Student Stories: Dr. Kim L. Armour

Kim Armour

Major: Nursing

Kim Armour’s educational journey at College of DuPage began with a 2-year-old son in tow.

“I chose nursing as a profession because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “Graduating with an Associate Degree in Nursing, not knowing what laid ahead for me, and yet recognizing I had a voracious thirst to learn, I kept on asking questions and looking to learn. The number of individuals and organizations who have influenced me and invited me to learn is immeasurable.”   

Armour worked at Central DuPage Hospital and waited more than two years before providing care in the “birthday department,” Labor and Delivery, which she thoroughly enjoyed. But in her continual quest for knowledge, she took advantage of every opportunity that came her way and, as a result, has built an extensive resume.

Currently, Armour is with Northwestern Medicine. She was the Director of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Health Care at Prentice Women’s Hospital of Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, where she led an interdisciplinary team to care for more than 12,000 deliveries annually. She then received a promotion to Vice President/Chief Nurse Executive with Northwestern Medicine in Huntley.

Health Science Admissions at COD

Her passion for improving perinatal health care drives her work with the IHI, NICHQ, HHS, HRSA and numerous federal bureaus, as she also shares her knowledge through speaking and publishing. She holds certification as a nurse practitioner in women’s health care and perinatology as well as a nurse executive-advanced and is a registered diagnostic medical sonographer. 

Armour has been active in the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN) for more than 20 years, serving at state and national levels and as the organization’s national president in 2009. Her volunteerism includes the March of Dimes, Ronald McDonald House, Chicago Cares and the Joliet Diocese in Kenya, Africa.

“This educational journey has guided me through life, with an intention to finish a bachelor’s degree in Nursing by age 40 and completing a Ph.D. in Nursing, which I never thought possible,” she said. “I can still remember my adult children asking my husband, ‘Dad, she knows this is a terminal degree, right? She’s done, right?’ I interjected and said, ‘I don’t know. Are you ever done learning?’

“Maybe I will get my MBA or nurse midwifery. Maybe the learning is not in a traditional classroom or online. Maybe it’s the homeless gentleman I say ‘hi’ to every morning, or maybe it’s through a new policy, medication, provider or colleague. I’m sure someone has something to teach us. We just need to stay open and be listening.”

In 2014, Armour was honored by the College of DuPage Foundation as one of eight honorees for the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2017, she was invited to give the keynote address during the College’s 50th annual Commencement. During her comments, she encouraged the graduates to look for those opportunities and push through them.

“If you are paying attention, you may learn, as I did, that often I am the biggest barrier to myself,” she said. “Life is waiting for you and as you look for the next journey of your life, walk through the door. If you get on the other side and it’s not what you thought, pause and ask yourself, ‘What did I learn?’ There is always something to learn, and then look for the next door.

“I share that my learning began as a girl when I kept insisting with my Mom she wasn’t doing the laundry right. So at the young age of 9 and knowing everything, I was told to do my own laundry by my Mom because she was quite certain that I might learn something. Well, I did: Be careful what you ask for! Yet once you ask, be ready to learn, even if it’s not what you expected.

“My family and friends were all on that train with me. Much like it takes a village to raise a child, I believe it takes a village to complete our journey of education and life.”

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