Sandie Nadelson portrait
Sandy Nadelson, PhD, has built a career combining her passion for nursing and education.


New director steps in as Health Sciences building nears completion

Construction transforming the old Community Hospital campus to a new home for the Health Sciences program is in the homestretch. This past semester labs and administrative offices relocated to the new building and in time for this upcoming fall semester classrooms and simulation labs will be completed. The renovation and construction of new facilities are not the only big change to this program, this month the Health Sciences program also received a new director, Sandie Nadelson, PhD.

From a young age, Nadelson knew she wanted to be teacher just like her mom who was a kindergarten teacher. As she became older, Nadelson saw the shortage of nursing teachers and knew the path she would follow. After receiving her bachelor and master degrees of science in nursing, Nadelson went on to earn a Master of Science in education and her doctorate in higher education leadership, fully cementing her commitment to nursing and higher education.

“My doctorate in education leadership helped me get a better view of what it is to be a leader in higher education,” Nadelson said, of the natural progression for her from Health Sciences associate professor to director in less than a year.

Nadelson has several goals to help advance the current practices and to adapt the program to the new facilities with a concentrated focus on the five simulation labs. The simulation rooms will include mannequins that exhibit symptoms of actual patients. They can blink, have a pulse and a voice box through which an instructor may speak to detail ailments the “patient” is feeling. As the students work through different scenarios, they are filmed and later review the film with their instructor to see how they could improve.

Students will work through numerous scenarios in the simulation labs and undergo the pressure nurses face on daily basis working in a hospital. The simulation process helps with critical thinking, which is a skill nurses must develop when dealing with potential life or death situations, Nadelson said.   

Health Sciences includes three programs — nursing, radiologic technology and medical laboratory technology as well as several degrees — licensed practical nurse (LPN), associate registered nurse (RN), bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and a master’s and doctor’s of nursing. Nadelson will work with her department to develop each of these degrees further including growing the courses available on the Montrose campus and a changing LPN process.

“It’s a balancing act between the different programs, faculty, budget, etc., " Nadelson said. "Luckily President Foster and Dr. Pemberton have really supported nursing.”

Along with leading the department, Nadelson will continue to teach a graduate level research course and hopes to continue teaching an evidence-based practice undergraduate course, she said.

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