Sandburg Nursing Instructor Will Anderson has ‘Been in These Very Chairs’

  Aaron Frey
  Tuesday, November 13, 2018 4:46 PM
  Campus News

Galesburg, IL

Carl Sandburg College students who might feel the stress of working toward their nursing degree only need to look to Will Anderson for inspiration.

Anderson, in his first year as a full-time instructor in Sandburg’s College of Nursing, earned his degree from Sandburg in 2005.

“I’ve told them that this is where I got my nursing degree, and I understand exactly what you’re going through,” Anderson said. “I’ve been in these very chairs.”

Anderson, who had 30 years of direct patient care under his belt before starting his new position, never imagined he’d be seeing those chairs again. He started out as a paramedic in 1989 and spent time as a paramedic field instructor. Anderson graduated from Sandburg before later earning his bachelor’s in nursing and a master’s in nurse practitioner. After spending the 2018 spring semester as an adjunct clinical instructor for Sandburg, a full-time faculty position opened up.

“I thought that I’d be doing hands-on care until retirement, but if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone, you don’t expand,” Anderson said. “It almost felt like I’m coming back home where I started things. It’s almost like I made a complete circle.”

Anderson said his background in emergency medicine helps him in his new position because he’s a jack-of-all-trades, and Sandburg’s nursing program develops students who are well rounded instead of specializing in one area.

“I hope that with my experience and my knowledge I’ve gained over the last 30 years,” Anderson said, “that they can take that away from me and use that in their practice once they graduate here.”

And just like Anderson tells his students he know exactly what they’re going through during the program, he knows exactly how they’ll feel when the work they put in finally pays off.

“My goal is to get them through this class, get them past this class, get them past the NCLEX exam and get those two little letters after their name,” Anderson said. “I remember the feeling when I passed mine. I was on Cloud Nine for a while. I want them to have that same feeling.”

Will Anderson in class

Carl Sandburg College nursing instructor Will Anderson works with students on a SimMan on the Main Campus in Galesburg. Anderson, a 2005 graduate of Sandburg’s College of Nursing, is in his first year as a full-time instructor.


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Aaron Frey