From a young age, Dr. Phyllis Jane Reeder desired to enter the field of nursing, having been inspired by her aunt, who was a nurse. Emulating her aunt, Dr. Reeder graduated from South Chicago Community Hospital in 1960 and began serving St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1961. Over the course of her career in nursing, she served as an ICU and CCU staff nurse until departing from the facility in 1975. That same year, she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Olivet Nazarene University.
As time progressed, Dr. Reeder received a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1979. After many decades of practice, she returned to the University of Illinois, Chicago, earning a Doctor of Philosophy in 1991. Additionally, she is a certified gerontological nurse. Dr. Reeder joined the faculty of Oliver Nazarene University in 1975, teaching as a professor of nursing until her retirement in 2006. During this time, she also served as a parish nurse at a local church for 18 years.
Dedicating her time to various organizations, as well, Dr. Reeder was named the president of the Kankakee Board of Health. She was also the president of the Kappa Sigma chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing, and was the vice president of the Kankakee Parish Nurse Network between 2001 and 2019.
As a testament to her success in the field, Dr. Reeder has been bestowed with numerous accolades. Among them, she was recognized by Sigma Theta Tau for excellence in nursing practice. Additionally, the Illinois Public Health Leadership Institute named her a fellow in 1995. Dr. Reeder also earned the Willis Snowbarger Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005. An esteemed member of Marquis Who’s Who, she has been highlighted in the fourth and fifth editions of Who’s Who in American Nursing in 1991 and 1993, respectively, and the eighth edition of Who’s Who in American Education in 2007.