Legal Name
DepartmentDepartment of Nursing
Biola AffiliationsFaculty
Office LocationLim Center 021



Deborah O’Dell graduated from the nursing program at Biola in 1980 and worked for four years in a hospital before going to Japan as a church-planting missionary for 17 years. In 2001, she and her husband returned to California to work with Japanese students on college campuses and in 2006, O’Dell returned to the nursing workforce. She worked for 10 years at a community hospital and her last position there was in administration. She received her master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis in leadership in health care systems from Grand Canyon University in May 2016.


Long Beach Memorial Medical Center

Long Beach, CA

  • 1980-1982: Staff Nurse Surgical Floor
  • 1982-1984: Charge Nurse Surgical Floor

Grace Brethren International Missions

Tokyo, Japan

  • 1984-2001: Church Planting Missionary
  • 1996-2001: Nurse at Christian Academy in Japan

Los Alamitos Medical Center

Los Alamitos, CA

  • 2006-2010: Staff Nurse Surgical Floor
  • 2010-2013: Charge Nurse Telemetry Floor
  • 2009-2013: Relief RN Administrative Supervisor
  • 2014-2016: RN Administrative Supervisor

Research Interests

  • Aging
  • Death
  • Health
  • Leadership
  • Missions
  • Nursing
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