Nursing Alumni Blog
Dr. Shanna Akers serves as the Administrative Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Liberty University and as an Associate Professor in the Liberty University School of Nursing. She has been at Liberty University since 2009 and has served in various roles including the RN-BSN Program Chair and Associate Dean for LUSON. Recently, Dr. Akers transitioned to the role of Administrative Dean in the Office of the Provost. Prior to her arrival at Liberty University, she worked as the Director of the Cardiovascular Service Line of a multi-hospital system in Louisiana.
Dean Akers began her nursing career as a critical care nurse (inspired by Mrs. Sue Pyles who taught care of the cardiology patient) and later specialized in cardiac care. Her clinical interests include critical care, cardiac health and prevention, women's cardiac health, sudden cardiac death syndrome, and congestive heart failure. She is also interested in the care that bedside nurses offer for family members of critically ill patients.
As the Director of the Cardiovascular Service Line, she worked with team members of multiple units and specialties to provide care for cardiac patients as well as education to the community. She has presented on topics such as sudden cardiac death in women and congestive heart failure maintenance. She wrote several short educational articles related to healthcare for local magazines and journals. She continues to speak at various healthcare facilities on topics of leadership and management, which include conflict management, generational differences in the workplace, nurse burnout, and team leadership.
While at Liberty University, Dr. Akers has taught multiple courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Her love for critical care nursing keeps her connected to bedside nurses and nursing students who desire to serve in critical care units and emergency departments. Her interests in healthcare management, budgeting, marketing, and meeting the needs of bedside nurses are seen in the management and leadership classes taught to practicing registered nurses.
Dr. Akers graduated from the Louisiana Tech Division of Nursing in 1996. When asked about her Alma Mater, Dr. Akers stated, "I look back at my time at LATech with great fondness and wonderful memories. LATech Nursing faculty laid a foundation of skill, knowledge, and passion for Nursing. The faculty impacted my life in ways I am still acutely aware of today. I am proud to be an Alumna of the Louisiana Teach Division of Nursing."
Shanna W. Akers, EdD, MSN/MBA-HC, RN, CNE
Administrative Dean for Undergraduate Programs
Associate Professor, Liberty University School of Nursing
Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer
Jay & Nicole Lambert
LA Tech Nursing-Class of 2009
We are both proud graduates of the Nursing program at Louisiana Tech University. We fell in love with each other as study partners during our time at Tech. I guess you could say the Nursing Program brought us together!
Nicole has always loved working in women’s health. She began her career as a nursery nurse. Then, she quickly became cross trained in labor and delivery and postpartum nursing. After bringing two beautiful baby boys of her own into the world, Nicole decided to work in the clinic for more convenient hours. She loves working in the OBGYN clinic and spends an occasional Saturday working per diem at WKB in postpartum and nursery. Working with the babies always brings her home to me with a bright smile.
I took a completely different route. I began my career in the ICU where I fell in love with taking care of the cardiac patients. With three years of ICU experience, I jumped at a job opportunity in the electrophysiology lab which is a specialized extension of the cardiac cath lab. I spent three years enjoying this specialty within cardiology. Then, I was recruited by a company to operate the equipment and software for physicians as a clinical sales consultant during electrophysiology procedures using their products.
I must say that our nursing degrees have given my wife and me a very enjoyable and rewarding career. The opportunities in our field are endless. We never would have imagined ourselves in the positions we are in today. We wouldn’t trade our experience as nurses for any other career choice available.
Katy and Ryan Haight
After our graduation from the LATech nursing program, Ryan and I obtained jobs in ER and ICU at local hospitals. After two and a half years experience, we decided to follow our dreams of travel nursing. So far we have worked in Washington state and California and have enjoyed every minute of it. We will always be thankful to the Louisiana Tech nursing program for providing us with the best education opportunities!
Alumni Kaycie Weed
I am Kaycie Weed from the Spring 2015 graduating class. It is amazing to look back and reflect on my journey of becoming a registered nurse. I remember the excitement that I felt upon first reading my acceptance letter. I walked in my first nursing class to a room full of strangers and had no idea what the future held. After the second quarter, these people gradually became my best friends. It is amazing that people with so many differences can bond together for a single purpose. We studied together, laughed, cried, and really became a team. I have acquired my life-long friends through this program. Many girls were bridesmaids in my wedding, and I am so thankful for our friendships. These people are more than just nursing classmates, they are friends for a lifetime.
