Allen College Class of 1998 (BSN), 2002 (MSN-FNP), and 2009 (Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate)

Employment History

Chief Nursing Officer at Buchanan County Health Center in Independence for the past 5 years.

I have had the pleasure to work at Buchanan County Health Center for the past twenty-two years as a RN and as a Nurse Practitioner. Some of the areas I have worked as a nurse include: Med/surg unit, Labor and Delivery, and the Emergency Department (ED). As a Nurse Practitioner, I have worked in the ED, Occupational Health, Intensive Diabetes Management, Asthma Management and Education, Clinical Coordinator, and Wound and Hyperbaric management.

I have also had the opportunity to work in academia at Allen College as an Assistant Professor in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program and in the DNP program.

I have also worked as a Nurse Practitioner at the United Medical Park Ambulatory Surgery Center caring for postoperative patients.

What led you to pursue your education at Allen College?

I chose Allen due to its rich tradition of excellence in nursing education. Allen also recognized the importance of not only developing great nurses but creating nurse leaders by offering a BSN.

Accomplishments, awards, or proud moments

  • Currently serve as a board member for the Iowa Donor Network
  • I earned my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Iowa in 2009 (while getting my post-masters certificate in Acute Care from Allen).
  • Participated in the DNP Task force at Allen College, to help develop their DNP program.
  • Selected as a reviewer of the text, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Guidelines by Dr. Barkley, and received a scholarly award from Allen College for this work.
  • My daughter graduated from Wartburg College with a degree in Biology this spring and will be attending the Accelerated Nursing Program at Allen College this fall with future plans of earning a DNP.

How did Allen College help prepare you for where you are now?

Allen College provided me with a solid foundation of essential clinical and critical thinking skills and ignited a passion within me to be a lifelong learner. The faculty invested in me not only as a student but as an individual person. They had high expectations, encouraged me and wanted to see me succeed.

What led you to your career path?

My original plan was to be a pharmacist, I loved the sciences and decided I wanted more direct patient interaction and nursing became the best fit for me. Throughout my career, I did not say “no” to anything. I sought out and took advantage of every possible opportunity that I could and read a lot. I was willing to go above and beyond and had set high expectations for myself. This approach provided me with great learning experiences and helped me grow as a leader in healthcare. I didn’t envision myself ever leaving direct patient care. I was offered the position of Chief Nursing Officer and realized that even though I would no longer care for individual patients, I was given the opportunity to impact the care of patients on a much larger scale and serve as an advocate for all patients.

Hobbies or Interests

I enjoy time with my husband Kevin, children Shaelyn and Teegan, and our dog Rookie. I also enjoy traveling, watching my children’s sporting events, camping, kayaking, cooking, reading, and puzzles.

Advice for current Allen students?

Nursing has so many facets to explore, take advantage of every learning opportunity you can!