Skip to main content

Reflecting on 35 years of nursing

heart with nursing icons

Liz '65 shares an inspiring first hand glimpse of what she accomplished with her South Dakota State University nursing degree.

While now retired from nursing for 10 years, I credit SDSU for building a firm foundation in nursing skills and critical thinking that led to a successful, 35-year career in community nursing, nursing education and nursing administration.

I began my nursing career as a public health nurse on Guam, subsequently earning a master's degree in community nursing and doctorate in sociology from the University of Colorado. I practiced as a pediatric nurse practitioner in Galveston before joining Corpus Christi State University in Texas to assist in development of the first RN to BSN nursing program in Texas. Ten years later developed a master's degree in Transcultural Nursing, the answer to a small university meeting a variety of specialty needs in practice, administration and teaching for nurses in the area. 

During my 20-year career in the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing, I coordinated the graduate program in community nursing, initiated and coordinated the family nurse practitioner program and led the development of the DNP Program.

Always a farm girl at heart, I eagerly spearheaded the development and implementation of the curriculum for the nationally acclaimed, federally funded South Carolina Rural Interdisciplinary Program of Training, a 16-year joint venture between the University, South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium and numerous rural health providers. This statewide, interdisciplinary education program, involving a 5-week rural residency, prepared medical, nursing and other health professions students to be culturally sensitive health professionals who can function within an interdisciplinary team to deliver care in rural communities. 

As department chair for the College of Nursing in the final years of my career, I provided leadership in faculty development and allocation of faculty resources, chaired the CCNE Accreditation Self-Study Committee and guided the adoption and implementation of the CIPP program evaluation model. 

The knowledge and critical thinking skills that I gained through a multitude of experiences in a wide variety of settings, both rural and urban, during 1963-65 in the SDSU nursing program enabled me to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment over 35 years.