As a practicing nurse, Sandra Kubala cared for her patients. At home, she cared for her husband and kids. While she no longer practices in hospitals, most days she is still doing what comes naturally - taking care of others.
Although I love my job as the chair of the Oakton's Nursing Program, I still miss being in the hospitals and having patient contact. As an acute care nurse practitioner, I was in and out of hospitals for years. Even as a faculty member, I was still actively involved in patient care - as most nursing faculty are.
But now I have a new set of patients - the students. I hear their compliments, complaints, and recommendations, and try to take care of them the best I can. Though I am not in a hospital setting anymore, a lot of the same principles still apply: empathy, patience, and compassion.
When I was hired at Oakton in 2001, I started as a full-time nursing faculty member. Three years later I became the chair of the nursing department and since my first year at Oakton our program has really blossomed; enrollment has doubled and the program is still growing. In the future, I would like to accommodate more nontraditional students (which I was) by creating more online courses to help them work around their hectic schedules and achieve their dreams.
Watching people reach their goals is the best part of this job. The success stories and positive changes we see in people's lives are amazing and reaffirms everything we do. The nursing program changes the lives of our students, as well as the lives of those in their care.
Sandra Kubala, RN, MSN
Chair, Nursing Department