Graduation was a bittersweet moment because all of our hard work finally paid off, but it also meant that we were all going our separate ways. We accepted positions at many different places in various departments. Some traveled to Texas, South Carolina, Shreveport, Alexandria, Ruston, West Monroe, Monroe, Bastrop, and other areas. Our Facebook page has given us the chance to continue our communication even though we are separated by distance. We encourage each other to further our nursing education and grow into strong individuals with each new chapter of our lives.
Upon graduation, I accepted a job on Telemetry at Glenwood Regional Medical Center and stayed there for 8 months before getting the pleasure of working at Louisiana Oncology. I have been at Louisiana Oncology for 6 months now, and it has been an absolute dream. I love creating a relationship with my patients and truly experiencing what nursing is all about. Nurses are driven by the desire to help others, and that is exactly what my job entails. It is also great to be able to work alongside some of my past classmates.
My experience with nursing has exceeded all my expectations. It is hard work, but it is very rewarding. I like to think that I am making a positive difference in peoples' lives, but they are changing my life in a way that I cannot explain. Nursing is a flexible career; one can change departments or areas for a new experience or area of expertise. As for me, I am always looking for ways to expand my nursing knowledge. I am planning to pursue my bachelors degree and become chemotherapy certified. The options are endless in the world of nursing. I am also very thankful for the support from all of our nursing instructors along the way. Our graduating class is proud and honored to have achieved a 100% NCLEX pass rate. The instructors truly prepared us to be our best, and I would not be the nurse I am today if not for them. I am so thankful to be an alumnus of the LA Tech nursing program. I would not have had it any other way!
Alumni Jasmine Polk
Hi, My name is Jasmine Polk and I am a proud 2014 Spring graduate of the Louisiana Tech Nursing program. I am originally from McKinney, Texas, and my parents are also Alumni of Louisiana Tech (Stan and Toni Polk "91). During my time in the nursing program I was able to be apart of the Student Nurses Association as chapter president, as well as involved in a multitude of community service projects.
I have recently been blessed with the opportunity to begin my nursing career in my dream job at the Emergency Department of Parkland Hospital, which is a Level 1 Trauma Center in Dallas, Texas. I was accepted into the highly competitive Emergency/Trauma Nurse Residency shortly after graduation, which included written, clinical exam and skills training in one of the busiest urban charity ER's in the country. I have since completed the residency and have been successfully working in the role as an Emergency/Trauma RN.
I am honored to say the experiences and education I received from the Louisiana Tech nursing program absolutely prepared me for not only state boards, but also real life nursing care. With confidence, I have been able to utilize the tools I learned from the amazing Louisiana Tech nursing faculty to provide the best patient centered care. Each faculty member inspired me to push towards my dreams, which indeed turned into my reality. I am forever thankful to the Louisiana Tech nursing program and can't wait for what the future has in store.
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengths me." Philippians 4:13
Alumni Ken Walker
My name is Ken Walker and I graduated from the nursing program in 1997. Over the past 20 years I have had the opportunity to experience many wonderful things that are directly related to my education and training at Louisiana Tech. I started nursing at age 31 as a male student, in then, a pretty much female-dominated field. Near the end of our program, we were asked to identify our professional goals. I started my list of goals by stating that "I want to go to work at a large multi-specialty hospital in the OR, focusing on my passion of orthopedic surgery." Within a couple of weeks after graduation I was working at LSU-Shreveport in the OR.
Since then my career led me to train over 3000 orthopedic and neuro-surgeons on new surgical techniques and implants, help launch the careers of over 1500 sales reps, and visit nearly 20 different countries. Currently I work as the VP of Clinical Operation for a small start-up company (Ortho Kinematics) in Austin, TX, that focuses on analyzing the motion of the injured or diseased spine. I also am working on a research project for NASA where we test the quality of spinal motion of US Astronauts before and after their time on the International Space Station.
