Program: Practical Nursing
Education/Industry Certifications: RN, MSN
Has Taught at SCC Since: 2003
Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: Nine. I worked as an LPN at Lincoln General on the Ortho-Trauma Unit as well as Tabitha working my off weekends. I later picked up a third position at a home health/staffing agency where I cared for babies who had tracheostomy’s and PEG tubes and adult ventilator clients. After I graduated from Union College with my RN, BSN I worked at St. Elizabeth as Per Diem floating the hospital from ICU, Burn, medical, surgical, oncology, pediatrics and postpartum. I continued to work for the staffing agency floating all over Lincoln and surrounding communities.
Describe your teaching philosophy.I seek to facilitate the advancement of knowledge. We need to have reasonable thinking to be in health care, as nurses we are required to think like a nurse, to critically think, to rationalize what is going on with our patients at any given time. In my class, lab and clinical settings my favorite phrase is read it, see it, do it, teach it! I don’t tell my students go look it up, I ask them “what are you thinking” and we can rationalize together if they are correct! Nursing is lifelong learning, we all should be learning something every day!
Why did you decide to teach at a community college?I really didn’t decide, I was asked to apply by one of my former instructors from when I was in the Practical Nursing Program. She said she thought I would do a good job since I had always been a good student. I came to open house with my boys to see my husband who was working here at the time and by the end of the day had an adjunct position. One thing lead to another and here I am!
What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?To work hard, as in any health care field, it is hard. I tell students it should be hard because what they know or don’t know can harm someone. We are a fast paced program.
What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?I work closely with the American Red Cross. I am the Regional Nurse Lead for Nebraska, SW Iowa and Kansas. I have been deployed to disasters a couple of times on our breaks. When I am not working at SCC I receive calls about disasters for assistance over the phone. I teach my students who are wanting to be involved with the American Red Cross, a First Aide course, so they can volunteer and receive a student nurse volunteer pin. I also teach a disaster preparedness course.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?Nursing is hard work, we don’t go home at the end of 8 hours or 12 hours. If nursing has been your dream, if you’re a caring person, if you have a passion for nursing and are compassionate then you will make it as a nurse. If you are entering the program because you think you can easily find a job you will burn out quickly.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?When you see the light bulb moments, the ah ha look on the students faces.
What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?In our program, we are at clinical or in the lab two or three days per week so we don’t get to meet others often. We are our own little family. I like feeling like my back is covered if need be and we have that.
What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?We graduate every six months, seeing the group going across the stage for pinning ceremony and meeting their families makes me proud to have played a role in them achieving their goal.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?I like to read for fun. I spend time with my husband’s grandmother and my parents. We still have one son living with us and our oldest son just married a beautiful southern girl.
What would students be surprised to know about you?I love fast cars, camping (in a camper) and 4-wheeling. We go as often as we can!
Is there anything you’d like to add?I remember what it was like being a student like it was yesterday. I the feelings of test anxiety and the fear of skills check off. But, I also know this is a very rewarding career and I wouldn’t do anything different. I have met a lot of great people in my career and taught many exceptional people who I am proud to call a professional colleague.