Button Named Director & Division Chair of Nursing & Health Department
The Kentucky native comes from a family of nurses, and she has a passion for teaching the profession to others. And at the start of the 2017 fall semester, Button was named director an division chair of the LWC Nursing and Health Department.
“My mom is a nurse and I have cousins, aunts and other family members who are also nurses – so it’s in my blood,” said Button. “I’ve always enjoyed helping people, starting as a certified nursing on through to becoming a nurse practitioner – I realized I had a love for learning. I feel like I’ve been in school my whole life.”
Button also knows what it takes to start a nursing program.
In 2009, she helped LWC establish its nursing program, working behind the scenes to prepare the college for its first healthcare degree. She attended meetings, learned policy, conducted research and filed paperwork to ensure that LWC was ready to launch a nursing program that met the rigorous standards of the Kentucky Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
“It was a lot of work, but it was very rewarding because in the end I played a role in bringing a nursing program to a part of Kentucky that desperately needs well-rounded, highly prepared nurses,” Button said.
Button’s professional vita includes more than eight years in the nursing field, mainly in telemetry and long-term care. Those experiences make her an ideal fit for a program in which experiential learning and critical thinking are at its foundation.
“The biggest part of my teaching philosophy is the importance of real-world interaction with the students,” said Button. “I like to bring real-life scenarios into the classroom, whether it be through examples of my experiences or their personal practice. I use the labs we have on campus as often as I can because when a student has the opportunity to physically do the concepts we’ve been talking about in class, it really clicks for them.”
LWC freshmen begin as pre-nursing majors. Those who meet the program’s rigorous academic standards are admitted to the nursing program at the end of their freshman year. LWC nursing majors graduate with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, which Button said gives them several advantages.
“The value of a four-year nursing degree means better pay and higher professional advancement,” she said.
LWC students also benefit from an education grounded in the liberal arts, which Button said gives them a more well-rounded educational experience.
“The Lindsey Wilson students I have worked with are all starved for education, and they all have that relentless drive to be nurses,” she said.
Button said LWC’s nursing program is unique in Kentucky because of the high number of first- generation college students enrolled in the program.
“A lot of our nursing students are first-generation students, and we’re helping them fulfill their dreams,” she said. “Not only are we helping the public by educating compe-
tent, compassionate nurses, but we’re also helping the students become better people professionally and personally. To me, that’s amazing.”
And Button said the dedication of the LWC nursing faculty is unmatched.
“I am totally impressed with how much extra time and energy our faculty give to the students,” said Button. “It is not uncommon for our faculty, outside of class time, to arrange study sessions where they’ll study with the students and be available to clarify or answer questions when they’re not required to do so. No other nursing program I know
of does that.”
A native of Glasgow, Ky., Button earned undergraduate degrees in nursing from Northern Kentucky University, followed by a master’s degree and then a doctorate in nursing from Western Kentucky University. She has been a family nurse practitioner since 2003. She was an instructor in LWC’s nursing program from 2009-15.
“I left Lindsey Wilson in 2015 to get my doctorate,” she said. “My plan was to practice full-time and maybe move up the ladder in the company I was involved with. But then I got the call from Lindsey Wilson about the director’s position, and I knew it was in God’s plan that I come back and continue my career here.”