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cherylCheryl Falconer, RN, CNN
CEO / Chief Academic Officer

Favorite Thoughts:
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
-William Arthur Ward, American writer & columnist

Most people who know Cheryl would tell you that she is a caretaker by nature so being a nurse by profession comes naturally to her. She believes that this is part of what connects her to the students at DTI, because so many of them share a common thread, that inner need to care for others.
Cheryl firmly believes that everyone should live life to its fullest, and that nothing — not even kidney disease — should be allowed to take that away. She knows the struggles firsthand and she became interested in nephrology nursing when her husband Gregory required dialysis after a sudden illness. Early in Greg’s life as a CKD patient he was fortunate to have crossed paths with an amazing dialysis nurse who offered information and encouragement that quite simply gave him the will to go on living. That was a pivotal moment for Cheryl, and she decided that she would repay the kindness of this remarkable healthcare professional by dedicating her own medical career to helping others live productive and fulfilling lives despite the devastating effects of kidney disease. Today her professional focus has shifted to helping new technicians and nurses learn to provide quality healthcare to this vulnerable patient population. That’s making a difference that carries forward!
Professional Standing: As Chief Executive Officer and managing partner, she is active in the day to day operations and learning processes at DTI. With decades of experience in nephrology nursing, she now devotes her full professional energies to the school. She authored Hemodialysis An Overview: A Basic Hemodialysis Training Course, the original textbook for DTI, and its subsequent revisions; the Advanced Nephrology Nursing textbook; the Hemodialysis Basics for Biomedical Technicians;  Fundamentals of Restorative Care for Allied Healthcare Professionals; and Nephrology Basics for Nurses & Technicians. She authored numerous abstracts and studies for the Southern California Renal Disease Council, the original Guidelines for the Care of the HIV +/AIDS Patient in the Chronic End Stage Renal Disease Facility and the Disaster Preparedness Plan under contract with the Renal Disease Council.
Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest: Cheryl has been a board certified nephrology nurse for over twenty-five years. Her work has included positions in dialysis organizations both large and small, as a nurse in outpatient dialysis, a home-dialysis training nurse teaching patients and caregivers to manage home dialysis. Her professional positions included: Hemodialysis Staff Nurse; Acute Dialysis Nurse; Facility Administrator; Regional Education Coordinator; Consultant; Dialysis Clinical Specialist; Assistant Vice President; Senior Director of Operations; and Clinical Specialist (in pharmaceuticals). She also believes that lifelong learning is what keeps a professional sharp.
Personal Pursuits: Cheryl was born in Moline Illinois and claims to have been dragged to California at an early age by her parents — she grew up in “Dairy Valley”, married her high school sweet heart and raised her children in sun drenched southern California. Her late husband Gregory Falconer was a dialysis patient for more than 35 years, and she was his home hemodialysis partner until his death in 2010. These days she busies herself with gardening, spending time with friends, family and an occasional good book.
Degrees and Certifications:
Registered Nurse in the State of California, since 1983
ASN, Nursing, Cypress College, 1983
Certified Nephrology Nurse, since 1991
BA, Health Administration, Steward University, 2000
Member, American Nephrology Nursing Association (ANNA)
Member, National Kidney Foundation (NKF)
Member, California Dialysis Council (CDC)
American Heart Association BLS CPR/AED for health care providers