Photo of part of the nursing faculty in the Daniels Clinical Education Center: From left: Kim McAlister, Mary Pautler, Dr. Julie Lindsay, Interim Dean of Sciences and Mathematics Dr. Kiley Miller, and Dr. Ruth Grubesic.
Dr. Julie Lindsay, the new director of the Schreiner University nursing program, wants people to know that nursing is wonderful profession with many possibilities. “In nursing you can do anything, it’s wide open,” she says.
Lindsay, who started in June, brings to the position extensive experience in both hospital nursing administration and nursing education leadership. Her 11 years of teaching included time at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas Tech University at El Paso, Blackfeet Community College in Montana, and Northern Arizona University.
“Eye opening” is how she describes her experience with the Montana college, where she directed a nursing program that she helped start on a American Indian reservation with a high poverty level. “It was challenging for my students, but they knew I believed in them, and that I was there for them. We had a good success rate.”
Lindsay also has 36 years’ experience as a registered nurse, often in administrative positions. A native Texan and a Cowboys fan, she was born in Dallas, and has lived in Austin, Houston and El Paso. The start of her nursing career, however, was in Missouri, where her parents had moved when she was young.
“Dr. Lindsay brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the nursing discipline with her,” says Dr. Kiley Miller, interim dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics. “In the short time that she has been on campus, she has implemented curriculum changes, is coordinating a submission to the Texas Board of Nursing, facilitated personnel team building, and has welcomed our incoming junior and senior classes of nursing students.”
Coming out of high school, Lindsay wanted to be a lawyer, but did not have the resources to attend law school. So she chose nursing “because it helps people.”
“College was not easy for me, especially coming out of high school,” says Lindsay.” I was one of those students who struggled. Learning was difficult for me. But then I did my pediatric rotation, and it was like, ‘This is where I was meant to be!’”
She completed her associate’s degree in nursing at St. Mary’s College while working part-time in the school’s infirmary. Then she worked almost five years in pediatric oncology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. That experience only enhanced her love for working with children.
“Everybody has a gift, an area where they excel,” says Lindsay. “Pediatric palliative care is one of my strengths. I feel that children are very special.”
“Not only do you work with children, but also with their families,” she adds. “Speaking with children on their level, and also talking with their families in a way that is non-threatening. The importance is in making them comfortable and at ease, conveying empathy.”
While working in Austin she also started her own pediatric home care business, which she no longer owns but is still in operation.
Being a teacher and administrator have not diminished her involvement in pediatrics. In late July she travels to Dublin, Ireland, to make a presentation to the International Nursing Conference, and earlier this summer she spoke on palliative pediatrics at Flagstaff Medical Center on palliative care in pediatrics.
In addition to earlier articles on the subject, she is writing one, “The Unexpected Death of a Child and the Experience of Emergency Room Personnel” for the Journal of Emergency Nursing, and another, “Dying at Home—What One Family Taught Me,” for APHON Counts.
Lindsay holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and a master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University.
While at Schreiner, she would like to share her experiences and research with the nursing staffs at Hill Country hospitals. “One of my goals is to offer pediatric in-service to area hospitals, especially for emergency care staff. The information can be very useful to nurses working with children coming into emergency rooms.”
In the Schreiner nursing curriculum she sees “opportunities to create things and to make an awesome program, building on what has been accomplished to this point. I want to help the program have stability and growth.”
The fact that about 90 percent of last year’s bachelor of science in nursing graduates passed their state and national licensing tests is proof that improvements made in the program before her arrival are working.
“I want students to see that there are people here committed to nurturing and mentoring future nurses,” says Lindsay. Toward that end she wants to establish mentoring program in which seniors mentor the junior students. “Nursing is a team effort, not a solo profession. We work as interdisciplinary teams. We need to mentor others so that they can be successful.”
Faculty teamwork is also very important to Lindsay. “I have strengths, but I also have limitations,” she says. “I try to surround myself with people who complement my strengths and limitations.”
Schreiner University’s BSN program offers nursing students advantages that larger nursing schools, such as those in San Antonio and Austin, do not provide, says Lindsay.
“Students lose their individuality in the larger institutions. At Schreiner students get one-on-one contact with instructors, and know that they are cared about. If students have issues--we’re all human and we know that life happens—our faculty works with them to help. They are committed to the students.”
She feels the life experiences which students bring with them−−such as being single parents--can be helpful for their professional growth. “They have life experiences that, although challenging, are invaluable to them as nurses. We need to respect their life experiences.”
Lindsay describes herself as “calm and laid-back, but I don’t let the grass grow under my feet. I don’t like to meet just to have a meeting, but to get things done.”
She loves the Hill Country and likes to camp. A tent and a camp stove are in her truck at all times, “just because I can pretty much camp anywhere.”
For more information on the Schreiner University Nursing Program, contact Gloria Mercier, administrative associate, 830-792-7481 or email GMercier@schreiner.edu.