Nursing Professor's Compassion Inspires Students
By Kaila Illsley on 03/31/2020
Assistant Professor of Nursing Angela Dosdall has been teaching at the Rasmussen College Bloomington campus ever since she graduated with her Master’s degree, but rewind to her early undergrad years and she would tell you nursing was not initially on her radar.
“When I went into college, the last thing I wanted to do was nursing,” she says. Dosdall recalls not fully appreciating the complexity of nursing and thinking it was not the right fit for her. However, upon further consideration, the similarity between her interests and nursing became quite clear. “I was interested in psychology, physiology, biology, chemistry and math, and I quickly found out that nursing combines all of those.” While she enjoyed each of those classes, none of the subjects satisfied her quite like studying nursing did. “By the end of my freshman year, I explored the field of nursing and absolutely loved it,” she shares.
From then on, Dosdall’s focus never strayed from nursing, and she found herself inspired to teach by the impact her nurse preceptor had on her. A preceptor is an experienced practitioner who helps guide and support newly qualified individuals making the transition from student to professional. “I thought it would be rewarding to do that for a new nurse.” So, within a few years, she became a nurse preceptor and helped train nurses who were new to the career. That experience sparked her interest to take her career even further. “I really enjoyed the teaching and mentoring aspect of it, which led me to want to go back for my Master’s,” she shares
Fast forward to present day and Dosdall has 10 years of teaching at Rasmussen College under her belt. When it comes to her classes, Dosdall aims to have a lasting impact on her students. “I hope I help encourage my students to become passionate about their profession. I hope I push them to strive for excellence and do the best they can for every patient every day.”
Understanding from firsthand experience just how stressful nursing school can be for some, Dosdall tries to be as compassionate and encouraging to her students as possible. “It’s amazing how much a little compassion and understanding can do. I like to make sure they feel seen and not just one of the crowd,” she says.
Her empathy doesn’t go unnoticed by her students. Ashley Ellefson, a Professional Nursing student, mentions how invested Dosdall is in the success of her students. “She makes each student feel like a priority throughout her teaching and has the ability to explain the content in many ways that appeal to each individual’s learning style,” she shares.
While Dosdall understands the challenging concepts taught in nursing school can be difficult to grasp, she finds it rewarding to help her students truly understand the material inside and out so they can begin applying the information. “I like the challenge,” she explains. “I want them to be prepared when they go into the workforce knowing the realisms they might face as well as how to handle those situations and where to go for help.” As a student, Ellefson vividly recalls experiencing this intent in the way Dosdall teaches her students. “Her simulation labs were a valuable tool in ensuring that students not only understand the content but that they can effectively put into practice the skills they learned.”
Dosdall’s caring personality and dedicated teaching style are just some of the many things Ellefson mentions as having made a meaningful impact on her education. “If I could tell her anything, it would be, ‘Thank you. Thank you for taking the initiative to invest in your students to ensure that they are fully equipped to be ethical and respected nurses in the field.’”
When encouraging her current and future nursing students, Dosdall shares an important message: “Nursing school is very stressful. I remember times as a student where I wanted to give up due to stress, but I can tell you that sticking it out and finishing the program is so worth it.” While the challenges of nursing school may seem hard at times, remember to stay focused and have faith in yourself — your career in nursing is right around the corner.
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