“Greener than green.” “You might not make it.” Those were words I heard from an impatient teacher in my first semester of nursing school. We all do grow and develop--thankfully! Teaching was not how I pictured my professional trajectory, but once exposed to the teaching bug, it became a life-long passion and fascination. My nursing career began in Missouri, as an Associate Degree nurse, then, in 1974, I earned my bachelor’s degree. My teaching began in 1975 as a part-time on-campus skills lab instructor while I worked as a primary care nurse and night supervisor. Both family and career decisions took us from Missouri to Montana to West Virginia, and since 1987, to Ada, Oklahoma. Along the way, I earned a Masters in Nursing which was a dual track for education and adult nursing with an emphasis in oncology. My doctorate is from Texas Woman’s University where my dissertation focused on Comanche’s current health beliefs. The most common question I hear: How did you end up in Oklahoma? Both my husband and I could teach at the same university, a university which emphasizes teaching. Kevin is an English professor; we bounced two children and two cats across the Appalachian Mountains. Twenty five years later, we have three terrific adult children, counting our daughter-in-law, and three awesome grandchildren.
Greatest moments in clinical nursing: having the honor and privilege to work with families and patients on an oncology unit. Listening to patients review their life stories is unforgettable. Professionally, I have been involved with Oklahoma’s Long-term Care Ombudsman Committee and our regional and state Oklahoma Nurses Association. I am fortunate to be part of a highly skilled faculty who share a common, progressive vision of excellence in nursing. My most memorable teaching moments: having the honor and privilege to watch the “AH-Ha” moment in students’ expressions as they understand a difficult concept and, second: seeing graduates flourish as “real” nurses. When you graduate, please remember that you were once “greener than green” and lend a patient, caring hand to a student--your future colleagues! If you are a student new to nursing: Keep on reading!
J. Jeffery Jordan
J. Jeffery Jordan holds BS in physical education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, OK, and a BS in nursing from Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX. His entry into nursing over 20 years ago was an associate of applied science degree in nursing from Oklahoma State University-OKC. Mr. Jordan holds a MBA and MSN degree from the University of Phoenix, and a MS in nursing education from Southern Nazarene University. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Nursing Education from the University of Northern Colorado.
Mr. Jordan's nursing experiences encompasses critical care, emergency, pre-hospital/Flight nursing, nursing administration, and nursing education. He is an active member of the Emergency Nurses Association, holding board positions at national and state levels. He speaks on emergency nursing and leadership issues at the state and national levels. Mr. Jordan holds national certifications as a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) and Certified Nurse Educator (CNE). He actively works in the clinical settings in local emergency departments.
Debra S. Ollila
Ms. Ollila began her career in nursing as an LPN in 1977, graduating with an Associate Nursing degree in 1986. She worked as a Registered nurse in the acute medical-surgical area for 15 years, and as a home health nurse in Los Angeles for 2 years before moving to OK and completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at ECU in 2003. Ms. Ollila has been a psychiatric and mental health nurse since 1994; 10 years working with child & adolescents, and 7 years working with adults with psychiatric and/or chemical substance abuse issues, geriatric, and with the developmentally disabled populations. She became an instructor of nursing in ECU’s BSN program in 2006 and currently teaches Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Child Adult II Medical Surgical Nursing, and in 3 courses in the ECU RN to BSN program. Ms. Ollila graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with a Master’s of Science degree in 2007 and is currently an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, in Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing. She completed a Post-Masters Certificate at OUHSC in Nursing Education in 2008, and a certificate in an Interdisciplinary Training Program in Child Abuse & Neglect from the OU College of Pediatrics in 2008.
Viki Vogt Saidleman earned undergraduate and Masters Degrees from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in medical/surgical and ICU areas. She has enjoyed teaching nursing for 22 years with 2 of those years at East Central and 20 years at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton. Past focus areas for teaching include fundamentals, lab, medical terminology, obstetrics and pediatrics. Present areas of teaching include Child Adult I and II and Adaptation in Aging.
Dr. Flowers completed her Associate Degree in Nursing from Murray State College in 1973, Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing from East Central University in 1989, Master of Science in Community Health Nursing, CNS track, in 1991, and PhD in Nursing Research from Texas Women’s University in 1998. In addition, she has earned certifications such as ACLS, ATLS, and CNOR. Dr. Flower’s clinical background includes many diverse areas; however, her primary focus has been trauma and operating room nursing. She has been a Nurse Educator since 1991 and is a tenured, full Professor with the ECU Nursing Program. A few of her accomplishments during her career include being the first Director of Nursing for Creek Nation Community Hospital, Okemah, Oklahoma and guiding them successfully to their first full JCAHO accreditation, beginning the first fresh frozen bone bank in Oklahoma and facilitating full accreditation one year after its implementation with the American Association of Tissue Banks, writing and editing articles for nursing journals, item-writer for NCSBN, delivering presentations at a national level, grant writing, and implementing and coordinating the ECU @ Southeastern Distance Education Program, Durant, Oklahoma.
Ms. Lankford earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Central University (Go Tigers!!) in 2004 and her Master’s in Nursing Education from University of Oklahoma in 2010. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Nursing Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Ms. Lankford has worked as an RN in ICU, Home Health, ER, Med/Surg, and in Long-Term Acute Care. She began to teach as an adjunct for ECU in 2008 and full time in 2009. She currently teaches in Adaptation in Aging, Nursing Process, RN-BSN Nursing Research, and several on-campus labs. She resides in Durant with her 4 kids, who keep her very busy in her spare time.