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Program Director of Regis’ Accelerated BSN in Nursing Programs Elizabeth Landers ‘19 EdD In Her Own Words

I have the unique perspective of looking at this pandemic from three lenses: a mom of young kids, a nurse caring for COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and a nurse educator training those who are preparing to go out fight this virus alongside me. The first role has me watching the news obsessively, strategizing how to keep my family safe, and juggling the new reality of working from home with toddlers. The second role has me up-close and personal with this pandemic and the challenges of keeping ourselves and our patients safe. The third gives me hope, because the students I have been working with are ready to take on the challenge they are about to face – even if the future of this crisis is still so unknown.

Elizabeth Landers posed while in personal protective gear

Elizabeth Landers Program Director of the Accelerated BSN in Nursing

"As soon as I started practicing nursing at the bedside I realized how much of what nurses do is education. We educate our clients about their diagnosis, medications, and plan of care, but also about ways to manage their health while still living a full and meaningful life. While in my Master’s in Nursing Education program, I had the opportunity to do an internship experience with Regis College and I realized quickly that my philosophy of education and the mission of the college were perfectly aligned, particularly the emphasis on educating the whole person and preparing them to “serve and lead as advocates.” I feel this is evident in the Regis nursing programs, and something I feel passionately about."

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Despite being three distinct roles, there are many occasions where they overlap. The clearest example of this was experienced while caring for a COVID-19 patient in the ICU. Limited resources, lack of nursing staff, and the stress of caring for some of the sickest patients I have ever worked with made for one of the most challenging shifts I have experienced as a Registered Nurse. During this shift, I recognized one of the nurses I was working alongside – it was a former Regis College student of mine, Sarah Carew (’15). It made me feel hopeful to see a Regis nursing alumni addressing this virus head-on, with a confidence that comes from experience and dedication. One of the COVID-19 patients we were caring for wasn’t on a ventilator and was able to communicate. Although he was more stable than many of the others in the ICU, his condition was getting worse and he knew it. He expressed his fear that he was going to get too sick to ever go home and see his family again, and it made me think about my boys at home. As frightening as it is to be working in the hospitals during this time, that conversation put things into perspective for me. When I got home the next day and followed my normal routine of taking off my uniform in the backyard and scrubbing myself with disinfectant before walking in the door, I was able to hug my boys tight and count my blessings. This is a scary time to be in healthcare, but being able to contribute by giving my patients the best care I can and educating future nurses to continue the fight is why my four-year-old is right when he says “Mommy’s a nurse and she helps people.”

“I am not a person who always knew I wanted to be a nurse, not even when I enrolled in nursing school." I gravitated toward literature and writing courses before deciding on English and secondary education. After graduation, I realized that my heart wasn’t in that profession and I found myself struggling to find a direction. My mother, who is a Registered Nurse, suggested I try nursing school because (as she said), “at least you’ll get a job!” What I didn’t anticipate was how closely nursing and education would align, and I found myself spending more and more time on patient education. The natural move from there was to start teaching my fellow nurses in staff education roles, and that was where I found my true passion – improving the quality of nursing care by improving nursing education at the academic level.

Our strongest asset is our faculty – 90% of us are active as practicing nurses in the community, meaning we are current in our practice and bring client care experiences with us to the classroom. I can teach about a client condition by sharing a story of an experience I had just a few days before.
Elizabeth Landers - Program Director of the Accelerated BSN in Nursing

As soon as I started practicing nursing at the bedside I realized how much of what nurses do is education. We educate our clients about their diagnosis, medications, and plan of care, but also about ways to manage their health while still living a full and meaningful life. While in my Master’s in Nursing Education program, I had the opportunity to do an internship experience with Regis College and I realized quickly that my philosophy of education and the mission of the college were perfectly aligned, particularly the emphasis on educating the whole person and preparing them to “serve and lead as advocates.” I feel this is evident in the Regis nursing programs, and something I feel passionately about.

I think our strongest asset is our faculty – 90% of us are active as practicing nurses in the community, meaning we are current in our practice and bring client care experiences with us to the classroom. I can teach about a client condition by sharing a story of an experience I had just a few days before. With healthcare changing so fast, staying current is a must and Regis College makes that a priority.

My favorite part about Regis students is their motivation for being here. Everyone has a unique story and we have such a diverse group of students. Everyone comes to nursing for different reasons and, more than any other program I have worked with, Regis nursing students have a focus and dedication that comes from their own individual experiences. I think that makes them the kind of nurses I want to work with in the future.

I think there is a greater recognition of how important the role of the nurse in the healthcare environment is. Because of that, students come into nursing with a very specific idea of where they want to be when they finish. Sometimes that changes as they get exposed to all the different aspects of nursing, but the passion for nursing remains the same. I think that’s refreshing because the stakes are high as our clients are becoming more and more complex, and I know that’s the kind of nurse I want taking care of me and my loved ones.

Since 2013, Elizabeth Landers has been Assistant Professor of Nursing at Regis College, where she also serves as Program Director of the Accelerated BSN in Nursing Program. She teaches Acute Care Nursing and practices as a critical care nurse at Lowell General Hospital. By maintaining her clinical nursing practice in her area of expertise, Elizabeth brings real-world client scenarios to the classroom and helps her students stay current with the constantly changing healthcare field. As an alumni of the Regis College Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership, Elizabeth combines her love for nursing and education to incorporate create teaching strategies in the classroom. Her research interests include clinical nursing education, stress and anxiety in higher education, and disabilities in nursing students.

In April 2020, Elizabeth Landers was elevated to Associate Professor.

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