Dr. Annette Callis is currently a professor in the Nursing Department as well as the MSN Program Coordinator and Interim Simulation Coordinator here at Vanguard University. She is married to Professor Dan Callis, an artist who has taught at Biola University for nearly 30 years. She has five adult children and one granddaughter who is three and a half years old. She grew up the youngest in a family with three older brothers. Her brothers tease her for wanting to play school and hospital as a child. And look at her now they say, “the adult version of her childhood play”.
She went to Catholic school for 12 years and still keeps in touch with a nun who taught her in grade school. Sister Joyce had a profound influence on her by telling her that God had a calling on her life. In her late teens, Annette discovered that calling, it was Nursing. Annette has a strong faith and enjoys partnering with her husband and Dr. Roger Heuser and his wife, Gayle Heuser, in hosting a home church.
When she is not working, she enjoys bike riding, spending time around the beach, watching her husband surf or eating at local Italian eateries in the Orange Circle, where she resides. She primarily teaches nursing research in the MSN program and enjoys advising grad students in designing their thesis projects that address issues in their workplace related to healthcare and the nursing profession. She directs students in researching phenomena that will aid in optimizing healthy work environments and patient care outcomes. These projects also serve to advance the students in their nursing careers in local hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Annette coordinates VU’s MSN off-site program at St. Jude Medical Center as well and enjoys practicing her Clinical Nurse Specialist role by participating in St. Jude’s monthly Research Council meetings within the Academic Practice partnership VU has with St. Jude. She recently completed a research study together with Dr. Mary Wickman, St. Jude Nurse Researcher and St. Jude Chaplain as well as Director of VU’s Nursing Program, exploring the experiences of nurses participating in St. Jude’s Tea for the Soul Program, which seeks to meet the emotional and bereavement needs of healthcare workers.
Born and raised in the small town of South Amboy, New Jersey, she says, "It's on the Raritan Bay that overlooks the New York City skyline. I was able to see Manhattan whenever I wanted. I got my BSN from the University of Miami, Florida and went back to Jersey to work. I got my first job as a critical care nurse. After about five years, I decided I wanted to go to graduate school."
Annette then moved to Southern California and attended the Critical Care Clinical Specialist Master’s Program at California State University, Long Beach. At the time, tuition for college was a few hundred dollars a semester, less money than was allocated to her from an academic scholarship. After graduating, she decided she wanted to pursue a career in Nursing Academia. She had the best of both worlds, Nursing Education and the ability to supervise students caring for patients in the critical care unit and emergency department. She taught at Biola University for many years, initiating their undergraduate critical care curriculum and started their Simulation Education Program in 2006.
Feeling like there may be another chapter to her career, Annette reached out to Mary: “We had lunch together and I immediately felt like God was directing my path elsewhere. I instantly fell in love with Mary and what she was doing at VU, so I applied and started teaching in the MSN Graduate Program the following fall. It has been a fabulous experience for me here!”
We are so thankful for Annette's experience in the nursing world and the expertise she brings to young nursing professionals seeking advanced degrees. “It is truly an honor and a privilege to be mentoring and teaching nurses as they advance and seek God’s guidance in determining how they will be used as Nurse Leaders and Educators in the transformation of healthcare moving forward.”
- university news