Release Date: 
Saturday, February 10, 2024

Get to Know HFC: Dr. Candance Niemer earns doctorate in her journey to educate future nurses

Candance Niemer wearing her graduation cap, standing with crossed arms.

Dr. Candance Niemer wanted to be a nurse for a long time, dating back to her childhood.

Niemer’s interest in nursing started with a high school requirement to research careers. This research led to interviewing a nurse who happened to be her godmother. This interview also set the course of her professional life.

“I interviewed my godmother, Irma Kaye, who was a nurse. When I learned more about what she did and her impact on the people she cared for in her everyday work, I knew nursing was the profession for me,” explained Niemer.

Further developing her role as an educator and leader

The second eldest of five, Niemer was born in Detroit. She lives in Clinton Township with Timothy Niemer, her husband of 11 years. She has a 22-year-old daughter and twin daughters, who are 6.

After graduating from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School in Detroit, Niemer earned her associate degree in nursing from Wayne County Community College. Transferring to Eastern Michigan University, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Niemer later earned her master’s degree in nursing education and adult gerontology/clinical nurse specialist from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Recently, Niemer earned her doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) in nursing education leadership from the American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health at Post University in Waterbury, CT. HFC Director of Nursing Trina Moore is proud of Niemer for earning her DNP and offered heartfelt congratulations.

“Your hard work and perseverance should be applauded,” said Moore. “This is an incredible milestone in your career. You deserve to sit back and savor your accomplishment! I know you will do wonderful things with your new credential, and I can’t wait to see where it takes you.”

Niemer has also acquired certifications to enhance her knowledge and expertise as a nurse educator. She earned her Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist certification (AGCNS-BC). She is also a Certified Nurse Educator and Certified Academic Clinical Nurse Educator.

Desire to teach community college nursing students

“I gained so much from my community college educational experience. My desire to teach at the community college level stemmed from completing my 2-year degree at a college where the faculty members were supportive and encouraging,” explained Niemer. “The encouragement and level of caring led to my desire to teach nursing. As a nurse educator at the community college level, I can share my knowledge and skills gained and serve the students I am helping prepare for entry-level practice. Teaching at the community college level allows me to be a leader and to demonstrate the caring needed to foster the growth of nursing professionals within a community.”

Niemer has been a registered nurse for 19 years. She has worked in the nursing profession since 2004, providing quality patient care in various settings. Her additional nursing experiences include being a staff nurse in an orthopedic medical-surgical unit, a medical ICU, long-term care, hospice, and case management. Her primary role as a nurse was working in an acute care setting.

She has taught nursing since 2015. Niemer’s first teaching assignment was as an adjunct faculty member for Macomb Community College. She was also a visiting professor at the Chamberlain University College of Nursing in Troy.

“Nurses are lifelong learners,” she said. “My pursuit of a doctorate in nursing educational leadership not only enhanced my knowledge but will help me to further develop my role as an educator and leader.”

Providing nursing students the tools to be successful

Since 2019, Niemer has taught at HFC in its renowned Nursing program. Dr. Susan Shunkwiler, the founding dean of the School of Health and Human Services, hired Niemer. Dr. Cynthia Scheuer, the current HHS dean, is Niemer’s supervisor.

"Candance Niemer teaches medical surgical nursing for second semester students,” said Lisa Hastings, Assistant to the Dean of HHS. “Candance is a very driven instructor who ensures that her students have the most accurate, up-to-date educational climate. She is always available and eager to help her students."

“I was happy to have been allowed to start my professional career in an academic setting,” said Niemer. “I love being a nurse and being a nurse educator. From an instructor’s perspective, I am giving the students I am preparing the tools for success. I hope to continue teaching future nurses who will maintain the professionalism inherent to nursing and within the nursing profession.”