Ridgewater College expands leadership, names Mary Leyk first dean of nursing and allied health

Ridgewater College expands their leadership role of healthcare programs and chooses Mary Leyk as college's first dean of nursing and allied health.

Mary Leyk

WILLMAR — Mary Leyk of St. Augusta will serve as Ridgewater College 's first dean of nursing and allied health. She began her new role this summer, overseeing the nursing programs, as the former director of nursing did, but also serving as dean for other health care programs.

According to a news release, Ridgewater College, as part of its two-year restructuring effort, created this position to help with increasing demand for health care careers, growing demands to follow accreditation guidelines and to bridge both technical and general studies in health care programs.

Leyk said she sees the restructured position, transitioning from a nursing director to a dean of nursing and allied health, as a positive move.

“You’re eliminating a step in the decision-making process,” she said in the release, which hopefully means timely progress for program improvements, innovation and continued student success.

In addition to licensed practical nursing and registered nursing programs, Ridgewater offers health programs ranging from massage therapy to health information technician.


According to the release, Leyk has more than 25 years of health care experience. Her past roles include director of continuing education/health programs, interim practical nursing director, assistant professor of nursing, adjunct instructor, nurse educator as well as registered nurse.

All her industry experience has been in the St. Cloud and Anoka communities, with all her education work experience within Minnesota State.

Leyk has a bachelor's in nursing education and professional development from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a master's in nursing education from Walden University . She is currently working toward her doctorate in higher education administration at St. Cloud University .

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