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Dr. Thayer McGahee

Interim Provost

Faculty Thayer Mcgahee

"This program is designed to help you increase your critical thinking skills, to build on your basic nursing knowledge, and to make more meaningful application of that knowledge."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. – Medical College of Georgia, 1998
  • M.N. – University of South Carolina, 1982
  • BSN – Vanderbilt University, 1978

Career Highlights:

I have worked in numerous areas clinically, primarily in child health. I have taught for over 20 years at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and have also worked in hospital education for several years. I have been Dean of the School of Nursing at USC Aiken since 2013.

In which online degree program do you teach?


  • Which classes do you teach online?


  • Why did you start teaching?

    I began teaching because I discovered through bedside nursing that I loved patient and family education, as well as staff education. That led me to seek a master's degree. After working as an instructor in a college of nursing at a large academic medical center, I earned a Ph.D. so that I could further develop my career in academia.

  • What advice would you give to those considering this degree program?

    My advice to you is to take each course seriously and remember that these courses are part of a professional degree. This program is designed to help you increase your critical-thinking skills, to build on your basic nursing knowledge, and to make more meaningful application of that knowledge.

  • What qualities make someone particularly successful in nursing?

    There are both tangible and intangible qualities that make someone successful as a nurse. The tangible qualities are critical thinking, the ability to apply knowledge to both simple and complex situations, and the possession of excellent clinical skills. The intangible qualities include an appreciation for each patient, and a dedication to providing the type of care you would want for yourself and the person who means the most to you. Successful nurses are those who treat each patient with respect, who treat all colleagues with respect, and who strive to continue to learn and make a positive difference.

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge that nurses face today?

    One of the biggest challenges in the nursing profession is the high turnover rate in bedside nursing. Bedside nursing is at the heart of nursing, and it is also one of the most stressful and challenging roles in nursing.

  • What books you think everyone should read?

    "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is one that made a deep impression on me. "Notes on Nursing" is another one I would suggest. For comic relief, I would recommend "Bedlam Among the Bedpans."

  • Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know.

    I have taught Pathophysiology almost 40 times!

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