Caring for people
Assistant Professor of Nursing Sandy Blair has a heart for ministering to patients
“I’ve always loved being able to help people and to feel like I’m doing
something for someone else in a time of need,” she says.
Following a 26-year nursing career in hospitals and public health, Sandy felt
led to share her experiences as a nursing professor. Recently, she began her 11th
year with LaGrange College.
The school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is known for its tough
curriculum and dedicated faculty, who support and encourage students each step
of the way.
“Nursing is a very hard curriculum,” says Sandy.
“You have to put a lot of time and effort into it, especially the last two years,
though preparation really begins before that.”
She says that high school is a good place to start developing good study habits.
“It’s very critical for a student to get a broad base of different types of studies.
The diversity will help you in your career in ways that you can’t imagine.”
Students transferring from other institutions can complete their BSN degree at
LaGrange, as well.
“Transfer students meet directly with the chair of our department, and she helps
them develop a plan based on the classes they’ve taken previously.”
This year, LaGrange has 60 nursing students, the largest class since the school
began offering the BSN degree.
“I think our nursing program is special because we have very committed faculty
members, each with various interests and backgrounds.
“The students know that we are accessible. They can come in and talk with us about
study habits and how to prepare for upcoming exams.
“We spend a lot of one-on-one time with them,” she says.
In August, the school received a new human patient simulator, which is used in
the nursing division’s clinical laboratory. A computer interface enables faculty
members to program the equipment—which looks and responds like a human being—with
real-life medical scenarios. It can simulate everything from cardiac arrest to
Sandy believes the technology will significantly enhance the classroom experience
“The simulator is helping them learn to think on their feet and is providing opportunities
they necessarily wouldn’t get in the hospital setting.”
Though excited about the new equipment, Sandy says she doesn’t let students forget
that “they’re caring for people.”