The good Lord has blessed me in many ways over the course of my life. However, outside of the gift of my daughter, Grace, I consider the experiences, the education, and the opportunities afford me by the faculty of La Tech's nursing program to be some of my greatest blessings ever. Thank you for all you did for me and continue to do.
Prov. 16:9 We plan the way we want to live, but ONLY God make us able to live it.
Louisiana Tech's Nursing Ambassadors are students that apply the tenets of Tech in their service to the Division of Nursing. Our Nursing Ambassadors are on campus to welcome potential nursing students and to assist the Division of Nursing as we welcome visitors and new students to Louisiana Tech. They are always ready to answer questions and to show others what makes the Louisiana Tech program so special.
From left to right: Robin Capps, Kimberly Davidson, Grant McKee, Micaela LaBarron,
Mark Vandenlangenberg, Morgan Hanson, Seth Futrell, Naomi Long
From Left to right: Caley Pyles, Chase Roberts, Kristina Rowe, Mark Vandenlangenberg, Kimberly Davidson,
Naomi Long, Lindsey Allen, Grant McKee, Mia Davis, Jayln’ Hampton
Nursing Ambassadors 2016-2017
Front: Caley Pyles, Te'Arra Phoenix, Lindsey Smith, Krissy Rowe, Megan Constant
Back: Jayln' Hampton, Chase Roberts, Mia Davis, Ashwin Anderson
Not pictured-Maggie Davidson
Nursing Ambassadors 2015-2016
Morgan Stanley, Beth Remirez, Maddie Hogg, Jenny Threlkeld, Taylor Nevils, Amy Walton, Trey Dees, Nathan Taylor, Chase Sutton, Tori Morris
Nursing Ambassadors 2014 - 2015
From left to right: Courtney Albritton, Kyle Horton, Erika Craft, Amy Walton, Marcie Hayden, Kaycie Lane, and Zachary Exe
Nursing Student Blog
Hello to whomever may be reading this! If someone were to have asked me 4 years ago what I would be doing with my life I guarantee you I would not have said sitting in class learning about pediatric nursing. My name is Taylor Nevils and I am from Baton Rouge, but I would much rather claim Ruston as my home. The reason why I would have never thought I would be where I am today is because I come from a long line of engineers so I was absolutely certain that it ran in my blood! One quarter in and I found out that I was in a completely different boat. It just wasn't for me so I switched to the biology route. A couple years went by and I still didn't know what I was going to do as a career. I have always had a passion for medicine I just wasn't sure what field. I got a phone call from my mom one day and she asked me if I ever thought about nursing before. That night I promise you I stayed up for hours researching every last thing about nursing and I couldn't believe I had never thought about it, it was perfect for me. That following week I was in Dr. Hood’s office talking about how to apply. I remember walking out of that office with this huge grin that I couldn't wipe off my face because I knew at that moment this was where I belonged.
Months went by and December rolled around and I found the acceptance package in the mailbox. A few more months pass and I was sitting in my first nursing class ever, probably shaking and looking like a deer in headlights. Everyone tells you it will go by so fast, but of course I was so new to the program I didn't believe them. Now looking back I can't believe I only have 2 more quarters till graduation.
Now, I will not be the first to tell you that it takes a lot more than good notes and reading till your eyes pop out to learn how to become a great (future) RN. It takes an amazingly passionate group of professors and faculty that will do as much as they possibly can to help you and your classmates succeed. The faculty is truly the glue that holds this program together and we would not be the nursing students we are today without them.
Nursing is such a unique field with endless opportunities and it definitely takes a special type of person to advocate and care for another human being. Anyone in this field will tell you that there are going to be many stressful nights where making another pot of coffee at 1 a.m. and talking about how much blood got on your shoes in the OR is just a normal thing. I love this program and looking back now I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
“Being a student nurse and getting to work for the Division of Nursing in the simulation lab has been both beneficial and helpful in my understanding and application of what I have learned in class and in clinicals. While working in the simulation lab I have learned how to setup and use the Med-Dispense system and bring it back to functional use. I have to get the supplies together for practice labs and return demonstrations which helps keep the skills I learned sharp. Working in this setting also allows me to run the Meti-Man for more realistic simulations. I love working with the faculty and staff of the Division of Nursing and I will always appreciate these experiences.”