Keiser University Lakeland Associate Dean of Nursing Earns DNP

At the heart of Keiser University’s mission is a students-first philosophy, one that faculty and staff alike work diligently to ensure remains true across every Keiser University campus. As an employee with the university for nearly 12 years, Kimberly Presto is well acquainted with this mission, having helped dozens of students over the years at Lakeland campus as the Director of Medical Assisting, the Bachelor of Nursing Program Director, and the Associate Dean of Nursing.

Today, Presto can speak from experience when she advises other students, as she recently completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree through Keiser University’s Online Division.

“The experience was amazing. I have a new appreciation for the student centric nature of our campuses,” Presto said. “We don’t just say it, we live it.”

Presto completed her DNP while still working as an employee at the campus. She joked that she was able to practice what she preached, by investing in an organizational planner and utilizing it as often as possible. She credits her ability to juggle so many busy aspects of life to finding a good balance.

She also credits the difficult task to the sincere and gracious care of her professors and classmates in the program.

Presto said that as a nurse she took the “scenic” route, beginning as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LNP), earning an associate of science in nursing (ASN), and eventually working her way up to the DNP degree.

“It was a personal accomplishment, because nursing is continuously raising the bar in every aspect, including education,” she said.

Presto can now sit down with students and speak to them as a fellow learner, offer them advice from both her 30+ years in the industry and her experience with Keiser University.

“Any time you advance your degree, it allows you to further develop your critical thinking skills and your global perspective,” Presto said.

In the future, Presto plans on applying her new DNP knowledge to both her career and her personal life, advising other students in a similar position to set a clear goal and use motivating forces to push on through tumultuous times.

Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associates to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a  designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked No. 5 in the U.S. in Social Mobility by U.S. News And World Report in 2022.

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